2020 was the year that many companies strengthened their climate change commitments. A cocktail of ongoing environmental disasters, a global pandemic, growing consumer demand for sustainability, and investors putting more pressure on businesses to commit to ESG targets meant tackling humankind’s greatest challenge became more urgent.
With a market value of USD1.75 trillion and customers in every country on every continent, the telecoms industry has a significant role to play.1 Many mobile network operators (MNOs) have committed to achieving net zero emissions, thereby aligning themselves with the Paris Agreement – the legally binding United Nations treaty, signed by nearly 200 countries, that aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Vodafone, which has over 300 million mobile subscribers, unveiled new climate change commitments in December 2020. Its headline announcement was a pledge to reduce total global carbon emissions to net zero by 2040 – 10 years earlier than planned.2
“We are committed to reduce our carbon footprint through improved energy efficiency, renewable energy supply, reducing our network waste, and new environmental criteria when we select suppliers,” said Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read.2