Vodafone confirmed that its
entire European operations – including mobile and fixed networks, data centres,
retail and offices – will be 100% powered by electricity from renewable sources
from 1 July 2021, marking a key step towards Vodafone’s goal of reducing its own
carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2030 and across the company’s entire value
chain by 2040.
Vodafone will celebrate the milestone across Europe and raise awareness of its
green network with a simultaneous consumer campaign that will include Vodafone’s
iconic brand turning ‘green’ across key digital and social channels in 12
In the last year, Vodafone has continued to make significant progress towards
ensuring the greening of the company’s own activities, while accelerating the
role that Vodafone’s digital networks and technologies play in helping to
address climate change. In July 2020, Vodafone brought forward its plan to
purchase 100% renewable electricity in Europe to July 2021 from its previous
target of 2025 and is committed to achieving the same step-change in Africa by
Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said: “From 1 July 2021, Vodafone’s customers
across Europe can be reassured that the connectivity they use is entirely
powered by electricity from renewable sources. This is a major milestone towards
our goal of reducing our own global carbon emissions to net zero by 2030,
helping our customers reduce their own environmental footprint and continuing to
build an inclusive and sustainable digital society in all of our markets.”
96% of Vodafone’s total energy use during FY21 was in the form of purchased
electricity. Following today’s announcement, 100% of Vodafone’s purchased
electricity in Europe is now from renewable generation sources including where
Vodafone is a tenant on other landlord’s sites.
Vodafone’s Planet Actions
Reducing carbon emissions and driving energy efficiency
In 2020, Vodafone set an approved 2030 Science-Based Target in line with carbon
reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, becoming the
first major telecoms operator to follow the emission reduction pathway developed
for the ICT sector.
During the last year, Vodafone reduced its total Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas
emissions by 30% year on year, to 1.37 million tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide
equivalent), driven by Vodafone’s ongoing focus on energy efficiency and an
increase in the proportion of renewable electricity purchased in Europe from 33%
in FY20 to 80% in FY21.
Vodafone’s energy use has remained broadly flat during the last year, despite a
47% year-on-year increase in mobile data traffic over the same period from 7,983
petabytes (PB) in FY20 to 11,714PB in FY21. This is due to increased use of more
energy efficient mobile technology and analytics, including M-MIMO that is
approximately 70% more efficient than 4G.
Vodafone has invested €65m during the last year in energy efficiency and on-site
renewable projects, leading to annual energy savings of 135 GWh. Key energy
efficiency initiatives have also included sourcing and deploying more efficient
network equipment, gradually switching off the relatively less energy efficient
3G network and decommissioning legacy equipment in our core network.
From October 2020, Vodafone introduced a 20% weighting for environmental and
social criteria when suppliers tender for new work. Vodafone’s updated process
now examines whether suppliers have environmental policies to address carbon
reduction, renewable energy, plastic reduction, circular economy and product
Vodafone’s efforts have been recognised by global environmental non-profit
organisation CDP for its decisive actions and transparency on environmental
impact, securing a place on CDP’s climate change ‘A List’.
Enabling Vodafone’s customers to reduce their own emissions
In July 2020, Vodafone committed to helping its business customers reduce their
own carbon emissions by a cumulative total of 350 million tonnes globally over
10 years between 2020 and 2030 – equivalent to Italy’s total annual carbon
emissions for 2019. Most of this saving will be made through Vodafone’s Internet
of Things (IoT) service, which improves the efficiency of logistics and fleet
management, smart meters, manufacturing and other activities.
The Carbon Trust has calculated that Vodafone enabled its customers to avoid an
estimated 7.1 million tonnes of CO2e during FY21, with more than 54% of
Vodafone’s 123 million IoT connections directly enabling customers to reduce
their own emissions.
In March 2021, Vodafone became a founding member of the European Green Digital
Coalition, which brings together ICT sector companies to work with EU
policymakers and experts to drive investment in, and implementation of, digital
solutions in action against climate change.
Reducing waste and helping to build a circular economy
Vodafone has pledged to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of the company’s network
waste by 2025. Vodafone has implemented resource efficiency and waste disposal
management programmes across every market to minimise the environmental impact
of network waste and redundant IT equipment.
98.7% of Vodafone’s network waste, excluding hazardous waste, was sent for reuse
and recycling during FY21, with an overall reduction in network waste
year-on-year of 22.5% to 6,307 tonnes from 8,138 tonnes in FY20.
In 2020, Vodafone launched an internal asset marketplace that encourages
Vodafone’s markets to re-sell and re-purpose excess stock or large
decommissioned electrical items like masts and antennae. This has avoided over
1,250 tonnes of CO2e, saving more than €10m in the process. Vodafone is
currently assessing the possibility of expanding the solution to partner markets
and other operators.
supports the move towards a fully circular economy for devices sold to customers
and has accelerated initiatives to extend the lifespan of devices through
repair, refurbishment and resale before encouraging the responsible recycling of
devices at the end of their useful life.Most Vodafone markets already operate
trade-in and device buyback schemes and repair services to encourage customers
to repair or return their old devices. Vodafone is striving to refurbish and
reuse fixed-line equipment multiple times, with significant associated
environmental and cost savings.
In 2021, Vodafone joined the Circular Electronics Partnership, which brings
together leaders across the value chain – from manufacturing, reverse logistics,
material recovery, to e-waste management – to drive circularity solutions for
In May 2021, Vodafone joined forces with four of Europe’s leading network
operators to launch a new pan-industry Eco Rating labelling scheme to help
consumers identify and compare the most sustainable mobile phones and encourage
suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of their devices.