Bharti Airtel committed to lowering greenhouse gas emissions across its operations by 50 per cent over the next ten years, as it detailed new initiatives to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

The operator aims to hit the emissions target by switching to green energy sources in network operations, using energy-efficient infrastructure and processes, and implementing sustainable business practices.

In a statement, director of legal Vidyut Gulati explained climate change is the biggest challenge facing humanity and businesses have a fundamental responsibility to contribute to this effort.

“Airtel has adopted an ambitious target in this direction and will report its progress transparently.”

The company announced it joined the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees C campaign.

Airtel claimed to be the first Indian telecoms company to join the UN’s Global Compact corporate sustainability initiative, seeking to align its environmental, societal and governance (ESG) programmes with the body’s core principles.

Its effort to move to clean energy sources enabled it to reduce network emission intensity for its mobile operations by 97 per cent since April 2016, it stated.

The SBTi is a partnership between CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World-Wide Fund for Nature.