More than 50 of the world’s largest mobile operators agreed to start disclosing the environmental impact of their businesses, as part of a new climate action initiative led by industry body GSMA.
In a statement, the GSMA said the initiative aims to develop a climate action roadmap and identify ways for the industry to reduce the amount of gaseous carbon compounds it releases.
Companies including AT&T, Axiata Group, Deutsche Telekom, BT, Orange, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Verizon, Vodafone and all three major Chinese operators are among those to have signed up.
The Association added the move is in line with the UN’s Paris Agreement, with large global operators set to disclose their climatic impacts, energy and greenhouse gas emissions using the internationally recognised CDP disclosure system.
CDP is a not for profit charity running global systems for investors, companies, cities and regions to manage their environment impacts.
The GSMA explained the move will enable full transparency for investors and customers involved in the mobile sector, and result in many companies disclosing the information for the first time.
Following initial disclosures, the next step of the process involves developing a carbon-reduction roadmap for the mobile industry, with a view to implementing in February 2020. The pathway will be aligned with Science Based Targets, an initiative, backed by the CDP among others that sets targets for private sector companies on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The GSMA-led roadmap will also include development of an industry-wide plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a target outlined by the Paris Agreement.
Mats Granryd, GSMA director general said the announcement marks a collaborative action by the mobile industry to tackle “the climate emergency, demonstrating how the private sector can show leadership and responsibility in addressing one of the gravest challenges facing our planet”.
“The mobile industry will form the backbone of the future economy and therefore has a unique opportunity to drive change across multiple sectors and in collaboration with our suppliers, investors and customers,” he added.
Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP welcomed the mobile industry’s move to disclose climate impacts, stating this “demonstrates a clear step-up in the commitment to providing transparency to its investors and customers as part of an industry-wide approach”.