Telefonica’s O2 UK set out ambitious plans to become the first net zero mobile network in the UK, as it pledged to remove carbon emissions across its business and cut down discharges in its supply chain by 30 per cent by 2025.
The operator stated its move would provide its customers with “a mobile network where calls, texts and data are powered by cleaner, greener energy”. It plans to reach its goal of having a net zero carbon footprint by switching third-party landlords which support its network to renewable energy.
O2 will also work with the wider Telefonica group to accelerate suppliers’ efforts in reducing emissions. The UK operator also pledged to highlight “the wider power of mobile, working beyond its own business to help other sectors in their search for more sustainable solutions”, including collaboration with a smart meter deployment programme in the country, which aims to install 53 million gas and electricity meters by the end of this year.
Mark Evans, O2 CEO, commented the company wanted to set “the bar in our industry to tackle climate change and build the greenest network for our customers.” The object is to ensure all offices, stores and masts run clean, with Evans pledging the company “will get the changes done to be a net zero business by 2025”.
O2 said its networks operated a smart turn-off function, which was saving energy by dropping capacity during low demand, and said it had invested £400 million in renewable energy sources since 2008.
The operator’s move comes shortly after the ICT industry announced a science-based pathway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.