Vodafone today pledged to move all its European operations to renewable energy with its powerful transmission masts all switching to wind, solar or hydro electricity sources.
Some base stations will have solar panels but those without will tap into green electricity sources only, powering the network with 100% renewable energy by July next year.
All the company’s premises and the energy that powers the core of the network will move to green energy, as will the fixed line fibre trunk system bought from Cable & Wireless Worldwide in 2012.
Currently, around a third of its 61,700 European masts are powered by renewables, and each use about 78 KwH of electricity a day – enough for a Tesla to drive 300 miles.
Vodafone is currently in the process of hiving off its masts into a separate company with a view to floating some of its shares separately on the stock market.
The so-called Green Gigabit Net will cover Vodafone’s operations in Germany, UK., Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Romania, Albania, Czech Republic and Hungary.
Chief executive Nick Read said: “As society rebuilds and recovers from the covid-19 crisis, we have an opportunity to reshape our future sustainability to ensure that recovery does not come at a cost to the environment.”
Vodafone worked with the Carbon Trust sustainability experts to develop the plan. The Trust applauded it for the initiative.
BT last month launched two initiatives to improve its green credentials by buying 100% of its electricity worldwide from renewable sources by the end of this year. The company currently consumes nearly 1% of the UK’s entire grid electricity supply.
Telecoms companies say their involvement in the Internet of Things, which enables smart meters in people’s homes and businesses to regulate power usage by fridges, freezers and heating systems, will also make a huge impact on the world’s energy consumption.