News | 30 Jan 2023

How Vodafone is powering forwards to net zero

Vodafone's efforts to slash its carbon footprint don't just involve technology - culture and accountability are just as important to effect change, says Francesca Serravalle, senior manager for infrastructure and energy at Vodafone.

Vodafone’s approach to meeting its net zero targets depends just as much on a culture of accountability as it does on embracing the latest technology, a Vodafone expert commented during TelecomTV’s ‘The Green Network Summit’. Mobile network operators shared and exchanged expertise and best practice on how to reduce carbon footprints at the event.

Francesca Serravalle, senior manager for infrastructure and energy at Vodafone, told the other panellists how the company’s targets to reach net zero for its UK operations by 2027 is underpinned by a fully budgeted multi-year programme and support from in-house and external experts.

For transparency and credibility, the targets are also backed by a culture of openness and accountability, she said. The targets were developed in partnership with the Carbon Trust and then validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative. And the company’s senior management is assessed on its progress in meeting them.

COP26: Understanding companies’ carbon reduction claims

Many companies say they are committed to reducing their carbon footprints on the road to net zero. Understanding Scopes 1-3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol will help you decide which claims are more impressive than others.

As Ms Serravalle put it: “It’s important to highlight that sustainability has now become a key driver for key decision-making processes at the business and operational level.

“It’s now mainstream for us and it’s part of our BAU [Business As Usual] daily life.”

While Vodafone has already shifted to using 100% renewable power, this is just one part of reaching net zero. For example, it is retiring older, power-hungry technologies such as 3G and upgrading its technology centres with more energy-efficient equipment and non-mechanical cooling systems.

How Vodafone is making its technology centres more energy efficient

Vodafone UK is upgrading its technology centres in its race to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2027.

It is also using artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) to manage and plan its network better. The goal is “to make the network self-maintained and self-organised, enabling and preventing maintenance and remote support through Smart Sites,” she said.

The company has a whole host of other initiatives to make its operations as energy efficient as possible, from trialling self-powering masts to encouraging its suppliers and customers to make more environmentally-conscious choices. Vodafone’s technology is also helping organisations to understand and tackle environmental challenges.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and features from Vodafone by following us on Twitter and signing up for News Centre website notifications.