It appears our industry is finally embracing the fact that sustainability and profitability can work in sync to drive industry innovation and work toward net zero targets.
The GSMA recently released its annual report, Mobile Net Zero: State of the Industry on Climate Action 20231. It shares how mobile operators are beginning to walk their talk about changing the environmental impact of their network operations. Below are a few data points from the report:
- Sixty-two operators, representing 61% of the industry by revenue and 46% by connections, have committed to science-based targets intended to rapidly reduce their direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2030.
- Global operators that have committed to net zero targets by 2050 account for 39% of mobile connections and 43% of global revenue.
- Nearly 25% of all electricity used by the sector is now coming from renewable sources. About 70% of European operators are purchasing the most renewable energy. North American operators are achieving around half that.
- With a majority of mobile operator’s emissions coming from their supply chain, vendor partners like Apple and Samsung are working to make their products more sustainable. (Editor’s Note: Find your sustainable network infrastructure partners in our proprietary Buyer’s Guide: www.isemag.com/directory.
- The industry is improving its climate reporting. CDP2 is a not-for-profit charity that runs a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to manage their environmental impacts. Sixty-seven operators, accounting for 79% of mobile revenue and 66% of global connections, stepped up their reporting efforts in 2022. Of those, 36 operators got an “A” score for the disclosures they made.
While these are small steps, at least we’re seeing green-washing as the reality it is—a cover up. Kudos to those leaders and doers who are taking baby steps to become climate advocates. We all need to better live by the Turkish proverb: There is no right way to do a wrong thing.