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Taking the carbon out of O2. Net zero by 2025.

Chris_K
O2 Social Media Team
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Hey all,

This morning we have announced our ambition to become the first net zero mobile network. This is of course something I'm personally really proud to see and be a part of, and follows on from recent threads where I have discussed/announced us retaining our Carbon Trust Standard in 2019, ranging the BioCase - an environmentally friendly phone case, announcing O2 Recycle's 10-year anniversary, what happens to the waste at our HQ, and more.

  • O2 unveils plans to cut carbon emissions from its entire business and network by 2025, whilst working with supply chain partners to reduce emissions by 30% in the next five years.
  • Mobile can enable a low carbon economy through efficient technology. O2 is already working to bring connectivity to the UK Smart Metering programme, helping to reduce the UK’s energy consumption in households by 25% by 2035.
  • This builds on O2’s strong environmental track record as the first mobile network in the world to achieve both the Carbon Trust Standard for Carbon, Waste and Water and the Carbon Trust Supply Chain Standard.

O2, the UK’s No.1 network, plans to reduce carbon emissions across its business by 2025, giving UK consumers and businesses a mobile network where calls, texts and data are powered by cleaner, greener energy. This builds on the journey started in 2008, when O2 signed renewable energy across sites where it pays the bill.

The UK network will also implement more ambitious carbon reduction targets within its supply chain. O2 will work with its suppliers, including handset manufacturers, to target emission reduction across its supply chain by 30% in the next five years.

O2 will also focus its efforts on the wider power of mobile, working beyond its own business to help other sectors in their search for more sustainable solutions. This includes its work with the UK Smart Metering programme and working with partners to replicate O2’s own success of saving 20,000 tonnes of carbon over the past eight years through flexible working technology.

Together, these commitments represent the fastest and furthest reaching carbon reduction program announced by a UK mobile network operator.

Mark Evans, O2 CEO, said: “Today, we’re putting a stake in the ground. We want to go further and faster, setting the bar in our industry to tackle climate change and build the greenest network for our customers. Every office, every store, every mast. We will get the changes done to be a Net Zero Business by 2025.

"Mobile can play a pivotal role to make our country more sustainable. From smart metering to smarter working. O2 will work with suppliers, partners and customers to ensure that this industry plays its part in delivering a greener country for us all.”

The Route to Zero

O2 has put clear plans in place to achieve its new environmental commitments:

  • To become Net Zero by 2025, O2 plans to switch third party landlords that support the O2 network over to renewable energy, while creating technical and energy transition solutions across its whole business where needed. O2 already uses 100% renewable energy where it controls the energy bill.
  • To reduce supply chain emissions by 30% by 2025, O2 will be working with the wider Telefonica Group to implement more ambitious carbon reduction targets to encourage suppliers to accelerate their efforts to reduce emissions.

Progress against both commitments will be reported annually and will be independently assessed and audited by Aenor and ERM.

Hugh Jones, Managing Director, Business Services, The Carbon Trust, said: “We are pleased to have worked with O2 for over a decade most recently providing advice on the reduction of their supply chain emissions by 30% by 2025. This is a crucial step in helping the company achieve its ambitions”

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said :“In the year Glasgow hosts COP26, O2’s new commitments to achieve net zero within five years and cut carbon emissions in its supply chain show real leadership.

“Its record on supporting the environment, using 100% renewable energy at its sites and recycling three million devices in the last decade, deserves credit. I hope it inspires other firms to follow suit and do more to safeguard the environment.”


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O2’s Environmental Track Record

The announcement builds on a decade of moves from O2 to help tackle climate change, including:

  • Smart Network: Using advanced automation, O2’s networks operate on a ‘smart turn-off’ function – saving energy by dropping capacity when demand is low, saving over 6,000 megawatt hours of energy, the same amount of energy required to make 360 million cups of tea
  • Renewable energy: O2 started its renewable energy procurement in 2008. Since this time, it has invested £400 million in renewable energy sources.
  • Recycling: Since 2009, O2 has helped customers recycle over three million devices and saved 450 tonnes of waste from landfill. This is the longest-running major UK network recycling initiative. O2 also recycles old retail uniforms turning them into ‘processed fibre’ used to make new product
  • Customer-facing initiatives: O2 was the first to introduce an Eco rating scheme for new phones, and to work with manufacturers to take chargers out of the box on new device sales. The Telefónica Group has been included on the CPD A-list for six consecutive years, the non-profit’s independent survey which recognizes corporate leaders acting to address environmental risks. The company also leads the telecom sector in terms of sustainable financing. Telefónica successfully issued the first green bond in Jan 2019 and the first hybrid bond in Jan 2020, amounting to €1 bn and €500 million, respectively. In addition, Telefónica reduced CO2 emissions by 18% in the last year – a 50% reduction in four years. 100% of the electricity in its main markets comes from renewable sources.

For more details about O2’s climate commitments, visit o2.co.uk/our-blueprint.


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Mi-Amigo
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@Chris_K 

Welcome news for a change.

Any company which not only recognises but also does something about the harsh reality of climate change, and seriously takes its own role in reducing the impact, has to be applauded.

My hope is that all of what is proposed comes about as soon as possible.

Thank you.

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Some people see things as they are and ask "Why?"; I dream of things that never were and ask "Why not?"
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Cleoriff
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Absolutely excellent news @Chris_K 

However, this will cost a lot to become carbon neutral. Who will be paying for this? Have O2 got money in their coffers or will the customer bear the brunt of the cost?

 

Please don't get me wrong, I applaud any large company who does so much to help with climate change. However, there are those people who have their heads in the sand and don't believe it's a problem.

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jonsie
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Excellent from O2 and if only the big corporations around the woorld would do the same thing then we might then see things change. Very doubtful though.

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Chris_K
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@Cleoriff wrote:

Who will be paying for this? Have O2 got money in their coffers or will the customer bear the brunt of the cost?


Good question @Cleoriff .

This is a journey O2 started over 12 years ago. It’s an intrinsic part of running our operation, and as such we do not see this as an added expense; It’s just the right way to do business.


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Cleoriff
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Thanks for that @Chris_K . Good to hear.

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Anonymous
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@Chris_K 

 

Good news

 

Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) seems to be a popular way for operators to reduce costs, does the policy extend to cloud provider/data centre colocation provider selection where these aren't hosted in your own or telefonica-owned facilities?

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