According to an annual report presented by the GSMA at Mobile World Congress, almost a quarter of the energy used by companies in the mobile sector24%, already comes from renewable energycompared to 14% in 2020. In addition, there are already 62 telecommunications operators around the world that have already committed to rapidly reduce their emissions, both direct and indirect, before 2030. These operators represent, in terms of income , 61% of the total, and in terms of connections, 41%.
There are 12 more networks than those that had committed to reducing their emissions throughout this decade in April 2022. This commitment, and others like it, are significant, since they require operators to switch to using 100% renewable energy or Stop using diesel generators. Also to involve their suppliers in it. An important part of the operators have also committed to reach zero net emissions by 2050 or before. Together, they account for 39% of all mobile connections and 43% of their total revenue.
The report talks about how operators are making progress in improving their energy efficiency, and investing in 5G, which allows greater bandwidth with less energy consumption for each bit they transport. Also removing the old networks, which consume much more, and acquiring electric vehicles for their fleets. Parallel to this increase, the GSMA is spearheading a movement in the telecommunications sector to ensure that carriers reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
As the impact of the climate crisis escalates, from floods to heat waves to fires, there is growing pressure on all sectors to prioritize the transition to clean energy, as well as to ensure They play an active role in preserving the environment.
The mobile communications sector is no exception, although with variable results, because some companies do more than others to reduce their impact on the environment. In the hardware sector, mobile manufacturers are investing more and more in making their terminals last longer, and they use more recycled materials in their products.
Meanwhile, in the networking industry, companies are increasingly investing in finding the key to build and operate infrastructure using methods that are highly efficient but use less energy than they used in the past. For the operators, according to John Giusti, GSMA Head of Regulationthe biggest problem is access to renewable energy.
However, “hehe good news is that the sector is making progress, with operators already buying 24% of their electricity directly from renewable sources, compared to 18% in 2021 and 14% in 2020«. Of course, he has also pointed out that the demand of the operators for this type of energy exceeds the supply, so governments need to help expand access to renewable energy.
Europe and North America, two of the regions historically among those responsible for most emissions, are now leading the commitments and actions in favor of sustainability, which are generally ambitious. The European operators are the ones that are acquiring the most renewable energy: more than 70%. North American operators are buying around 35%. It is half that of the European ones, although they are expected to cover the difference in the future with new energy purchase contracts.
The GSMA report, titled Mobile Net Zero: State of the Industry on Climate Action 2023, reviews the actions and measures that various mobile operators around the world have taken. Also manufacturers, such as Apple and Samsung, to make supply chains more sustainable. To do this they use recycled components and more renewable energy to manufacture equipment. There are also several that have started to support the repair and recycling of terminals, which increases their useful life.
In addition, it also reflects the information on the climate that the mobile sector offers, data that is intended to facilitate a better understanding of current emissions, and also to give clues on how to start reducing them. According to this year’s report, the information they offer has improved both in quantity and quality.
67 operators, which together account for 79% of mobile revenues and 66% of global connections, provided their information to the CDP global information system in 2022. There are 7 more than last year. In addition, 36 operators received the highest score for their reports, 22% more than the previous year.