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O2 tackles carbon across business and supply chain

Mark Evans O2.jpg

O2 has announced it is to become the UK’s “first net zero mobile network” by 2025, by eliminating carbon emissions across its network and business while simultaneously reducing supply chain emissions by 30%.

The initiative will cover “every office, every store, every mast”, and will even extend to handset manufacturers. Further, O2 will collaborate with businesses in other sectors, including the UK Smart Metering programme, multiplying the impact of its work.

CEO Mark Evans, 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,” Evans continued.

The two-step plan will first see O2 focus on its own business and operations. Building on O2’s earlier work to switch to renewables at sites where it pays the bill, third party landlords that support the network will also now transition to renewable energy,

Next, O2 will work with the wider Telefonica Group to implement reduction targets for suppliers: specifically a 30% reduction in supply chain emissions by 2025, with The Carbon Trust providing advisory services.

A statement from O2 read: “Together, these commitments represent the fastest and furthest reaching carbon reduction program announced by a UK mobile network operator.”

It isn’t the first time O2 has made a commitment to the environment. The firm reported that it has already saved 20,000 tonnes of carbon over the past eight years, through flexible working technology.

In 2008, the operator signed renewable energy deals across sites where it is responsible for energy provision. It also achieved the Carbon Trust Triple Standard for carbon, water and waste, presented in 2014, and the Carbon Trust Supply Chain Standard in 2017.

The UK’s minister for digital infrastructure, Matt Warman, said: “[02’s] 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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