Bhubaneswar: Bharti Airtel Limited (“Airtel”), India’s leading provider of telecommunications services, today announced its commitment to contribute to global efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change and build a sustainable planet. Airtel has joined the Science Based Targets initiave’s (SBTi) ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ campaign and adopted targets to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and emissions from its network operations. With this, Airtel joins the league of leading global corporations who have committed to the 1.5°C pathway outlined by the SBTi – a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Airtel is committed to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 Green House Gas (GHG) emissions 50.2% by FY2031 from FY2021 as base year. Airtel also commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 42% over the same timeframe. Airtel will achieve this through multiple interventions including accelerated green energy adoption across its network operations, energy efficient infrastructure and processes as well as implementing sustainable business practices at its workplaces.
Vidyut Gulati, Director – Legal, Bharti Airtel said: “Climate change is the biggest challenge facing humanity. We must act collectively without further delay to ensure we do not go past the point of no return and have a sustainable planet. Businesses have a fundamental responsibility to contribute to this effort and Airtel has adopted an ambitious target in this direction and will report its progress transparently.”
In a related development, Airtel has also become the first Indian telecommunications company to join the United Nations (UN) Global Compact – the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. By becoming a signatory to the UN Global Compact framework, Airtel is aligning its comprehensive Environmental, Societal and Governance (ESG) initiatives to the global body’s 10 principles spanning Environment, Human Rights, Anti-Corruption and Labour.
Airtel is already aligned to the Paris Climate Accord. It has a comprehensive environmental management framework and is proactively implementing clean, fuel-based power solutions for it towers, data centres, switching centres and other facilities. It has achieved 97% reduction in network emission intensity for mobile operations (from FY16) besides 25% increase in renewable energy deployment in operations over same period via various green power wheeling agreements which helped in saving CO2 emissions. For the FY ending 2021 Airtel e-bills initiative saved 667 tonnes paper sheets), besides 5,554.3 tonnes of e-waste was recycled.