O2 set to become UK’s first net zero mobile network

  • 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.”

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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