Sweat your assets for a greener network – Orange exec

Yanitsa Boyadzhieva
By Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Jan 25, 2023

  • Orange senior technologist Laurent Leboucher shares insights into ‘greener’ telco networks
  • Extending the lifetime of equipment is a key approach to reducing carbon footprint
  • Orange sees increased appetite for sustainable products and solutions from its customers

As it explores ways to reduce the carbon footprint of its network and supply chain, Orange has found that extending the lifetime of its network equipment – known as sweating its assets – is a more sustainable approach than simply replacing older kit with new, more energy-efficient technology, according to a senior executive at the giant telco.

In an executive interview that is part of TelecomTV’s Green Network Summit agenda, Laurent Leboucher, who is group CTO and SVP at the telco’s Orange Innovation Networks unit as well as a board member at the NGMN Alliance, shared several recommendations for how telcos can build and run more environmentally sustainable networks, based on the company’s own assessments.

Having analysed the carbon footprint impact of networking technology, he said, “extending the lifetime is clearly the way to go” as opposed to buying new kit that consumes less power.

The operator is also promoting the reuse of equipment by its subsidiaries in different countries, as well as encouraging the purchase of refurbished kit. “We know that it has impact on the supply chain of our vendor partners, and even in some cases also on the business model,” noted Leboucher, adding that the work it is doing with its vendors on using refurbished equipment will also influence its own Scope 3 carbon emissions (indirect emissions, produced within the supply chain).

Interested in this topic? Then register for The Green Network Summit (24 - 26 January) and hear what executives from American Tower, BT, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telenor, Telefónica, Vodafone and many other leading telecom companies have to say about energy-efficiency targets, sustainable supply chains, how best to monitor network power consumption, and much more.

Leboucher also highlighted the growing interest in sustainability by the telco industry and throughout the whole supply chain. Apart from working with its main vendor partners on the lifecycle analysis of the equipment, the company has noticed a “growing appetite” from consumers and B2B customers for products and services sporting eco-design.

“For B2B customers, we are being asked, for instance, to provide a full set of information, full lifecycle analysis of the carbon emissions, because we are part of their Scope 3”, he said. Orange has made the modelling of carbon emissions a “very strong priority” in terms of assessing its own network impact, he added.

Green networks will be part of the company’s new strategic plan for the period to 2030: That new plan is set to be unveiled and presented by Orange CEO Christel Heydemann in February.

To find out more about Orange’s sustainability efforts and recommendations for the entire telecom ecosystem, watch the full interview with Leboucher here.

- Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor, TelecomTV


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