Bell planning for carbon neutral operations in 2025
Mar 12, 2021
MONTRÉAL - Bell today celebrated its status as the first North American communications company to achieve ISO 50001 certification for energy management by announcing a plan to be carbon neutral across its operations in 2025.
"We are proud to build on Bell's strong record of environmental leadership by announcing our objective to achieve carbon neutral operations across Canada's largest communications company in 2025," said Gordon Nixon, Chair of the Board of BCE Inc. "Bell's goal is to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world, a purpose enabled by consistent execution of the highest environmental, social and governance standards across the company's operations."
Bell's ESG commitment is highlighted in the BCE 2020 Annual Report to shareholders, available today at BCE.ca. In addition to detailing Bell's financial and operating results for 2020, and success in delivering for Canadians in a uniquely challenging year, the report outlines ESG targets and metrics for environmental sustainability; diversity and inclusion; privacy and information security; and community investment, including the ground-breaking Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative.
"Bell is consistently ranked as one of Canada's greenest employers and most sustainable operators, and today's announcement of our industry-first ISO 50001 certification is welcome acknowledgement of our active focus on environmental leadership," said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada. "Our climate commitment extends throughout our own operations, and through the Bell network and customer service innovations that are critical enablers of the green economy, including the potential for 5G connections to enable unprecedented reductions in greenhouse gas emissions."
First in international environmental standards The international ISO 50001 standard requires companies to adopt a strict set of energy management objectives, guidelines and practices that enable energy efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. ISO 50001 status is the latest example of Bell's world-class sustainability practices – we were also the first Canadian communications company to achieve ISO 14001 environmental certification.
As part of its energy management system (EnMS), Bell has optimized facility and equipment heating and cooling, cut electricity usage through LED lighting conversion and other operational innovations, reduced fuel consumption with ongoing fleet modernization, and invested in solar and other renewable energy options for cell sites and other installations. Bell also leverages the next-generation communications technologies we offer to customers, including video and teleconferencing, and Internet of Things (IoT) advancements enabling the optimization of asset and fleet management, home automation, smart buildings and smart cities.
With the launch of Canada's fastest 5G wireless network, Bell is accelerating the positive environmental impact of its networks. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association estimates 5G technology can support 1000x the traffic at half of current energy consumption over the next decade, enhancing the potential of IoT and other next-generation technologies to support sustainable economic growth. With Bell's plan to accelerate the rollout of its fibre, rural Wireless Home Internet and 5G networks with an additional $1 billion to $1.2 billion in capital investment over the next 2 years, Bell will double the reach of 5G to more than 50% of the Canadian population this year.
Canada's Greenest Employers In 2020 Bell was named one of Canada's Greenest Employers for the fourth consecutive year, recognizing the company's focus on minimizing environmental impact, EnMS leadership, and success in ongoing initiatives to reduce waste and save energy. In 2020, Bell surpassed its objective to reduce GHG emissions, reducing the ratio of operational emissions by 34% from 2019 levels in proportion to network usage, and plans to further reduce operational emissions by 40% of 2019 levels by the end of 2021.
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