Indian telecoms giant Bharti Airtel has announced that it is joining global efforts to combat climate change.
Airtel has joined the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ campaign and adopted targets to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and emissions from its network operations.
The SBTi is a partnership between CDP (a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
In real terms this means Airtel is committed to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50.2 percent by financial year 2031 from financial year 2021. It also commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 42 percent over the same timeframe.
Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain.
Airtel says it will achieve these reductions through multiple interventions including accelerated green energy adoption across its network operations, and energy-efficient infrastructure and processes as well as implementing sustainable business practices at its workplaces.
The company has also become the first Indian telecommunications company to join the United Nations Global Compact, the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.
Airtel is aligned to the Paris Climate Accord and says it already has a comprehensive environmental management framework and is proactively implementing clean, fuel-based power solutions for its towers, data centres, switching centres and other facilities.