Environmental sustainability: Are you a part of the solution?

The average global temperature on Earth has increased by 0.8 °C since 1880. Some of the issues that stem from global heating include climate change and pollution. The increasing global temperature is the result of human actions, such as industrialisation or the normalisation of traveling by air. These produce large amount of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which trap heat in the atmosphere and therefore cause the Earth to get hotter. In addition, pollution is a result of waste created by industrialisation and human lifestyle. Air pollution is leading to approximately seven million deaths worldwide per year, and plastic pollution causes millions of animals to die every single year.

Businesses can no longer ignore the need for environmental changes as climate change continues to remain at the forefront of people’s concern across the globe. All industry segments including telecommunications must recognise how crucial sustainable action is for planet Earth and for their business success. By taking steps to become environmentally efficient and adopting a systematic approach, telecommunications operators can become part of the solution and not part of the problem.

How can operators play their part?

Operators can take effective steps which can dynamically affect their energy efficiency, carbon intensity or the amount of pollution they generate. This will help enhance their public image and provide full visibility of their efforts in meeting these environmental sustainability goals to their client base.

Many global operators have already begun rolling out initiatives to decrease their carbon footprint which underlines the importance of sustainability and becoming greener across the industry. In the UK, O2 promised to become carbon neutral by 2025, and said it will work alongside its supply chain partners to reduce emissions by 30% during this period. Similarly, Germany’s DT stated it would no longer cause CO2 emissions by 2050.

It’s important to have a strategy in place once targets are set for companies to achieve this seamlessly. For instance, Finnish service provider Elisa purchased zero-emission energy and utilised more energy-efficient operating methods to reduce its carbon footprint significantly. Not only did it promote a smarter use of resources, but it helped its employees work remotely to reduce the amount of emissions from commuting to work. Whereas, vendors can adopt a more innovative approach by addressing all different parts of the network holistically and redefining its different solutions for greater energy savings.

Experience is key

The measures taken do not have to be complex or confusing – big results can stem from some of these small changes:

  • Broadband-access technology is an area which greatly impacts an operator’s carbon footprint but switching from copper to fibre is the answer. Fibre-based access networks have a far lower power consumption than copper-based or even hybrid setups, which can be even worse in this regard. Furthermore, fibre networks have more resilience in extreme weather, mitigating the risk of damage to components or leakage of chemicals from batteries.
  • Consideration must be paid when selecting a fibre-access technology in terms of energy savings. For example, point-to-point technology permits only one user per port while PON allows many end-users to connect from a single port. PON’s greater utilisation of available capacities lowers power consumption per user which highlights the importance of selecting the right technology which can benefit the environment.
  • Operators can also take into account their carbon footprint at customer premises and adapt their offering and services accordingly. To reduce the power consumption of home gateways, companies can go for lower-consumption devices and/or select devices with smart energy management which are able to switch off individual internal modules when they are not used, making power savings automatically.
  • The careful selection of materials in the supply chain can have great benefits on the environment. By removing single-use plastics, reducing the amount of packaging on products and choosing materials with sustainably-sourced renewable and bio-based alternatives, operators can present a positive image to consumers whilst supporting green initiatives.

Growing importance

The importance of acting sustainably amongst businesses is growing, and the expectations of industries are getting higher. In order to progress as a company, they need to embrace sustainable practices and take a look at their current strategies. By being vocal and visible in how their actions impact the world, and how they are altering this to become more environmentally conscious, companies can strengthen their brand and make a positive impact.

Iskratel is determined to reduce its impact on the environment, both by introducing environmentally friendly technologies and designing environmentally friendly products. Not only does Iskratel comply with environmental legislation but it continuously reduces its adverse environmental impact and energy consumption, as well as educates and trains its staff and supplier community on responsible environmental management.

If operators take the time to assess their impact and evaluate the decisions they make in regards to the environment, they can set clear goals for the future and follow strategies to implement positive changes which benefit operators, consumers and the planet simultaneously.