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Econet eyes reduced carbon footprint, set to put up 500 new solar base stations-

26 October 2022

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s leading telecoms and technology company, has taken the lead in driving sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint by announcing plans to invest in 500 solar-powered base stations in the coming 24 months.

“We are planning to install 499 Solar sites in the network in the next two years in order to ensure green energy and energy efficiency for our operations,” Econet said in its 2022 Annual Report.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed company recently pledged to achieve carbon neutrality for its entire business and sprawling supply chain by 2030.

This was after the group had installed over 100 solar base stations last year. The push for solar power alone has reduced the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from Econet’s base stations from 41,77 tCO2e in 2020 to 38,07 tCO2e in 2021.

“Total Scope 1 emissions amounted to 28,314 tCO2e in 2020 and reduced by 21.3% to 22,295 tCO2e in 2021. This reduction was due to the decrease in diesel used at base stations and increased use of grid electricity as a source of energy,” read part of the company’s annual report.

“From 2021 to 2022 Scope 1 emissions increased by 20, 4% from 22,295 tCO2e to 26,833 tCO2e due to increased diesel usage at base stations and our vehicle fleet. The increase in diesel usage at base stations in 2022 was caused by increased load shedding and a longer turn-around time to resolve distribution faults by the utility.”

Econet noted that the decrease in utility electricity use from 2021 to 2022 resulted in a 6.2% reduction in Scope 2 emissions from 39,755 tCO2e to 37,285 tCO2e, which was a 6.23% decrease. It said the decrease was attributable to the ongoing deployment of solar photovoltaic and lithium-ion battery upgrades on its base stations.

“Econet recognises that management of the environment is an integral part of successful business operations. We are committed to achieving high standards of environmental care and compliance with relevant local statutes as well as alignment with applicable international standards.”