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MWC 2023: Mobile Operators Take Steps Towards Net Zero, Says GSMA Report

The annual Mobile Net Zero report, published by the GSMA on Tuesday, showed that the mobile industry is making significant progress towards net zero.

The mobile industry organization GSMA said that almost a quarter of the energy (24%) used by the mobile sector comes from renewable sources, compared to 14% in 2020. In addition, 62 operators worldwide have committed to rapidly reduce their direct and indirect emissions by 2030, representing 61% of the industry’s revenue. This is 12 networks more than in the previous report published in April last year.

The report also notes the industry’s push to make its supply chain more sustainable as major handset and hardware vendors such as Apple and Samsung work to use more recycled content and renewable energy in their manufacturing processes, extend device life and support repairs and service recycling initiatives.

John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer for the GSMA, said: “The environmental and
financial benefits of climate action are clear to the mobile industry. Mobile
operators are staking a leadership position on climate, and with nearly 25% of
all electricity used by our sector now coming from renewable sources, moving
beyond target setting to demonstrable action. The digital transitions is a powerful enabler of a more sustainable economy.
Achieving it will require stronger collaboration between governments and the
private sector on all fronts.It is important to recognize the impact that government policies and regulations can have on operators’ ability to invest in and deploy more energy efficient networks. Moreover, there is clearly a role for governments to play in accelerating the transition to clean energy in their markets by creating suitable frameworks for businesses to access renewable
electricity at a competitive price.”

Europe and North America, the two regions most responsible for historical emissions, lead the way when it comes to ambitious sustainability commitments and actions. “Perhaps this is fair because these are the parts of the world where they are most advanced in terms of climate and therefore have the most opportunity to actually reduce their emissions,” Stephen Moore, head of climate action at the GSMA, said in an interview with CNET the week before MWC.

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