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Telecommunications Industry Stepping Up

3 telecommunications operators share their thoughts below on their ambitious journey towards increased sustainability, leading up to the Round Table session which will host a remarkable 6 CEOs!

Mobile technology innovations can enable energy-efficient solutions across multiple sectors, with estimates mobile technology led to emissions reductions almost ten times greater than the global carbon footprint of the mobile industry itself.

Evidence is growing that consumers are willing to pay more for a sustainable product or service, how can operators help their customers make environmentally positive decisions with as little disruption as possible?

Celcom is committed to becoming a net zero company in all the markets we operate, and this pledge to tackle climate change is encapsulated in our Advancing to Zero commitments and Group Climate Action Roadmap.

We reduce cost and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by understanding our energy consumption patterns, setting clearly defined targets and milestones, and aligning our separate functional units towards this common goal through technology and expertise.

To achieve our objectives, we seek to harness energy efficiency opportunities and invest in renewable or alternative energy solutions. This includes efforts to methodically chart our carbon emissions as part of the group-wide carbon inventory exercise - it will lead to greater understanding of the full impact of our value chain, the drivers behind our use of energy, and the initiatives to displace carbon in our chain by switching from diesel to solar power generation.

We have recently begun our Advancing to Zero journey, and are in the midst of developing our Group Climate Action Roadmap. A large part of the mission to future-proof our planet is to ensure collective responsibility amongst Celcom teams and our wider business community. We link our commitments to UNSDG 4 - Quality Education and UNSDG 13 - Climate Action through e- Learning and advocacy programmes that educate every ‘warga Axiata’ on the immediacy of climate change threats and the importance science-based targets. This not only promotes awareness but helps our teams to understand how they can contribute towards reducing our environmental impact in their daily operations.

Digi recognises that one of the things the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified is the rapidly evolving consumer behaviours with an accelerated acceptance of digitalisation and demands for a more sustainable living.

This leads to calls for greater actions to enable greener and smarter ways of living, learning, and working in the next decade.

As a brand that’s trusted by customers, Digi strives to be environmentally responsible in our approach and practices. Our customers’ expectations will be the driving force that guides our future direction in innovation, policies and actions to halve our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 as part of Telenor Groups' approved Science Based Targets Initiative commitment.

So, how is Digi stepping up our climate change solutions across our value chain? What will the world look like in the next decade? And how can our customers’ digital journey play a part in this agenda? We hope to share our perspectives on how the digital sector can take the pace of change to the next level to combat the climate crisis in response to the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference call to action.

U Mobile

The telco industry is in a unique position to bring about positive change to climate issues due to our wide consumer reach as well as our ability to leverage on technology and innovation.

As a start, the industry could play a more active role in helping to manage public e-waste beyond just handset devices. Apart from e-waste recycling education and provision of e-waste recycling channels, telcos could set targets and monitor progress and share learnings with government sector.

Telcos could also offer green bundles so that consumers have the option to receive discounts for recycling or returning their old handset with their new device purchase. To further strengthen the appeal of green bundles, the government could consider giving tax incentives.

On a wider scale, there is an opportunity for the government to also develop a regulatory framework to encourage producers to take on more responsibility to manage and treat used electronic products from customers.

The telco industry is also in the good position to help their enterprise consumers reduce environmental footprint by offering mobile technology innovations that manage and reduce emissions, improve energy, and water efficiency through big data and IOT. Often these mobile-enabled tools also encourage behaviour change resulting in greater efficiency. For enterprises, the government may consider providing incentives when they adopt these innovations. To spur even more innovations, government sector could also consider providing subsidy or incentive for telco industry to conduct more test cases which could be used for knowledge sharing.

Still on mobile technology innovations, mobile apps have also helped consumers reduce their carbon footprint. Be it mobile banking, shopping, video calling, consumers can conduct their activities remotely and as such reduce their emissions. Healthcare apps are also bringing positive change as consumers are given the opportunity to focus on preventive care. The telco industry will continue to attract more consumers to use these apps and by working with the right partners, the telcos will also be able to provide even more Smart Living solutions.

The government may consider promoting and attracting more mobile technology innovations by introducing grants and collaborations.Finally, the telco industry could also play a larger role in promoting overall environmental awareness through school programmes. This initiative could be a private sector and government collaboration that encourages the next generation of consumers to be environmentally conscious from an early age.

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