Telecom companies vowed to make their networks green and eco-friendly as their contribution to “zero-carbon world” by 2050.
Mobile phone maker Ericsson said the telco industry accounts for about 1.4 percent of emissions worldwide, slightly lower than the aviation sector’s 2 percent.
“We are one with global mobile operators in helping the mobile industry achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We acknowledge that this requires a collective effort to realize large-scale positive impact,” said Globe president and chief executive Ernest Cu.
Globe is a part of the United Nations-backed Race to Zero campaign to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero-carbon world by 2050. It also supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 13, which underscores the importance of climate action in saving lives and people’s livelihood to address climate emergencies.
The Race To Zero campaign involves a major multi-stakeholder coalition of leaders, aims to send a resounding signal to governments that businesses, cities, regions and investors are united in achieving net zero emissions and in creating a more inclusive and resilient economy.
Given its sustainability strategy in incorporating more green solutions into its operations, Globe has deployed sodium nickel batteries for its core network sites which house high-capacity communication platforms and facilities to reduce the need for frequent replacements.
To date, more than half of its core network sites are already fully or partially using sodium nickel batteries, with the rest to follow suit.
“We are progressively moving to eco-friendly batteries which employ the latest technology in backup power for our core network sites as opposed to fossil fuels. Their eco-friendly features also align with our commitment to climate action, one of which is to reduce our carbon emissions,” said Globe chief sustainability officer and senior vice president for group corporate communication Yoly Crisanto.
Over the years, Globe has deployed more than 8,500 green network solutions such as fuel cell systems, direct current hybrid generators, free cooling systems and lithium-ion batteries.
Globe has 14 key facilities, including its headquarters, running on 100-percent renewable energy via power purchase agreements. It is also piloting hybrid power alternative sources for cell towers in off-grid and bad-grid sites.
Globe teamed up with ACEN, the renewable energy platform of the Ayala Group, in shifting 10 more facilities in Cavite, Cebu, Quezon City, Manila, Marikina and Laguna to clean energy, raising to 24 the total number of high-energy utilization facilities now running on renewables.
Aside from The Globe Tower in Taguig, the company has other facilities already running on green energy: six in Quezon City, five in Cavite, three in Cebu, two in Makati and one each in Mandaluyong, San Juan, Manila, Marikina, Laguna, Batangas and Tarlac.
Globe started its decarbonization journey in 2019 by buying renewable energy bundled with verified carbon offsets through power purchase agreements.
The recent shift harnessed the Department of Energy’s Green Energy Option Program which allows consumers with a monthly average peak demand of 100 kilowatts and above, the option to directly engage with renewable energy suppliers and ensure that the facility consumes energy from renewable resources.
“This shift to renewable energy is part of Globe’s overall climate action roadmap and in support of both the country and the Ayala Group’s goal to reduce carbon emissions,” said Rizza Maniego-Eala, chief finance officer, treasurer and chief risk officer at Globe.
Alfredo Panlilio, president of PLDT Inc., said they are pursuing several key initiatives to reduce carbon emissions.
“PLDT and Smart are one with the GSMA in the Race to Zero . Where at the finish line awaits the wreath of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” he said.
“For this purpose, we are pursuing several key initiatives: First, we are reducing emissions by progressively improving our operational efficiencies. Second, we are turning to green technologies. For example in 2019, we reduced our greenhouse gas intensity by 10 percent even though the number of our base stations increased by 25 percent,” he said.
Panlilio said PLDT Group is pursuing the use of renewable energy in its facilities. The company is participating in carbon-offset programs that protect the environment.
“So for us, ‘The Race to Zero’ has already begun and we have hit the ground running,” Panlilio said.
“We realize this is not a sprint but a marathon. So we will run this race at a steady pace, keep our eyes focused on our goal and stay determined to see it through to the finish line,” he said.
PLDT and wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. recently marked a milestone in their sustainability journey after energizing solar rooftop panels in its biggest business facility in the Visayas, located along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City.
This is the third PLDT facility in the Visayas to be partly powered by solar energy. The project which aims to cut carbon emissions by integrating renewable sources of power in its energy mix not only aligns with PLDT and Smart’s direction to further embed sustainability in the business, but is also an opportunity to reduce energy costs. The solar panels in the five facilities were installed by Spectrum, a subsidiary of the Manila Electric Company.
“We continue to look for opportunities to install solar rooftop panels in more PLDT and Smart facilities in order to enjoy the same benefits from the current deployments. Under the environmental pillar of our ESG initiatives, focus areas include energy efficiency, the use of green network technologies and renewables,” said Melissa Vergel De Dios, PLDT and Smart chief sustainability officer and head of investor relations.
Converge ICT Solutions Inc., meanwhile, is promoting the proper processing, management and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment or e-waste in partnership with Jontrix Trading Philippines and Green Antz Builders Inc.
Converge teamed up with Kreations PH for the upcycling of excess marketing materials such as tarpaulins.
“At Converge, sustainability means walking the talk. We want to show that we are keeping our promises and turning our sustainability commitments into real, tangible company practices,” said Converge president and co-founder Maria Grace Uy.
Jontrix Trading and Green Antz Builders are scrap recycling organizations that collect and upscale solid wastes into bricks, chairs and other construction materials to aid in waste reduction. Kreations is a social entrepreneur that helps women in Rizal to augment their household income by upcycling various materials; like tarpaulins, into bags, mats and other household items.
“This initiative is particularly important because we know that the improper disposal of waste has a direct impact on climate change. Everyday, we see the impact of climate change on our environment. Typhoons are becoming stronger and the devastation is more massive. We’ve seen this happen several times in the past year as we strengthened our Disaster Preparedness Protocols,” Uy said.
E-waste is now considered one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the Philippines. Through its partnership with Jontrix and Green Antz, Converge ensures that its hazardous and e-wastes are properly hauled, processed, and recycled by DENR-accredited companies.
“As we expand our business, we understand that we have a greater responsibility to operate more sustainably. Thus, we have pledged to achieve zero solid waste to landfill by 2030 as part of our sustainability commitments. To this end, we are embracing circularity and resource efficiency as key levers to reduce our waste,” said Converge chief strategy officer Benjamin Azada.
Converge also joined Net Zero Carbon Alliance which aims to unite companies and efforts towards carbon neutrality to mitigate the worsening effects of climate change.
In line with its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Converge will be working with the said alliance to help the country achieve its target of 75 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050.
NZCA is an initiative of First Gen Corp.’s renewable energy subsidiary, Energy Development Corp. The alliance is the country’s first private sector-led movement to form strategic partnerships that encourage other companies to commit and take immediate action to become carbon neutral.
“We don’t think of ESG in terms of one-off projects. Instead, we embed sustainable development principles into the way we do business. On the environmental front, Converge ensures that we are prepared to adapt to climate change while also doing our part to minimize greenhouse gas emissions,” Azada said.
Converge vowed to reduce its scope 2 GHG emissions by 75 percent by 2030 and operate its fleet, including its contractors’ with 20 percent electric and hybrid vehicles in the same year.
Converge also commits to net zero GHG emissions by 2050, which means cutting GHG emissions to as close to zero as possible to avert the worst impacts of climate change and preserve a livable planet.