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Reducing emissions in our operations

We are committed to halving our environmental impact by 2025.

In July 2019, Vodafone committed to setting a Science Based Target over the next year which is aligned to limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5°C and reaching net-zero emissions no later than 2050. This will require a significant reduction in our direct carbon emissions as well as setting targets for indirect emissions (including suppliers and joint ventures). We are also part of a GSMA taskforce that has defined the emission reduction pathway for the telecoms industry.

We have made a commitment that our European network will be powered by 100% renewable electricity no later than July 2021, creating a Green Gigabit Net for customers across 11 markets that will grow sustainably using only power from wind, solar or hydro sources. Our accelerated shift to 100% renewable electricity on our European networks will change the way we power our technology for good - reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

In recognition of our governance on GHG emissions, this year Vodafone moved to an A- from a B in the latest CDP rating. Our latest CDP assessment can be accessed here.

Our 2025 goals


increase anticipated in mobile internet users between 2018 and 2025

Data growth

Mobile data continues to rise at a rapid rate.

It is predicted that by 2022:

  • global mobile data traffic will be over 100 times the volume in 2012;

  • global mobile data traffic will account for 20% of global total IP (fixed and mobile data) traffic, up from 9% in 2017;

  • the number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than three times the global population;

And that by 2025:

  • Internet of Things connections will reach over 25 billion, up from 9 billion in 2018.

Our GHG emissions

Notwithstanding ever-growing use of data and expansion of our networks, this year our total GHG emissions decreased by 9% to 1.84 million tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent), predominantly due to an increase in the proportion of renewable electricity purchased. We continued to improve our overall energy efficiency during the year and achieved a 38.5% reduction in the amount of GHG emissions per petabyte (‘PB’) of mobile data carried, to reach an average of 230 tonnes CO2e per PB (2019: 374)

We are also working to analyse our Scope 3 emissions, which are the indirect emissions over which we have no direct control, but may be able to influence. They include emissions from our suppliers when providing us with goods and services, emissions from our joint ventures over which we do not have operational control, and emissions associated with the use of our products and services by our customers.

Our efforts to reduce Scope 3 emissions are concentrated where we believe we can make the biggest impact: joint venture businesses, our suppliers and business travel.

We will meet our targets through a combination of further investment in energy efficiency initiatives across our networks, particularly in power supply and cooling, and moving towards purchasing 100% of our electricity from renewable sources.

Optimising our energy consumption through efficiency measures

As customer demand for data continues to grow at a rapid rate, ever-greater demands are placed on our access networks and technology centres. We are prioritising new and existing measures to increase our energy efficiency in order to reduce the GHG emissions associated with our operations.

We are committed to improving energy efficiency of our base station sites and in our technology (data and switching) centres, which together account for 95% of our total global energy consumption. During 2020, we invested €77 million capital expenditure in energy efficiency and renewable projects across our business, which has led to annual energy savings of 186 GWh. Our energy efficiency initiatives are focused on three key areas:

  • sourcing and implementing more efficient network equipment

  • reducing energy demand by installing lower-energy power and cooling technologies

  • cutting energy use by decommissioning and replacing legacy equipment.

Vodafone energy use (GWh)

 Our base station sitesOur technology centresOur officesOur retail stores

The amount of energy our business uses varies across our operations

Our Solutions

Optimising our power-intensive equipment

Optimising our power-intensive equipment

We work with our equipment vendors to ensure that increased demand and business growth do not result in a similar percentage increase in electricity usage.

Moving to 100% renewable electricity

We rely on on-grid power sources for 95% of our energy needs. To date, the proportion of our electricity from renewable sources has been low, accounting for just 15% of the electricity purchased. Our new goal will help us to drive the use of an ever-increasing amount of renewable energy over the coming years.

During the year 25.9% of our electricity used was from renewable sources (2019: 15.6%). This year we launched sourcing activities for Power Purchase Agreement (‘PPA’) contracts, notably in the UK and Spain.

In addition, Germany, Romania, Greece and Hungary all sourced Renewable Energy Certificates (‘RECs’) or tariffs for the first time during the year.

2020 Vodafone energy use by source (GWh)

Our contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

SDG 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Our commitments to reduce our GHG emissions, move to renewable electricity sources and improve our energy efficiency particularly support SDG 13, which is focused on climate action, and SDG 7, which includes a focus on clean energy.

We believe we can have the greatest impact on five of the UN SDGs through our networks, products and services and through the work of the Vodafone Foundation.

Find out more about our contribution to the UN SDGs

Learn more about our environmental impact

Enabling customers to reduce their emissions

Enabling customers to reduce their emissions

Helping customers to manage their energy use more efficiently and in turn reduce their emissions.

Building a circular economy

Building a circular economy

Vodafone is committed to playing our part in the transition to move to a more efficient, circular economy focused on eliminating waste.

Download our Annual Report 2020

which provides detail on our sustainable business strategy, approach, focus areas and progress