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Vodafone Business and Extreme E team up to tackle wildfires in Sardinia

05 Jul 2022

Today Vodafone Business announced the next phase of its partnership with Extreme E, the pioneering motor racing series with sustainability at its core. Extending beyond racing to support the series’ local sustainability projects, Vodafone Business is launching a new IoT ultra-early forest fire detection system in a region of Sardinia hardest-hit during the wildfires of summer 2021.

Sardinia is the location for Extreme E’s next double-header racing event taking place on 6-7th and 9-10th July. Last year, forest fires devastated forests in Sardinia and elsewhere in the Mediterranean region. The fires blazed through 20,000 hectares of land, displaced over 1,000 people and killed around 30 million bees. Wildfires such as these are responsible for 20% of total global CO2 emissions and cost $5bn to fight.

Away from the race track, the Extreme E team are embarking upon a legacy sustainability project to restore the historic olive groves lost to wildfires. Together, Vodafone Business and Extreme E will run a fire prevention campaign within the local communities in the area of Montiferru. As part of this project, Vodafone Business is deploying long-life Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) sensors to quickly detect any fire and promptly send an alert to the authorities.

The low-cost IoT gas sensors operate without the need for cellular coverage and will be installed in trees to detect the smouldering phase, before the fire takes hold, which will preserve forest footprint by shortening reaction times in the ‘golden hour’. Using a Mesh Gateway to connect to a cloud-based alert centre means this is a much faster-acting solution to the problem of wildfire detection than using cameras or satellites.

Many of Vodafone’s solutions have sustainability and inclusivity at their core, and through its IoT solutions Vodafone Business is helping sustainability efforts, including agriculture, forestation and decarbonisation of energy grids. This partnership will have many benefits for the local area and the environment, including:

  • Reduced cost of firefighting
  • Reduced impact to economy
  • Saved lives and wildlife species
  • Reduced insurance costs

At Vodafone Business our purpose is to help the organisations we work with connect for a better future, enabling an inclusive and sustainable digital society. We are thrilled to bring our technology to the fore to help Extreme E and its partner Medsea solve the urgent issue of early detection of wildfires in Sardinia. Our cloud-based IoT solutions are world-leading in their detection and communications capabilities, and are able to operate in particularly remote environments where the impacts of climate change have become the hardest to monitor. We believe this move will provide Sardinia’s hardest-hit region with the protection it needs from future devastating fires.

Amanda Jobbins, CMO at Vodafone Business

The exciting partnership includes full involvement in the purpose-driven elements of the series, with special prominence on Extreme E’s Legacy Programmes and the Science Laboratory on board the St Helena.

With sustainability at the heart of everything Extreme E does, the series will also be using Vodafone’s IoT solutions to monitor power usage to further minimise its carbon footprint.

This collaboration in Sardinia is just the start of what promises to be an innovative partnership with Vodafone Business. Integrating solutions to raise awareness of environmental issues and to combat the climate crisis is so important for our Championship, and Vodafone Business has a longstanding history of embedding sustainability practices into its core strategies. This fire prevention initiative builds upon our existing legacy work in the region and will provide greater support to the local community and authorities.

Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E

Extreme E’s five-race global voyage aims to pave the way to a lower carbon future through the promotion of electric vehicles; draw attention to the impacts of climate change and the solutions we can all be part of; and seeks to accelerate gender equality in motorsport.

The Island X Prix, co-organised by the Automobile Club d’Italia and Regione Sardegna, is just days away, and the scene is set for double the on-track action and double the impact in the fight to tackle climate change.

To learn more about Extreme E and Vodafone Business, visit www.extreme-e.com or www.vodafone.com/business

For more information on Extreme E or Vodafone Business, please contact:

Vodafone Business: group.media@vodafone.com

Extreme E Communications:

Julia Fry, Head of Communicationsmedia@extreme-e.com / +44 7778 108754

Please visit the Extreme E media centre to access images, videos and press releases: https://www.extreme-e.com/en/mediacentre

About Extreme E:

Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which sees electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.

To minimise local impact, Extreme E races will not be open to spectators, with fans instead invited to follow the action through live TV broadcast, and on social media.

The St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, has undergone a multi-million Euro refit to minimise emissions and transform her into Extreme E’s operations hub. The ship will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint, as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through its on-board laboratory.

Extreme E is also pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology which will enable its race fleet to be charged using zero emission energy. This innovative solution from AFC Energy uses water and sun to generate hydrogen power. Not only will this process emit no greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will be water, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site.

About Vodafone

Unique in its scale as the largest pan-European and African technology communications company, Vodafone transforms the way we live and work through its innovation, technology, connectivity, platforms, products and services. Vodafone operates mobile and fixed networks in 21 countries, and partners with mobile networks in 48 more.  As of 31 March 2022, we had over 300m mobile customers, more than 28m fixed broadband customers and 22m TV customers.

Vodafone is a world leader in the Internet of Things (IoT), connecting more than 150m devices and platforms through innovation that aligns with the aspirations of society for cleaner and safer cities, better transport and improved agriculture. Vodafone’s digital leadership is also changing how governments deliver healthcare and education, and how businesses, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), serve customers.

We have revolutionised fintech in Africa through M-Pesa, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2022. It is the region’s largest fintech platform, providing access to financial services for more than 52m people in a secure, affordable and convenient way.

Our purpose is to connect for a better future, enabling an inclusive and sustainable digital society. We are taking significant steps to reduce our impact on our planet by becoming net zero by 2040, purchasing 100% of our electricity from renewable sources in Europe and across our entire operations by 2025, and reusing, reselling or recycling 100% of our redundant network equipment. Vodafone proactively works to expand access to connectivity for rural communities, students and jobseekers. For more than 30 years, Vodafone’s Foundation has supported communities in Europe and Africa in the areas of health, education, and equality.

We support diversity and inclusion through our maternity and parental leave policies, empowering women through connectivity and improving access to education and digital skills for women, girls, and society at large. We are respectful of all individuals, irrespective of race, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, belief, culture or religion.

For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com, follow us on Twitter at @VodafoneGroup or connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/vodafone.

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