Monday 1 June 2020

Bader Al Kharafi

Zain to disclose climate impacts

DUBAI, September 17, 2019

Zain, a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa, has teamed up with many of the world’s largest mobile operator groups to start disclosing their climate impacts as part of a major new GSMA-led initiative.

The initiative aims to develop a mobile industry climate action roadmap in line with the Paris Agreement, said a statement.

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with over 350 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors.

Zain along with more than 50 mobile operators – which together account for more than two thirds of mobile connections globally – are now disclosing their climate impacts, energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions via the internationally recognised CDP system (Global Disclosure Project).

The move will enable full transparency for investors and customers involved in the mobile sector. Many of the companies are disclosing for the first time as part of the GSMA-led initiative.  

The disclosures form the first phase of an industry-wide, climate action roadmap. The next phase will see the development of a decarbonisation pathway for the mobile industry aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), to be in place by February 2020. This will include the development of an industry-wide plan to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement.

Bader Al Kharafi, Zain vice chairman and group CEO, said: “We are taking an affirmative step to align with the UN global ambition to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050. We recognise that climate change is a material risk that not only impacts humanity today, but also will impact the ability of future generations to thrive.”

Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, said: “Today’s announcement marks the start of an unprecedented, collaborative action by the mobile industry to tackle the climate emergency, demonstrating how the private sector can show leadership and responsibility in addressing one of the gravest challenges facing our planet.”

“The mobile industry will form the backbone of the future economy and therefore has a unique opportunity to drive change across multiple sectors and in collaboration with our suppliers, investors and customers,” Granryd added.

Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, said: “We welcome this landmark move by the mobile sector to disclose its climate impacts via CDP, which demonstrates a clear step-up in commitment to providing transparency to its investors and customers as part of an industry-wide approach.”

“As a result of these disclosures, mobile operators will be able to measure and understand their environmental impact, helping them to build sustainability into the heart of their businesses,” he said.

The new methodology designed specifically for the mobile sector in limiting global warning will provide parameters to accelerate the rate at which mobile operators set their own targets. The timescale at which individual companies reach the target will depend on several factors, including their geographic location and their ability to access renewable energy. It is expected that some companies will meet the net zero target significantly ahead of the 2050 deadline.  

Zain along with the mobile industry is also committed to advancing mobile technology innovations in areas such as big data and IoT that can enable energy efficient and environmental solutions across multiple sectors, including transport, manufacturing, agriculture, building, energy.

This agreement between the Zain and other mobile operators with the GSMA forms part of the industry’s journey to support the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG #13 on Climate Action, and its mission to intelligently connect everyone and everything to a #BetterFuture, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service


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