Going green remains top priority for telcos

By : |January 22, 2009 0

LONDON, UK: According to a new report from Ovum, the global advisory and consulting firm, going green now ranks high on the agenda for many telecoms operators and rightly so.

“Apart from the feel good factor that comes with knowing you are doing your bit to save the planet, there are a number of other benefits to be gained from implementing green initiatives throughout the telecoms business.  Reducing costs and improving brand perception, are only an example”, says Sally Banks, senior analyst with Telco Operations at Ovum and author of the report: Green telecoms: strategies and implications for operators.

Although identifying, implementing and monitoring green policies within telecoms industry will cost money to establish, the benefits far outweigh these initial costs in terms of both financial savings and revenue generating opportunities, as well as helping to prevent climate change.

Most importantly, with telecoms struggling to achieve revenue growth, as take up of broadband and mobile services slows, the telcos need to look at opportunities to stay ahead of the competition. Moreover, great opportunities for operators also lie in helping other businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.

Investors and customers alike are increasingly looking at the corporate social responsibility of companies. It is in the operators’ interest to be seen to be doing its part, in order to boost brand perception, as this will play an important role in differentiating itself and often forms part of the qualifying criteria for partnering with and supplying some businesses.

Ovum’s report reveals the green initiatives being introduced by telecoms operators in 2009. “Operators across the world have introduced an array of green policies”, explains Sally Banks, author of the report.

Using renewable energy sources to power networks and mobile base stations and natural resources from sustainable sources are just a couple of  examples, but there is still more that operators can do.

Recycling materials from phones, networks and offices, improving battery life of mobile phones to reduce the need to charge them so frequently, cutting energy usage and using more energy efficient technologies, are also high of the list of green priorities.

Telecoms operators have also started using fresh air cooling systems for data centres rather than high-energy air-conditioning systems and switching from diesel/petrol to LPG on fleet vehicles to reduce emissions.

“Introducing environmentally-friendly initiatives is only part of the challenge of implementing a green strategy. However, in order for it to succeed, telecoms operators need to ensure the full co-operation of its employees, establish credible key performance indicators that can measure progress and importantly send consistent marketing messages pertaining to its green credentials”, says Banks.

Estimates suggest that telecoms can achieve a 1-2 percent reduction in global carbon emissions by implementing green initiatives within their operations. However, the telecommunications industry is expected to enable other businesses to reduce emissions by up to five times this amount, highlighting that telecoms has a major role to play in enabling a green economy.

Ovum expects a lot more activity by players that have yet to implement a formal green policy as it becomes a corporate requirement to be green and as legislation becomes more stringent in this space.

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