In addition to TPG Telecom’s own on-site solar generation, this commitment to 100% renewable electricity will be met by buying renewable energy products in Australia, providing a boost to the growth of renewable energy and the transition of Australia’s electricity grid.
The commitment comes as TPG Telecom released its first Sustainability Report since the merger of Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG in July 2020.
“Our move to be powered by 100% renewable electricity meets a growing expectation of our customers and the wider community,” TPG Telecom CEO Iñaki Berroeta said.
“As a leading telecommunications services company, and a major user of electricity, we believe we have an important role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to address the threat of climate change. It’s also an important step in our journey as we work towards aligning our business with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
TPG Telecom operates leading mobile and internet brands including Vodafone, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Lebara, AAPT and felix.
Based on its forecast Australian energy consumption in 2025, TPG Telecom’s commitment is equivalent to powering approximately 58,000 homes – more than all the homes in Darwin – with renewable energy.
The company has already raised the bar with the launch of felix, Australia’s first telco brand powered by 100% renewable electricity, in October 2020.
Felix has been certified as a carbon neutral service by the Australian Government’s Climate Active initiative, and in partnership with One Tree Planted, one new tree will join our nation’s canopy for every month each felix customer holds an active subscription.
This builds upon the significant investment in energy efficiency over many years across both of TPG Telecom’s legacy businesses, with a particular focus on data centres and mobile base stations, as well as the installation of on-site solar generation in some locations.
Direct current power systems have been implemented across all data centres and air conditioning chillers have been replaced with computer room air conditioning units, delivering an estimated 25% energy saving.
TPG Telecom has introduced a range of design solutions to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions associated with its mobile base stations, including free cooling measures that improve airflow circulation using low-powered fans, reducing the need for air conditioning by around 70%.
In partnership with ICS Industries, TPG Telecom has also contributed funding to support the development of the Zonecool shelter – a more efficient and cost-effective base station equipment shelter solution as it targets cooling to specific zones and features high capacity racking, enabling optimal use of space for future technologies.
Globally, the telecommunications sector could account for around 14% of the world’s carbon emissions by 2040, driven by the projected increase in demand for data, and its associated energy use.
In the longer term, the application of 5G in mobile network-enabled technologies offers enormous potential to help avoid emissions through smarter cities, transport, energy, buildings, agriculture and other industries.
TPG Telecom’s 5G network is rolling out to selected areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, the Gold Coast, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Geelong.
5G is available in more than 350 suburbs across these major metro areas and we currently have around 1,600 sites in the planning and design phase. Our current plan is to cover 85% of the population in the six most populous cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra) with our 5G
network by the end of 2021.
REenergise campaign director at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Lindsay Soutar welcomed the TPG Telecom announcement saying: “Telecommunications companies like TPG Telecom are amongst Australia’s top energy users, as our insatiable demand for internet services becomes a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why it’s so important that TPG Telecom has taken a leading role in the telco race to renewables.”