South African telecoms firm MTN has pledged to become carbon neutral. The Johannesburg-based company has committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2040.

As we build and operate the telecommunications infrastructure to drive greater digital and financial inclusion, we believe that our growth and success should not come at the expense of the future of our planet,” said MTN Group president and CEO Ralph Mupita. “We must keep addressing the needs and challenges of society, which include playing our part in mitigating the effects of climate change.”

We are excited about this next chapter in the MTN story and we recognize that we need to run and operate our business with sustainability at the core. We have a role to play in Africa and the Middle East to contribute meaningfully on much-needed actions to mitigate the impact of climate change, that’s why we are committed to achieve net-zero emissions by no later than the end of 2040.”

The company operates data centers across the African continent including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. According to the firms’ latest sustainability report, it had 638 locations utilizing renewable energy in 2019 and recycled 783 tons of e-waste.

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MTN the latest firm to go green

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– Sun Cable

MTN says its GHG emission-reduction target is in line with an approach developed by Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), the GSM Association (GSMA), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

The company says it has launched the Project Zero program to help it realize its targets. The program will aim to leverage new technologies and partners to achieve greater energy efficiencies, low carbon emissions, risk reduction and cost control, with a focus on renewable solutions, efficient emerging technologies, and energy storage.

We believe ICT companies and mobile operators have the potential to significantly contribute to global decarbonization efforts,” says Charles Molapisi, MTN Group Chief Technology and Information Systems Officer. “We are pleased that Project Zero is in full swing, actively driving energy efficiency and carbon emission sustainability.”

A number of data center companies including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and CyrusOne have pledged to become carbon neutral or negative by 2030 or 2040. Last month more than 20 major European cloud and data center operators, including AWS, Google, and Equinix signed up to an agreement to become climate neutral by 2030. Outside of Europe and the US, Chindata last month pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Last week a new report from The African Data Centres Association (ADCA) and Xalam Analytics claimed Africa needs 1,000MW and 700 facilities to meet growing demand and bring the rest of the continent onto level terms with the capacity and density of South Africa.