MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has committed itself to achieving net zero emissions by 2040.

That’s a big target given that MTN burns millions of litres of diesel every year to keep its base stations running in markets where there isn’t a stable supply of grid-supplied electricity.

“MTN has set science-based targets to achieve a 47% average reduction in absolute emissions (tCO_2e) for scope 1, 2 and 3 by 2030,” the group said in a statement.

We believe that our growth and success should not come at the expense of the future of our planet,” said group 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.”

MTN has launched “Project Zero”, which will employ the latest technologies that offer greater energy efficiencies and that lower carbon emissions while reducing risk and cost. The programme prioritises renewable solutions, efficient emerging technologies and energy storage, it said.

“Greenhouse gas emission reduction target setting, like that adopted by MTN, is in line with an ICT sectoral target-setting approach recently developed through a collaboration between the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative, the GSM Association, the International Telecommunication Union and the Science Based Targets Initiative,” MTN said. “These targets support the Paris Agreement’s central aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change.”

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