Vodacom Lesotho adds green operations to green network

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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by 193 world leaders in 2016, are a shared vision for humanity. If achieved, it would mean an end to extreme poverty, inequality and the worst threats of climate change by 2030.

To help support Goal 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, Vodacom is committed to continue minimising the GHG emissions generated by its operations.

In support of this Goal, this week, Vodacom officially launched the biggest green building in Lesotho. Covered with solar panels, the building is carbon neutral and powered by renewable energy at its headquarters in Maseru.

This is the second green-build Vodacom Group has launched. In 2012, Vodacom achieved South Africa’s first six-star Green Star rating for its Innovation Centre building, in Midrand, Johannesburg.

Through its latest green building initiative, Vodacom intends to take a leading role in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in the country of Lesotho. Built with an investment of M80 million, Vodacom aimed to be the one of the leading companies in Lesotho to roll out a building powered by renewable energy and lead in the promotion of a green economy.

The building is an additional milestone in a string of successes, achievements, and ‘firsts’ that Vodacom has had in Lesotho in recent years. Speaking at the event, Vodacom Lesotho Managing Director, Rishaad Tayob, thanked all stakeholders that attended the event and encouraged them to support greening initiatives and strengthen their commitment towards collaboration on achieving Goal 13 and other SDG’s in Lesotho.

The new building is part of the Vodacom Group’s new ways of working, which includes promoting a healthy working environment, encouraging recycling and the separation of waste products in the office, the use of technology in boardrooms, promoting telecommuting and reducing our carbon footprint.

The new building’s reliance on solar power is going to bring down the cost of electricity for the business and more importantly create awareness and education around our impact on the environment and how we can do things better.

Vodacom Lesotho decided to green its operations based on its model of a green network, which has proven a success for the business.

A quarter of Vodacom Lesotho’s cell phone network is powered by ‘green’ base stations using energy saving technologies such as wind and solar power to help reduce carbon emissions. Vodacom Lesotho’s base stations are powered independently of diesel generators or the national grid and are among the first of their kind world-wide.

Currently 86 out of a total 300 base station sites in Lesotho are powered through a combination of solar and wind. Vodacom Lesotho’s other environmentally conscious technologies include power system optimisation that ensures that in the event of power failure, a traditional site continues to operate for up to three hours on stored battery power before a diesel generator kicks in.

“There is a strong business case for installing green base stations as they reduce on-going operating costs and these cost savings will ultimately benefit our customers. This is why it was a natural for us to launch a green build.” says Tayob.

Diego Gutierrez, Chief Officer for International Markets at Vodacom Group, reiterated the Group’s commitment to ensuring a successful operation in Lesotho, and also reflected on the successes that Vodacom Lesotho has had in the context of the larger group.

“Vodacom Lesotho’s success is a reflection of the level of support, partnership, and trust that the government of Lesotho, and all Basotho have placed in the company. We return that trust and support, in the form of explicit commitment, in the form of this investment, superior customer service and delivering products that empower customers and measurably contribute to socioeconomic development in Lesotho.”






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