As part of initiatives aimed at alleviating the perils of climate change, MTN has pledged its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2040.  

In this commitment, MTN has set science-based targets to achieve a 47% average reduction in absolute emissions (tCO2e) which stands for tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for scope 1, 2 and 3 by 2030.  

Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain.

According to the UN, increased emissions that cause climate change will continue to rise temperature levels well beyond 1.5°C to levels that threaten the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere.  In the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries committed to limiting the global average temperature rise to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to aim for 1.5°C.

According to Reuters, already, the world has heated to around 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. Each of the last four decades was hotter than any decade since 1850. Scientists have said crossing the 1.5°C threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change effects on people, wildlife and ecosystems.

Therefore, the commitment by MTN underscores the telecom’s strategic pillar of achieving shared value and growth embodied in ensuring protection of the lives of the people in the communities it serves.  

The net zero commitment further underpins the core of MTN‘s Environmental, Social and Governance principles hinged on the belief that the company’s growth and success should not come at the expense of the future of the planet.

Wim Vanhelleputte, MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer said MTN is strategically aligned with the global call to action focused on deliberate transitioning to a net-zero world.

“The net zero commitment is part of our responsibility to the people of Uganda rooted on our promise to improve the livelihood of the people in the communities by creating a clean and healthy environment today, for a bright future tomorrow,” he explained.

Vanhelleputte went on to say: “Environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles are at the heart of our revised strategy, ambition 2025, in which we articulate the  ESG practices in accordance with our sustainability framework envisaged to drive economic value sharing.”

To achieve the net zero commitment as stipulated in its sustainability framework, MTN aims to improve energy efficiency in its operations, reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, and improve its water and waste management. 

At the group level, MTN has partnered with Ericson to leverage the latter’s latest and most advanced sustainable technologies to enable MTN realize its energy use and carbon management efforts in line with its commitment to reach Net Zero emissions by 2040.

During the launch of the collaboration recently, Nompilo Morafo, MTN Group Chief Sustainability & Corporate Affairs Officer said: “It’s about doing for tomorrow, today – realizing a Net Zero future is critical to our commitments towards sustainability, and we know that we can only realise our ambition through collaboration with our partners. With Ericsson joining our pledge, we hope to inspire our other partners, the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders to take meaningful steps towards decarbonization.”

The commitment by MTN comes as the impact of climate change becomes increasingly visible around the world.