The telecom companies have been asked to reduce the carbon footprint by 17% in next five years. This move is being considered as the step for clean development for transition to low carbon economy. All the telecom companies now have to do the assessment of carbon emission being made from the complete operations on annual basis and had to set off or reduce those emissions by 17% in next five years. A call that comes at a time when the industry has gone past a rough patch and its profits are growing “It is high time telecom service operators effectively reduced carbon footprint as overall profitability of the sector has improved lately,” Rita Teaotia, special secretary, DoT said at an industry event recently.
The assessment of carbon footprint for telecom companies involves extensive data and reporting formats. As DoT is aware that this is a time consuming exercise therefore a time period of five years have been granted. Once all reporting formats are in place then it will be very easy to monitor the carbon emissions and offsets even on daily basis. A baseline would have a great role here to compare and report the offsets and compliance. EnvironmentFirst Energy Services Private Limited has great expertise in the assessment of footprint and offset compliance. There are several methods to offset the carbon emissions. One of them is to switch from more carbon intensive to less carbon intensive fuel/ energy or alternately go for renewable energy projects, also offsets can be purchased from other renewable energy projects and can be set off against the carbon emission of the company. But in current scenario it is more advantageous to set up renewable energy projects to reduce footprints. DoT has also made it mandatory for these companies to switch 50% of all cell towers in rural areas and 20% in urban areas to hybrid power by 2015. Hybrid power has been defined as a mix of grid supplies and renewable energy based on solar, wind, biomass or fuel cells. By 2020, operators will need to run 75% and 33% of cell towers in rural and urban zones, respectively, on hybrid supplies. DoT, Teaotia said, is also committed to deployment of green energy technologies like solar for powering about 1,863 towers to boost mobile coverage in areas affected by Left-wing terrorism.
Author: Harish Sharma-EnvironmentFirst Energy Services Pvt. Ltd.