Environmental commitment: Orange vows to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040

The increases in extreme weather and consequences of global warming have made the impacts of climate change more tangible. It is everyone’s responsibility to act now. Orange has vowed to respond to the climate crisis through an ambitious policy framework.

Woman and seaside_Orange_Switch environment transition

In a context of increased data on our networks, we have set ourselves the priority in line with the Paris agreement and the recommendations of the Groupe International d'Experts sur le Climat to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 , 10 years earlier than the objectives set by the rest of the sector.

To achieve this, we have set the first goal: reducing our CO2 emissions by 30% from 2015 to 2025. We have chosen to increase the share of renewable energies, which will make up more than 50% of the Group's energy mix by 2025.

Across the business, we’re committed to reducing our direct or induced environmental footprint and this is reflected in key initiatives such as the Group’s responsible purchasing policy.

We help drive the environmental and energy transition

Reducing network energy consumption

At Orange, we’re continually trying to improve the energy efficiency of our networks through our Green IT&Networks plan, which aims to optimise our technical deployments, increase the eco-efficiency of our data centres and cut the energy consumed by our routers. The programme has led to significant reductions in the Group’s energy consumption and associated carbon emissions since 2010.

We’re replacing old infrastructure with modern and eco-efficient equipment using alternative solutions such as natural ventilation or solar power.  Examples include our data centre in Val-de-Reuil and our new Orange data centre near Chartres.

In Africa and the Middle East, OMEA is already using 2,800 solar sites to supply our mobile network services. In Jordan we maintain three solar farms, which cover 73% of our technical site’s electricity needs.

As a reminder: our Green ITN plan 2020 has already enabled us to cut carbon emissions by 10% between 2015 and 2018 across our networks and IS (information system).

Improving energy use in our buildings and transport systems

Our buildings, travel and transport account for 20% of our CO2 emissions and we’re working to reduce this impact. Over the past 10 years, our activities have already enabled us to reduce our real estate CO2 emissions by 35%.

We have the largest car-sharing fleet in Europe with 2,540 hybrid and electric cars on the road. In 12 years we have reduced our vehicle CO2 emissions by 34%.

For instance, adopting a videoconferencing solution for our new OMEA operational headquarters in Casablanca, which covers the region’s 18 countries, will enable us to reduce travel by 25% by 2021

As a reminder: our actions are measurable and upheld by an Environmental Management System framework that complies with international certifications, and we are regularly recognised for our commitment.

Promoting the circular economy

To restrict our reliance on the earth’s natural resources, we have pledged to integrate the principles of a circular economy within our organisation and processes at the 2015 COP21 climate change conference.

First of all, this involves using reconditioned equipment in our networks and data centres. Our ambition for 2025 is to use 20% reconditioned equipment while achieving a quality of service that’s equal to or greater than our current level.

Secondly, in terms of our products and services, we are modifying our design principles and sales strategy to be more eco-friendly in line with consumer expectations, while adopting a profitable, sustainable and responsible business model.

Circular economy principles:
The principles of a circular economy, applied through: eco-design, repair, lifecycle increase, reuse, refusing and repackaging, collection and recycling, and adopting the functional economy (optimising the use of goods and services and enabling growth to be separated from resource consumption).

  • Livebox 5 eco-design: our latest router has a 29% lower carbon footprint than the Livebox 4. This improvement is due to its smaller size and weight, recycled shell and reduced number of components inside.   
  • Sales of the Fairphone 3 is another example as well as device collection:
    • Livebox: collection rate of 87%.
    • Mobiles (smartphones have a high ecological impact of 80% due to the way they are manufactured and upgraded frequently): 15 million devices collected over the 10-year period to 2019 across Europe.

As a reminder: we’re committed to collecting at least 30% of our total equipment sales volumes per year by 2025 in each of our European operating countries.

More than ever, we firmly believe in collective climate action. As such, we’re a founding member of the Net Zero Initiative which has defined a precise, demanding and transparent framework to promote corporate net zero carbon.

Within the GSMA, we’re campaigning for the tech sector to contribute new solutions to mitigate the climate crisis, in particular through the Change for Climate campaign. We’re also promoting or supporting our own innovative and sustainable initiatives that facilitate the energy and ecological transition.

Digital technology and climate change
We collaborate on scientific research programmes set up to tackle climate change:

  • CREA (Research Centre for Alpine Ecosystems): since 2014, we have partnered with the “CREA Mont-Blanc” Observatory, lending our expertise and contributing to environmental monitoring, data collection and awareness of the latest scientific information.
  • Euro-Argo: along with our subsidiary Orange Marine, we have formed a partnership with this European scientific consortium to collaborate on the global ocean climate observation programme: Orange Marine signs a partnership with Euro-Argo.