How Orange is reducing its environmental footprint in Africa and the Middle East

We’re a founding member of the Net Zero Initiative, which sets out a vision of a carbon-free world with other large organisations.
As part of our Engage 2025 strategy, we’re also focused on achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040 through an ambitious action plan.

 

 

We have reduced our CO2 emissions by 64.2% per customer use since 2016.
And we are committed to being net zero carbon by 2040.

It is this commitment that we wish to affirm and share with everyone today through this campaign.

 

And in order to move forward together around this objective, we invite you to discover how you too can help us to achieve it, but we will also share all our actions with you.

 

 

New circular economy models are emerging

Our environmental commitment means we have to transform entire business models to ensure we stay on track.

We’re particularly keen to develop a more eco-friendly approach, in particular through collecting and recycling equipment, setting up appropriate systems in countries where there are not yet official ways to treat electronic waste.

 

Collection and recycling

Committed to optimising the lifespan of electrical and electronic equipment, we aim to collect the equivalent in the volume of WEEE of 20% of all mobile phones sold in Africa and the Middle East as part of our Engage 2025 strategic plan.

To date, the amount of waste in terms of handsets collected in Africa via our dedicated workshops is around 12 tonnes.

Since 2010, Orange has partnered with Emmaüs International and Ateliers du bocage, a community project boosting local employment opportunities, to open workshops for collecting mobile waste.
In the absence of an official recycling system, the waste collected is sent back to France in bulk in accordance with European environmental standards.
Now open in five countries (Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire), an equivalent of 2 million mobile phones have been collected and many local jobs have been created.

 

 

Reconditioning

We created an equipment swap programme in 2018, with a particular focus on our set-top boxes.

Two reconditioning centres have been set up, one in Poland and the other in Senegal.

27,000 reconditioned Orange TV set-top boxes in Poland were reused in Senegal between 2018.

 

To date, Orange Senegal has reconditioned 6,000 set-top boxes and routers (figures from August 2020).

 

The OSCAR project was set up to promote a circular economy approach towards network and IT equipment.
Orange is driving a paradigm shift in how the Group’s equipment is purchased, resold and managed, making maximum use of circular economy principles. We also encourage our partners to supply reconditioned equipment in their commercial bids.
This means our practices have been completely revamped, with the launch of a Market Place within the Group that highlights opportunities for purchasing or reselling reconditioned equipment either from Orange or approved operators and partners.

The initiative began in 2020 and the aim is to expand the project during 2021 in line with our Engage 2025 objectives.

Our many action plans have resulted in a 44% reduction in associated emissions in 2019 compared to 2006.

 

 

Our action plan to reduce the carbon footprint of our networks

Our networks and IT systems, including associated equipment, data centres, servers and platforms, is a huge engine room generating 81.6% of the Group’s total CO2 emissions and 84% of its energy consumption.

That’s why we have a proactive Green ITN policy in place that covers all of our operating countries and that underpins our Engage 2025 strategic plan.

It aims to improve the energy and environmental efficiency of our networks and IT systems through measures such as server virtualisation, natural ventilation, replacement of old equipment with eco-efficient models and greater use of solar energy.
The results prove it’s working: between 2010 and 2019, Orange saved 7.2 TWh of electricity and 365 million litres of fuel oil, the equivalent of 3.5 million tonnes of CO2.

The action plan has enabled us to control our energy consumption, which would have otherwise increased significantly due to the exponential increase in traffic and uses.

 

 

The ICT sector can provide solutions

Digital technology already offers many opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint: everything from replacing travel with videoconferencing to facilitating carpooling, regulating light or heat in buildings and cities, controlling consumption, reducing food waste and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Orange promotes access to renewable energy while developing access to solar power in Africa.
In areas where up to 60% of Africans can’t access a reliable source of electricity, we’re making low-energy solar equipment available so that as many people as possible can study, work, access entertainment and charge their phones from home. This “green” energy is supplied at an affordable rate and can be paid for via Orange Money.

We offer:
- Simple solar kits, or with a TV add-on, installed in more than 20,000 households without access to the power grid in Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Madagascar.
- Additional solar kits for areas that already have an electricity network, supplying 14,000 households in the Democratic Republic of Congo to date.

 

 

At Orange, employees can access remote working solutions to limit business travel (videoconferencing, teleconferencing, remote collaboration tools etc).
There are nearly 100 videoconferencing rooms outside France and Orange Middle East and Africa has recently adopted a new videoconferencing solution connecting its Casablanca headquarters and 18 countries across the continent, enabling it to reduce travel by 25% between 2019 and 2021 (outside of Covid-19 policies).

 

 

Switching to renewable energy

Orange has deployed 4,750 solar sites in Africa and Middle East, which already supply our mobile telephone systems and prevent the emission of more than 120,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

We’re also developing our use of solar energy through partnerships with electricity companies (ESCO projects), with eight countries already benefiting in 2019: Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Conakry, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Liberia, Cameroon.

These projects reduce our use of fuel oil by up to 80% depending on the site. The programme will now be extended to other countries in the region during 2020.

Three solar farms are now up and running in Jordan.

Orange radically changed its source of energy supply in Jordan by using its own solar power to the tune of 52.3 GWh, which equates to 62% of Orange Jordan’s total electricity consumption for 2019.
The commissioning of three solar farms in 2019 generates enough electricity over a full year to power 70% of all of Orange Jordan’s business activities estimated for 2020.

 

 

Taking into account the CO2 emission factor resulting from Jordan’s change in energy mix, this corresponds to 25,996 tonnes of CO2 avoided in 2019, or 2.0% of the Group’s emissions (scope 1 and 2).

 

 

 

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