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Orange Belgium has been measuring and reducing its carbon footprint together with independent climate consultancy firm CO2logic since 2009, long before the Paris Agreement.
In 2019, Orange Belgium emitted 7.318 tCO2e of greenhouse gasses. This corresponds to 3.064 return flights Brussels-New York, 723 times driving around the world with an average car, or 1.257 ha of new forest needed to capture the same emission in one year.
Emissions are mainly due to mobility (73%) and the infrastructure (23%). Almost 60% of the emissions come from company cars. Note that we have take emissions from the infrastructure (electricity, heating, cooling) into account, emissions from company cars, home-work commuting, business travel, waste and paper consumption. This for all tertiary buildings, including the Headquarters, owned shops and call centre, but also the entire network and data centre.
The emissions are 37% lower than in the base year (2009). Compared to last year, the emissions stayed more or less the same. To be able to take economic fluctuations into account, it’s good to compare emissions to the amount of employees, and the turnover. Here we can see that the emissions per employee (FTE) are 28% lower than the base year, and slightly higher (1%) than last year. The emissions per million euro turnover however, are 28% lower than in the base year, and 4% lower than last year.
The emission reductions have been reached by a long series of reduction actions including a moving to more energy efficient buildings, serious efficiency increases in the network, more home-work commuting, a more efficient fleet, better sorting of waste, digitalisation, etc.
Orange Belgium was already using green electricity back in 2009 (the base year). Therefore purchasing green electricity is not contributing to the emission reductions. It’s however interesting to note that by using 100% green electricity, Orange Belgium avoids 21.036 tCO2e, more or less the yearly carbon footprint of 1.000 Belgians.
Because reducing your own emissions takes time, Orange Belgium has decided to already offset part of its emissions back in 2014. All emissions related to the operations (infrastructure), plus emissions from business travel, paper use and waste were offset. This way Orange Belgium obtained the Vincotte Validated CO2 Neutral Label for its operations. Also for 2019 emissions have been offset by supporting additional and certified climate projects in Ghana (Gold Standard Certified) and Senegal (VCS certified).
An amount of 1.343 tCO2e has been offset by supporting the Gyapa cookstove project in Ghana. By producing and distributing efficient cookstoves, less wood is needed for cooking, reducing deforestation. Moreover, the respiratory diseases caused by cooking on open fires cause 4 million deaths per year worldwide. Efficient cookstoves considerably reduce these health risks, especially for women and children. The cookstove project is therefore not just saving trees, but also saving lives and contributing to sustainable development in Africa. Thanks to the support of Orange, 838 cookstoves were produced and distributed, 3000 tonnes of wood was saved, and 31.500 trees saved (35 ha).
1000 tCO2e have been offset by supporting the installation of photovoltaic panels in Senegal. Renewable energy emits no greenhouse gasses, and it also allows electrification in place where only 4% of villages have electricity. Moreover, the installation and maintenance of the PV panels generate local employment.
Orange Belgium has already come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. Therefore Orange Belgium is now working on setting a new reduction target and developing a new and ambitious reduction plan to be able to keep on reducing its own emissions. In the meanwhile it will continue supporting climate project to accelerate global climate action and support sustainable development of developing countries.