Vodacom, the Vodafone-owned mobile phone operator, said on Thursday that a quarter of its cell phone network in Lesotho is powered by ‘green’ base stations using energy saving technologies such as wind and solar power to help reduce carbon emisions.
The mobile phone operator said Vodacom Lesotho’s base stations are powered independently of diesel generators or the national grid and are among the first of their kind world-wide.
The company added that currently 86 out of a total 300 base station sites in Lesotho are powered through a combination of solar and wind.
“There is a strong business case for installing green base stations as they reduce on-going operating costs and these cost savings will ultimately benefit our customers. This is why it was a natural for us to launch a green build.” Vodacom Lesotho’s MD Rishaad Tayob, said on Thursday.
Vodacom Lesotho’s other environmentally conscious technologies include power system optimisation that ensures that in the event of power failure, a traditional site continues to operate for up to three hours on stored battery power before a diesel generator kicks in.
To help support Goal 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, Vodacom is committed to continue minimising the greenhouse gas emission generated by its operations.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by 193 world leaders in 2016, are a shared vision for humanity.
In support of this Goal, this week, Vodacom officially launched the biggest green building in Lesotho, Maseru.
The mobile phone operator said the Maseru’s headquarters building is covered with solar panels making it carbon neutral and powered by renewable energy.
This is the second green-build Vodacom Group has launched. In 2012, Vodacom achieved South Africa’s first six-star Green Star rating for its Innovation Centre building, in Midrand, Johannesburg.
Through its latest green building initiative, Vodacom intends to take a leading role in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in the country of Lesotho. Built with an investment of M80 million, Vodacom aimed to be the one of the leading companies in Lesotho to roll out a building powered by renewable energy and lead in the promotion of a green economy.
The building is an additional milestone in a string of successes, achievements, and ‘firsts’ that Vodacom has had in Lesotho in recent years.
The new building is part of the Vodacom Group’s new ways of working, which includes promoting a healthy working environment, encouraging recycling and the separation of waste products in the office, the use of technology in boardrooms, promoting telecommuting and reducing our carbon footprint.
The new building’s reliance on solar power is going to bring down the cost of electricity for the business and more importantly create awareness and education around our impact on the environment and how we can do things better.