Could the telecoms industry be doing more to becoming sustainable?

With so much focus on plastic straws recently many are really starting to take notice of how their everyday actions affect the environment and what that means for the future. While plastic straws are a step in the right direction its truly big industry that is the biggest problem.


Many point the finger at oil, transport and the automobile industry for their contributions to global warming. However not everyone looks at their phone and realises how much goes into the creation and running of it. People will recognise surely the thought of manufacturing the phone but this is not the only cause of a phones carbon footprint. 


A phone needs to send data over networks. Think not only of the power used when up-keeping these but manufacturing colossal telecommunications towers.

So, could the telecoms industry be doing more?

At present, according to research by Emerson Electric, the telecoms industry alone is estimated to use 164 terawatt hours per year, making it responsible for 1% of all global power consumption. It is also responsible for generating 110.7 million tons of CO2, equivalent to the emissions of 29 million cars.


The giants of telecoms have all made pledges to environmental change. Such as BT saying they will be carbon neutral by 2045. Below is an outline of the work they’ve done and plan to do. 


Not all companies are quite as forward thinking as BT. Other giants are not moving so fast. Pressure has to be put on them with legislation from the government and more pressure from consumers who care more than just about the end price. 


While some move faster than others in this country we are more aware of these issues than some other countries. 


However some of the best news is that India has said that by 2020 it should be able to power 75% of its 400,000 telecoms towers with renewable energy. 


They plan on using recycled materials to create telecoms towers makes them not only cheaper but more sustainable.

Big things are important but the little things add up too

Obviously, massive scale changes from FTSE 100 companies are going to be the most effective but you can also make changes with your everyday behaviour. 


As telecoms runs on electricity simply thinking about how you source your energy can make a massive difference. Green energy is on the rise and doing your bit has an effect. Look at having solar panels installed in your home or business or simply looking into your energy provider.


As a user you could buy a refurbished phone rather than a brand new one. This goes for both businesses and everyday customers. When getting new office phones why not look at somewhere like PMCtelecoms who sell reused phones. And if you upgrade to new phones, recycle your old phones rather than simply leaving them lying around. PMCtelecoms will even buy them off you. 


Billing is very important and keeping a record of them is a must for everyone, be it business or personal. Here at alphaTALK we try and keep it almost entirely digital  but the amount of companies that still do paper billing is much higher than you would expect. Not only is it easier to create a digital record of your files with which you can do automatic searches to find them, it also uses less paper.


Being environmentally friendly with your phone is both pragmatic and ethical 


You should be doing this because it’s the right thing to do but if that’s not enough, it’s in your best interest. It can save you money. If you are a business it can attract new customers and give you favour with old ones. 


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