Vodacom builds new green building

2011-06-23 20:25

Johannesburg - Mobile operator Vodacom is building one of Africa's greenest buildings as its parent company Vodafone, plans an alternative energy innovation centre to help reduce carbon emissions across the world.

Once completed, the Midrand based innovation centre will house a team of experts tasked with developing energy efficient technology to counter some of South Africa's, and the planet's greatest environmental challenges, the company said on Thursday.

Vodacom pointed out that in emerging markets, diesel generators are often used to provide energy to base stations that are off the electricity grid, so more efficient energy solutions could play a key role in reducing carbon emissions from such power sources.

The innovations developed in South Africa would also be rolled out across developed markets to benefit the entire Vodafone group.

Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys underpinned the importance of the building's green credentials and its role in enabling a low carbon future.

"The innovation centre will be one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the entire Vodafone group, powered with renewable energy using cooling and heating technologies. We are working with the Green Building Council of South Africa to ensure the building is accredited according to the Green Star rating system," said Uys.

According to Vodacom, considerable climate benefits and cost savings can be achieved by creating technology that runs on renewable energy.

"Building sustainable, environmentally focused systems and infrastructure is critical in the current economic and environmental climate. Not only will the innovation centre help to deliver energy savings across the Vodafone group, but it will also save us money. Business can no longer look at sustainability as a nice-to-have element of operations - it is a critical aspect of our business strategy that adds enormous value to the bottom-line," said Uys.

The Smart 2020 report, 'Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age' published by independent non-profit The Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) suggests that global ICT companies could apply their technology to help other industries and consumers mitigate 7.8 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions by 2020 or 15% of the current global emissions.

"The innovation centre is a critical component in our global strategy to create mobile technology that impacts the environment in a positive way. If we are able to aggressively drive efficiency and cost reductions in this area, we can pass these reductions on to our customers, a core component of this strategy," added Uys.

The Vodafone Innovation Centre, which will serve all of Vodafone's global markets, is expected to be completed later this year.

"COP17, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is just around the corner and it is these types of initiatives that make an impact on the sustainability of our planet," concluded Uys.

  • AquaticApe - 2011-06-23 21:15

    What a joke; the amount of energy that cell phone companies pump into the atmosphere in the form of microwave energy probably exceeds any other contributory form of global warming!

  • Peter - 2011-06-23 21:30

    This is a bisarre example of what a company can do when it has too much money on its hands. For years it has been shamelessly robbing cell phone users, and instead of decreasing the absolutely ridiculous cost of cell phone communications, they decide to build a useless new green building that nobody will even notice. Now the money is burning a massive hole in their corporate pockets, so they will spend it like a druken sailor. Nice one, Vodacom, maybe you should rather have spent this money on improving your beyond pathetic service!! Now that would have been an improvement! Oops, I forgot, the mighty Vodacom does not read client complaints, or respond to them. Sorry I even mentioned it...

      Richard Townley-Johnson - 2011-06-24 13:17

      What you say is so obvious it scares me they haven't considered it... All this money going into a form of advertising (and lawsuits) yet they could be 1)reducing the costs of their shoddy service or 2)Improve their service...

  • frankm - 2011-06-23 21:50

    Vodacom to go green, they have just gone red. Whatever company did their branding did not think far enough ahead. The whole campaign where "Vodacom has gone Red" should have been green. Perhaps they should have used a decent communications agency like Ince for example

      Aquanox - 2011-06-23 22:15

      frankm, You obviously don’t know that Vodafone the parent company of Vodacom rebranded Vodacom to be in line with their international image, which is red! This was to consolidate the international image, it had nothing to do with being environmentally friendly.

  • rachel.longster - 2011-06-23 22:47

    Drive past Vodaworld during dark hours... If they switched off a few lights that would help them 'go green'!!

  • AlCaps - 2011-06-24 08:48

    Well atleast some one has started. It comes down to companies like Vodacom investing in green technology for the costs of such technology to be reduced therefor paving the way to a more sustainable future. So instead of moaning about them building this sort of infrastructure we should embrace it as inevitably they are giving back to the comunity. Now all it comes down to is to see if they keep up with this trend and continue to strive towards more sustainable infrastructure.

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