Published on 08/09/2016 in Inspire
In 2007, Proximus undertook to attain an ambitious goal. That has now been achieved. Today, as a company, we produce 70% less CO2 than we did in 2007. We have succeeded in reducing our energy consumption for the seventh year in a row. In 2007, we analyzed where we were and drew up a plan. Most of the emissions from our company still come from our company cars. Proximus runs a fleet of over 7,000 vehicles, including vans and company cars. We also manage a great many buildings – not just offices, but also datacenters and technical sites for our network – all of which need electricity and/or heating.”
“To reduce the carbon footprint of the fleet, we deliberately choose more energy-efficient cars. Today the fleet is made up of four car makes that meet our energy-efficiency criteria. Meanwhile, fuel consumption by the fleet has fallen by a quarter. To achieve even better results, we also closely monitor the evolution of alternative fuels and drive systems. And our staff mobility budget is more flexible, as well. 1,600 staff members have now given up their parking spaces. They drive or cycle to the station and come to work by public transport.”
“In our datacenters major energy projects have been running for quite some time. Among other things, we now use virtualization, which means that we need fewer physical machines. In addition, smart cooling saves a lot of energy. For instance, we use outside air to cool the datacenters and network centers. We recover the heat generated in the datacenters at Evere and Mechelen to heat the adjacent buildings.Further improving our energy efficiency remains a challenge. On the one hand, we do that by looking critically at the need for buildings.
The expectation is that by 2020 we will be able to consolidate far more and the technical premises we need will fall by up to a quarter given the migration to a simpler, high-tech broadband network. In the buildings that we keep, we are focusing as much as possible on energy efficiency. In the Proximus Towers in Brussels, for instance, we have made the lighting more energy efficient. We have also opted for a system of flexible working hours so that we need less office space. In addition, we carry out thorough quality controls in all our buildings. We check for consumption figures that deviate from the norm. There are regular audits that indicate possible leaks or spillages. With the proper measures, we can rationalize energy consumption here, too.”
“When purchasing electricity, we opt for totally renewable energy. For that matter, as of 2016, we are a climateneutral company as we continue to work on energy efficiency and offset the CO2 emissions that we cannot reduce. So the services that we provide to customers – ranging from telephony to managed services in the datacenter – are always CO2 neutral. Apart from that, we also offer services that help customers to reduce their eco-footprint. I’m thinking here, among other things, of our economical TV decoders. These devices now use 14% less energy than in 2014. Finally, via tele- and videoconferences, we help companies lower their travel costs.”
Philippe Deconinck is CSR Manager for the Environment and Supply Chain at Proximus. He is supporting Proximus with its transition to a sustainable and green business.