The climate crisis coupled with significant rises in energy costs has made sustainability a pressing matter for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to address. They are now actively taking steps to become more sustainable, with a focus on reducing their impact on the planet through renewable energy and data centers or cloudifying their networks.

For example, Telia Company has adopted two ambitious environmental goals: it aims to achieve zero C02 and waste footprints by 2030. One key element is promoting engagement with the circular economy. This means collecting old devices from customers that are subsequently recycled, reused or refurbished once the device has reached end of life.

CSPs just like Telia are recognizing that lasting change will come when they start helping their SMB and Enterprise customers to become “greener” and more energy-efficient businesses too. As more CSPs look into their own sustainability practices, they must also continue to support those of their partners.

Sustainable networks and data centres are only the first step

Eighty percent of CSPs rate energy efficiency as important or extremely important to their planned upgrades according to the recent Global Trends 2023 report by the GSMA, and 95% of the largest operators worldwide are reporting on CO2 emissions or implementing a sustainability-driven business blueprint. For example, since achieving its target to source 100% renewable electricity in Europe, Vodafone has expanded this goal globally to achieve the same results across all markets by 2025. To do this, it is using renewable energy to power networks. One approach it is testing is Open RAN. After testing this in the US, the major telco found that Open RAN alone could help achieve up to 12% of energy savings as it operates in the cloud and requires less hardware and materials to create infrastructure - resulting in greater efficiency and few emissions.

However, sustainability is not just an internal initiative focused on making networks and data centers more energy efficient. It’s also about helping customers and ecosystems to become more sustainable and ensuring that the services they consume are better for the environment. Achieving this will be a real differentiator for CSPs over the next few years.

Digital transformation will aid sustainability

While digital transformation promises faster and more efficient business performance, the same is true for sustainability. Supporting your partners to digital transform can offer them the ability to make sustainable investment decisions, and transition to a low-carbon, digital economy.

Smart cities are a great example of this. Metropolises consume over 75% of the world’s energy production and generate 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. This is where the digital transformation of cities, who have utilised IT and big data to manage everything from transport to the use of energy or water resources, has drastically changed the wellbeing of inhabitants and our world. The latest city to do this is Dubai. The Gulf Tiger launched the world’s largest solar-powered data centre in February to provide next-gen services in the areas of cloud, smart cities, IoT and more.

CSPs can operate similarly, taking a step further and improving the industry's ESG performance through the solutions they offer to partners. Developing sustainable solutions for enterprises’ customers can help them simultaneously drive decarbonisation in their own businesses.

Launching sustainable offerings in a digital marketplace for partners

One way to do this is by launching a digital marketplace. CSPs can multiply their efforts and lead the industry to a more sustainable future. A digital marketplace is a partner enablement platform that allows CSPs to co-design and co-create new offerings tailored to customer demands and that serve cross-industry requirements by combining the skills and expertise of a multitude of partners. By offering sustainable services via a digital marketplace, CSPs can help their partners implement sustainable solutions with ease and efficiency.

Digital transformation can generate measurable results in the promotion of sustainable goals, especially in the telecoms industry. By building a digital marketplace for partners to co-create and launch sustainable solution offerings, CSPs can deliver measurable results in the promotion of sustainable goals. It pushes the industry forward, and those who can offer this will have a key differentiator in the market.

For more insight into our Digital Marketplace you can read more

  • Angus  Ward

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