Vodacom is well on its way to halving its environmental impact by 2025, with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions more quickly. Vodacom plans to broaden its energy mix over the next 3 years, including purchasing electricity from renewable sources for its operations.

Because power usage is the largest source of Vodacom’s GHG emissions, this aim will have a significant influence on the company’s pledge. Furthermore, by achieving this goal, Vodacom will aid the government in achieving the Paris Agreement’s aim of keeping global temperatures at 1.5°C or 2°C more than pre-industrial levels.

“While we honor our commitment to link Africa’s next 100 million people for a better future,” says Takalani Netshitenzhe, Vodacom South Africa’s External Affairs Director. “Our new energy consumption target is one of many ways we’re addressing our own environmental effect since we recognize that South Africa only can transition to a green, climate-robust, low-emission economy if everybody contributes.”

Assisting the government with a Just Transition

The Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) emphasizes the importance of shifting to a low-emission economy that can support people and the planet in the long run. President Cyril Ramaphosa established this multi-stakeholder council in 2020 with the goal of exploring solutions to handle climate change in a manner that ensures a sustainable future for all South Africans. “This is especially essential for workers in industries that are most impacted by global warming, like energy, construction, mining, and agriculture,” Netshitenzhe observes. “As we shift to a low-carbon economy, we must ensure that no one is left behind.”

As a result, climate change must be considered in the context of socio-economic structures. This is at the foundation of a “Just Transition,” a strategy for progressively transitioning to a low-carbon economy while “ensuring improved job security for all employees impacted by climate-change policy and global warming .” This Just Transition is not simply in the hands of the government; it requires engagement from all social partners, including the government, civil society, business, and employees.

The PCC is developing a Just Transition framework that encourages collaboration, such as the Just Transition Multi-Stakeholder Conference, which will take place on the 5th and 6th of May at the Vodacom Conference Centre in Midrand. Vodacom is a conference sponsor and participant, with Netshitenzhe and Pavesh Govender, who works as the Managing Executive for IoT at Vodacom Business, contributing to the Just Transition debates.

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