The road to net-zero emission and true circularity

The road to net-zero emission

Breakdown of Proximus CO2 footprint in 2022 (Scope 1 – 2 – 3)

Table like graph illustrating the co2 breakdown
(the figures are rounded)

Breakdown of Proximus CO2 footprint in 2022 (Scope 1 – 2 – 3)

Scope 1: 6% - 31.5% Ktons Direct emissions from fossil fuel combustion and refrigerant gases

Scope 2: 0% - 0 Kton Own indirect emissions from electricity usage

Scope 3: 94% - 519.9 Ktons Proximus' indirect emissions in the value chain

Scope 3 includes:

Procurement 85%: Goods & services, Upstream transportation and distribution

Proximus’ operations 4%: Fuel & energy (excl 1 & 2), Waste, Business travel, Employee commuting

Customer use of products 11%, Leased assets, Downstream transportation and distribution, Use of sold products, End-of-Life treatment of sold devices

Scopes 1 and 2: Our direct and indirect emissions

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions linked to fossil fuel combustion and refrigerant gases. Scope 2 emissions are our own indirect emissions linked to our electricity usage.

To date, 315 Ktons of our own direct emissions still need to be reduced to reach our 2030 target. This means replacing fossil fuel heating systems with alternative heating technologies, which requires an investment of € 17 million by 2030. Electrification of our management fleet will also require investment, but it is part of our normal vehicle-replacement cycle. By 2030, Proximus will have completely banned the use of fossil fuels for its vehicle fleet and buildings. This transition is following its predicted course. The main challenges ahead of us are supply chain issues and the inadequate EV charging capacity in Belgium as well as the immature market for alternatives to fossil-fueled technical vehicles.

We are extremely vigilant about our electricity consumption and have a series of measures in place to keep it under control despite growing demand. We are continuously evolving towards a more energy-efficient network by focusing on our technical buildings, mobile network, fixed access network and data centers.

In this respect, the 5G technology has built-in calibrated efficiency mechanisms. In the long term, these mechanisms are expected to reduce the energy consumption of the future network by a factor of up to ten compared to the energy consumption of 4G networks. Despite the expected high increase in data traffic, the increase in energy consumption of our mobile network will be limited to only 40% by 2026, thanks to 5G energy efficiency. In 2019, we made the switch to 100% renewable electricity.

Over the course of the next two years, we will enhance the amount of locally produced electricity by deploying solar panels on our suitable buildings. We have an ambition to tenfold our current solar production. And by 2026, we will work with more local electricity sources through investments in Power Purchase Agreements and long-term partnerships with Belgian wind and solar plants.

Scope 3: Indirect emissions resulting from our value chain

Our scope 3 emissions are highly concentrated within our procurement activities and represent 17 times the amount generated by our own operations. They account for about 94% of our total CO2 emissions in 2022. To reach our emission reduction targets, we are transitioning towards sustainable sourcing as a standard practice, which impacts the way we operate as well as the way we engage with our suppliers.

Internally, we are progressively transforming the way we operate to avoid carbon emissions:

  • Source less: where possible we are shifting towards circular business models.
  • Source right: when sourcing goods and services, we adapt our processes to select the most sustainable option from the most sustainable supplier. In other words, integrating environmental requirements in selecting what we buy and from whom we buy it.

Externally, we want to accelerate change by actively engaging our suppliers to embark on that same transition. Through our Supplier Engagement Program, we cooperate with our main suppliers to set emissions reduction targets that are just as ambitious as ours and to transparently disclose their progress annually.

For key strategic suppliers, we continuously identify areas of improvement, for example validating (science-based) emission-reduction targets or purchasing renewable electricity. Identified action points are integrated into contractual clauses we invite our suppliers to commit to while supporting them to improve their climate change management.

Circularity

Applying the principles of circular economy, such as eco-design, leasing vs. selling devices, repairing and refurbishing, and sharing agreements, are among the biggest levers for reducing indirect emissions (scope 3).

At Proximus, we are dedicated to no longer depleting raw materials but reusing them instead. Our ambition is to reuse or recycle up to 90% of waste by 2025 and to reach zero waste by 2030.

The deployment of networks and the manufacturing of devices have a significant impact on the environment. This is why we are increasingly integrating circularity principles into our business models. Consequently, we are using less new material, refurbishing more frequently, reducing the amount of goods purchased and ultimately reducing our emissions.

For the latest and all new generations of Customer-Premise Equipment (CPE), we collaborate on their eco-design with our suppliers to minimize their environmental footprint. Our newest Internet Box has a casing made entirely of recycled plastics, and compared to the previous model, it uses 24% less electricity and has a 30% lower environmental footprint (CO2 emissions) per unit.

By delivering our equipment-as-a-service, we lease and retain ownership of our devices. After use by one customer, we collect the devices, refurbish them and repurpose them at another customer instead of purchasing new ones. By doing so, we are able to refurbish more than 90% of our modems and decoders. We return these devices to the market up to four times before recycling them.

Some of our net-zero emission initiatives

Some of our circular initiatives

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