Proximus gets as first BEL 20 company scientific validation by SBTi according to its new “Net Zero Standard” for its environmental targets

Proximus is committed to decreasing its ecological footprint. This entails taking measures on limiting its energy consumption, using only renewable energy and taking action across its entire value chain while continuing the transition towards a circular economy. Today, Proximus is therefore proud to announce that its near-term and long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The latest climate science shows it is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C if we act now. The Science Based Targets initiative, a global body, in partnership with CDP, the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) enables companies to set ambitious emissions reduction targets in line with the latest climate science. It is calling on companies around the world to align with its 'Net-Zero Standard' to accelerate immediate corporate emissions reductions. At Belgian level, Proximus is the first Bel 20 company and the first telecom operator in Belgium to obtain this validation. At global level, Proximus is the fourth telecom operator worldwide.

Proximus has already achieved a lot: Proximus was the first Telco with an approved Science Based Target (WB2C) in 2016 and reduced its own emissions (scope 1 & 2) with 84% since 2007. Going forward, Proximus is more than ever determined to take action in the face of the climate emergency and to act as a socially responsible company. It has put in place scientifically validated targets and is implementing a climate action plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of the 2050 ambition of Belgium. This plan means an effective reduction of at least 90% of all its emissions (direct and indirect) and neutralizing the remaining emissions (less than 10%).

Reduce both the direct and the indirect greenhouse gas emissions

Proximus commits to reduce its absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 95% by 2030 and to maintain a minimum of 95% reduction through 2040 (from a 2020 base year). To this end, Proximus will eliminate fossil fuels from its fleet and buildings and continue sourcing 100% renewable electricity. At the same time, Proximus is working on energy-efficiencies throughout its technical buildings, mobile & fixed network, and data centers.

Proximus also commits to further reduce absolute scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030 and by 90% by 2040 (from a 2020 base year). These are very ambitious targets knowing that scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions, which include all of its indirect activities throughout the value chain, represented 94% of the company’s CO₂ emissions last year. To reach this ambitious objective, Proximus is reaching out to its suppliers and engage with them to set SBTi validated targets, source renewable energy and implement a decarbonization pathway. Its circular ambition and implementing circular principles, like eco-design, repair, refurbishment and lifecycle extension will further open the pathway to achieving its ambition.

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Our commitment to making a greener society was already at the heart of our #inspire2022 strategy. It will remain a fundamental priorities in the future as I’m convinced that we have an active role to enable societal changes. Importantly, if we want to limit our impact on global warming, it’s crucial to take science-based decisions, which will to ensure that the initiatives we undertake lead to concrete results that, in turn, significantly lower our greenhouse gas emissions. I’m therefore very happy that our action plan has now been validated by the SBTi. This is an important step, but the core challenges remain ahead of us. In particular if we want to reduce our scope 3 emissions by at least 90% by 2040, we’ll need to engage with our ecosystem through encouraging our suppliers to also commit to reducing their carbon footprint. It is only by considering the whole value chain that we will be able to reach our ambitions.