Tech Post

GP pledges for a greener future

Published : 06 Jun 2023 07:13 PM

This World Environment Day, Grameenphone reaffirms its commitment to environmental sustainability and finding green energy solutions to combat climate change. The digital enabler to ‘Smart Bangladesh’ has stepped up efforts to use renewable energy, deploying solar panel at towers. To spark conversation on this important topic, Grameenphone brought together public & private experts and diplomatic community to discuss the "Green Energy Ecosystem in Bangladesh" on Monday.

Grameenphone is devoted to continuous deployment of enhanced sustainable solutions, protecting the environment and promoting an energy-efficient and eco-friendly business approach. The organization has set a target to reduce 50 percent carbon emissions (CO₂) by 2030, taking 2019 emissions as the baseline. Grameenphone is actively implementing initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, such as enhancing energy efficiency, investing in renewable energy sources, promoting a culture of optimum energy conservation within the organization, and working with our partners in multiple layers to reduce the environmental impact of our business, especially supply chain.

Grameenphone has always had environment as a core strategic focus. The network infrastructure is responsible for a major part of the company's energy consumption. Hence, Grameenphone has so far converted around 1200 towers into solar energy powered sites in remote places like Hatiya, ensuring connectivity in the most unconnected regions. These hybrid sites are creating additional savings of fuel as well as reduced carbon dioxide emissions, one of the first steps towards fulfilling that commitment.

Yasir Azman, CEO, Grameenphone, emphasized the significance of a green shift, stating, “According to Germanwatch’s 2021 Global Climate Risk Index (CRI), we are vulnerable to both disasters and climate change and Bangladesh is ranked the seventh extreme disaster risk-prone country in the world. Deploying solar powered towers is a steppingstone towards co-creating a greener future. It will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from our operations and help overcome the electricity supply problem. As an early adopter of green initiatives in Bangladesh, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint with a comprehensive set of initiatives. I believe if private sector organizations are given opportunity to procure more renewable energy utilizing the gridlines, it will encourage more green energy investments into the country and enable us to achieve our national ambition.”

To mark the day, a roundtable was organized at GP House where panelists at the event, including H.E. Espen Rikter-Svendsen, Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka; Yasir Azman, CEO of Grameenphone; Md. Shahriar Ahmed Chowdhury, Director of the Center for Energy Research, UiU; Nazneen Ahmed - Country Economist at UNDP, Tham Chee Aun – Group CEO, Ditrolic Energy Holdings Sdn. Bhd. and Faisal Rabbi, Stakeholder Engagement & Public Affairs Manager of H&M; engaged in a constructive dialogue on various aspects regarding environmental obligations for corporates, counting the current regulations for Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPA), the utilization of transmission and distribution infrastructure by the private sector, and the importance of collaboration between public and private entities to support renewable electricity markets.

Grameenphone's climate targets have been set based on the ICT sector-specific decarbonization pathway, approved by the Scientific Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Grameenphone, being a socially responsible organization aims to combine off-grid and on-grid PPAs to reach its 50% CO2 reduction target by 2030. As the current market poses certain challenges in terms of power generation, distribution, and selling to BPDB, the roundtable discussion provided an opportunity to explore feasible solutions to these issues and consolidate further recommendations for the policymakers.

Committed to digital inclusion and sustainable development, Grameenphone has long been striving to harness the power of technology to drive positive change in society while minimizing environmental impacts in every way possible, including spearheading the launch of eco-friendly eSIMs. Reflecting on this philosophy, Grameenphone expressed its keen enthusiasm and concern to foster collaboration between stakeholders and subject matter experts by facilitating a conducive environment for on-grid CPPAs and accelerating the transition to a greener energy landscape in Bangladesh thereby.