Making a difference together this Earth Hour
It’s a movement towards a future we all want to see. Vodacom is committed to working towards a low carbon future, and you can get involved too.
On 27 March from 20:30, people around South Africa will switch off the lights for an hour to remind ourselves of our obligation to look after our planet. Earth Hour is an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund and is an hour dedicated to making a difference. An effort that, when combined, can have a resounding ripple effect towards a better future. Our ongoing investments into efficient and renewable energy projects over the years are one of the ways that we’re investing in a more sustainable, low carbon future. #EarthHour is a way for you to get involved too.
Started by WWF and partners as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now one of the world's largest grassroots movements for the environment. Held every year on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour engages millions of people in more than 180 countries and territories, switching off their lights to show support for our planet. But Earth Hour goes far beyond the symbolic action of switching off - it has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact, driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the people and collective action.
Earth Hour is open-source and we welcome everyone, anyone, to take part and help amplify our mission to unite people to protect our planet.
A move to clean and sustainable energy
Moving from fossil fuels to green energy is easier than it sounds. Many options such as solar, wind, water and geothermal power are available and will save you money and energy in the long run. Being conscientious about electricity use, in general, will also significantly contribute to decreasing your footprint. Ensure that plugs are turned off, lights are off when nobody is home, and unnecessary energy waste is a priority within your household.
Vodacom recently became South Africa’s first telecommunications company to ban the issuing of plastic bags to customers at its stores across the country. With effect from 1 April 2019, Vodacom replaced plastic bags with brown paper bags, affirming Vodacom’s commitment to operating its business in a sustainable manner. This approach prioritises the reduction, reuse and recycling of materials and resources where disposal to landfill is the last option.
Vodacom is also looking at innovative ways to help reduce electronic waste. Last year, Vodacom reused more than 180 tonnes of network equipment and rejuvenated more than 74 tonnes of batteries. At its head office, Vodacom has reduced 38 tonnes of waste sent to landfill through a baling operation and has also contracted a company that converts food waste from canteens into compost. In 2018, 34 tonnes of waste from canteens was turned into compost used to fertilise the gardens at the Vodacom Midrand campus.
Vodacom also heeded the call from the government to assist with drought-relief measures by engaging with the Department of Water and Sanitation to offer support to use technology to assist with drought relief measures.
A prime example is the role Vodacom is playing in transforming the utilities industry through the Smart Utilities Management Service. These solutions are reshaping and digitising municipalities by installing electricity and water smart meters that will improve revenue collection, customer satisfaction and the adoption of IoT solutions in the municipal space. In South Africa, five provinces are using this service, with 42,972 active water and electricity smart meters in use.