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Sustainability is at the core of everything e& does. e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group) strives hard to operate responsibly and transparently by living its inspiration, “Make Possible.” e& is committed to having a positive impact on its communities while at the same time maintaining sustainable success. e& is embarking on a progressive roadmap to monitor, benchmark and continuously enhance its economic, environmental, and social performance.

Placing people, customers, shareholders and the environment at the center of what e& does defines how it approaches business. Clear sustainability principles have always guided e& throughout its journey of progress, diversification and growth. Even in light of the ever-evolving business landscape over the last few years, e& has stayed true to its sustainability commitments while navigating change with resilience, agility and determination. As e& evolves into a global technology conglomerate, it will do what it takes to continue delivering a superior customer experience and maximizing value creation for its shareholders while remaining focused on its sustainability pillars.

The recent announcements at COP 27 are a true example of its commitment to reducing carbon emissions across its operations and accelerating its efforts to contribute to global climate action. 

Commitment to Net Zero Operation by 2030

e& declared its net zero targets by 2030, during the Group’s participation at the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27), that took place in Egypt, to accelerate its climate action efforts and support the UAE’s net zero strategy.

The global technology and investment conglomerate has pledged its commitment to achieving net zero within its Group’s operations in the UAE for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, focusing on key initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint through improving energy efficiency and sourcing renewable energy, among other initiatives.

e&’s climate action program will be aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a collaboration between the Carbon Disclosure Project, the United Nations Global Compact and the World Resources Institute, to set an emissions reduction trajectory between 2020 and 2030 for all Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sub-sectors. e&’s program will set out a clear net zero carbon emissions roadmap for it to advance its sustainability initiatives that have a positive human impact on future plans and operations. 

The UAE is taking massive action alongside its partners to address the global challenges related to climate change, leading the energy transition by reducing the carbon impact of hydrocarbon emissions. The country has pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050 as the first country in the MENA region, knowing that deploying sustainable and clean technologies and investing in renewable energy projects in developing countries will enable it to contribute more effectively to the future of humanity. e& has paved the way for private sector entities around the world to show more commitment and support a real-time transition towards a low-carbon society.

Currently, the UAE is ranked number one for the highest Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) penetration, maintaining its leadership position since 2016. e& constantly manages its environmental impact and strives to protect natural resources by strategically investing in sustainable and innovative solutions. Over the past decade, e& has strategically invested in fiber-optic infrastructure, which has both technical and environmental advantages over traditional networks. The Group’s current operations focus on best practices for reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste and developing sustainable architecture to achieve a positive environmental impact.

Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e&, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Our sustainability plans and ambitions are aligned to support the UAE's Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), as well as our commitment to the GSMA's initiative to take the entire mobile industry to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“The importance of addressing the critical challenges related to climate change has become a priority for e&. We are working closely with our partners and stakeholders to create solutions that turn ideas into action. Through our commitment to enabling a low-carbon society, we will ramp up our efforts to address pressing issues such as climate action, environmental conservation, as well as the provision of safe, efficient and environmentally friendly products and services that help mitigate climate change.”

To reach net zero, e& is committed to accelerating the de-carbonization of activities while focusing on mobile network modernization with the deployment of the latest generation of energy-efficient radio equipment (both hardware and software), increased use of renewable energy sources and carbon offsetting initiatives that are vital to achieving targets.

Dowidar added: "e& has successfully built an ecosystem in which we operate, communicate and deliver our services to stakeholders and customers, which has helped us to be a key player in exploring clean and green solutions and has enabled us to keep the ESG agenda at the heart of our business model."

Joining the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators

In line with its ambitions to become a regional leader in climate action, e& signed a significant Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA) at the UAE Pavilion as part of its participation at COP27.

The strategic partnership marks e&’s stance as the first entity from the UAE’s private sector to join the UICCA. The move reaffirms the group’s commitment to the climate action efforts led by the Group, while supporting the transition to a greener economy.

As the driving force towards actualizing the UAE’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050, UICCA’s mission is to enable and energize an ecosystem of public and private entities that have shared values and a joint vision of building a sustainable future.

The signing with e& at COP27, as the first private sector entity to join the UICCA, is a tremendous achievement that depicts its progress towards climate action aspirations by partnering together and pushing forward with its goals to preserve natural ecosystems for future generations.

This marks the beginning of the UICCA’s concentrated efforts towards supporting the UAE’s sustainable solutions commitment, as well as the acclaimed actions and efforts that have already been undertaken by the Egyptian presidency as part of the concerted efforts towards the “Decade for Action.”

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and we believe that tangible sustainable goals are essential to ensure a better future for generations to come,” said Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e&. “Today, we have taken an important step forward in visualising our sustainability strategy and supporting the UAE’s net zero climate action ambitions, and we remain confident that the signing of the MoU will become a catalyst for making the difference, as we inspire and motivate other corporates and organisations to drive the necessary change.

“The telecoms sector has always been a key enabler for other sectors to achieve their sustainability goals. Together, with UICCA, we will create an action group that will drive implementation of sustainability-based solutions in UAE’s ICT industry.”

UICCA is a non-partisan climate action entity that functions as a think tank, providing evidence-based policy recommendations on climate action to both the public and private sectors. Working across sectors’ industry groups, UICCA will actively work to build industry coalitions to facilitate the region’s transition to a green economy through activities that stimulate GDP growth, increase job creation and reinforce UAE’s position as a global hub for best practices in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).

Exploring Initiatives With Ericsson

The three-year partnership aims to support the net zero strategy of e& and Ericsson while exploring opportunities to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption. The companies will also collaborate in hosting a series of knowledge-sharing sessions covering Ericsson’s global expertise in energy-efficient strategies, such as its “Breaking the Energy Curve” initiative.

e& will continue to work towards reducing the carbon footprint through the utilization of Ericsson’s industry-leading and sustainable products and services. Ericsson's global product “Take-Back Program” will be explored further for potential collaboration that could support e& and drive responsible disposal and recycling of e-waste across the Group's network.

The partnership is part of e&’s ambition to accelerate the transition to net zero and underlines the importance of improving network energy performance to meet net zero targets.

Sabri Ali Albreiki, chief technology officer, e& international, says: "Through our partnership with Ericsson, we aim to accelerate the decarbonisation of our network infrastructure business by exploring the deployment of their latest generation of energy-efficient radio equipment and software features. We will also work together to use the Ericsson Product Take-Back programme to dispose of and recycle obsolete network equipment to high environmental standards. This agreement is part of e&'s broader commitment to reduce waste and achieve a sustainable low-carbon society.”  

Ekow Nelson, vice president and head of global customer unit for e& at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “Working with e&, we will explore various sustainability initiatives that will help them break the energy curve and develop greener network infrastructure in their countries of operation. Through our Global Product Take-Back and innovatively sustainable 5G solutions such as our intelligent RAN energy-saving software features, we are confident e& will be able to reduce its environmental footprint and manage the expected growth in data traffic using as little energy as possible.”

Cementing e&’s commitment to the environment, society and governance (ESG), the Group has become the first UAE private sector member of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators as part of the group's participation at COP27. Being present among other sustainable-focused thought leaders further reinforces e&’s strategic position as a driving force that inspires other corporates and organizations to play a significant role in supporting the UAE’s net zero commitment by 2050.

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