Eurobites: Tele2 doubles down on greenhouse gases

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: O2 keeps unwanted tech out of landfill; Elon Musk raises UK jobs hopes.

  • Nordic operator Tele2 has set out ambitious new climate goals and got them approved by the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi), an organization made up of the United Nations and World Wide Fund for Nature, amongst others. Tele2 has made two specific commitments: reducing absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2025, and by 100% by 2029; and reducing Scope 3 emissions by 60% by 2029. (According to the Carbon Trust, Scope 1 covers emissions from company-owned or controlled sources, Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company, and Scope 3 covers all other indirect emissions that occur in a company's "value chain.") Tele2 claims that in 2020 it became the first telco in the Nordics and Baltics to be climate neutral in its own operations.

  • In related matters, Telefónica UK (O2) has revealed that since 2009 its device recycling scheme has paid out more than £250 million (US$355 million) in "cash back" to members of the public for their old tech, tech that they want to get rid of but not send to landfill. In the last year alone, O2, in partnership with Ingram Micro, has recycled more than 128,000 phones, tablets and smart watches – an estimated 21 tonnes of tech waste. O2 says that almost 95% of that discarded tech is refurbished and reused. O2's recycling scheme is open to everyone, regardless of their network.

  • Intelsat has opened a customer operations center in Johannesburg, South Africa. The facility will cover the entire African continent, handling various technical and service issues.

  • Will Elon Musk bring a Tesla factory in the UK? That's the possibility being mooted by some following the mouthy mogul's visit to Britain last weekend. As the BBC reports (citing a paywalled Telegraph story), his private Gulfstream jet touched down at glamorous Luton Airport, prompting fevered speculation that Musk might be bringing some jobs across the Atlantic. The northern England region of Teesside is particularly getting its hopes up on this front, if this report on Gazette Live is anything to go by.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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