Indian communications solutions provider, Bharti Airtel (Airtel), has announced the commissioning of a new 21MW solar power plant in District Bhuldana, Maharashtra, as part of the company’s commitment to progressively reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to the global efforts to curb the effects of climate change.
The captive power unit, which is spread over 80 acres, has been set up by Airtel in partnership with Avaada to supply clean energy to Nxtra by Airtel’s large and edge data centres, and switching centres in the State of Maharashtra. The Company expects a significant reduction of 25,517 tonnes in carbon emissions annually through this unit.
Rajesh Tapadia, CEO, Nxtra by Airtel said: “Sustainability is a priority area for Nxtra by Airtel. This is yet another step towards fulfilling our commitment to source more than 50 per cent power requirements of our data centres through renewable energy sources in the next 12 months, and contribute to Airtel’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets.”
Nxtra by Airtel has already commissioned two captive solar power units of 14MW each in the State of Uttar Pradesh as part of its focus on green energy sources to power its growing operations. The Company has the largest network of data centres in India, with 11 large and 120 edge data centres across the country, and is planning to invest over RS 5000 Cr over the next four years to triple its capacity.
Airtel has also committed to reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions across its operations by 50.2 per cent by FY2031 (from FY2021 as the base year), as well as reducing absolute scope 3 GHG emissions by 42 per cent over the same timeframe. It is hoping to achieve this through multiple interventions, including accelerated green energy adoption across its network operations, energy-efficient infrastructure and processes as well as implementing sustainable business practices at its workplaces.
Airtel is the first Indian telecom company to join the UN Global Compact – the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world comprising comprehensive Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. The Company has also instituted an ESG Committee to sharpen its focus on ESG initiatives.