South African mobile communications company Vodacom has launched what it says is the biggest green building in Lesotho. Built with an M80 million (US$6m) investment, the initiative is aimed at minimising the impact of climate change by reducing GHG emissions generated by operations.
The new building is said to be equipped with solar panels, is carbon neutral and powered by renewable energy at its headquarters in Maseru. The operator says the greening of its operations has proven a success for the business.
“A quarter of Vodacom Lesotho’s cell phone network is powered by ‘green’ base stations using energy-saving technologies such as wind and solar power to help reduce carbon emissions.”
Vodacom says its Lesotho base stations are powered independently of diesel generators or the national grid and are among the first of their kind worldwide. “Currently, 86 out of a total 300 base station sites in Lesotho are powered by a combination of solar and wind.”
Rishaad Tayob, Vodacom Lesotho Managing Director, added, “There is a strong business case for installing green base stations as they reduce on-going operating costs and these cost savings will ultimately benefit our customers.”
Diego Gutierrez, chief officer for international markets at Vodacom Group, reiterated the Group’s commitment, “Vodacom Lesotho’s success is a reflection of the level of support, partnership, and trust that the government of Lesotho and all Basotho have placed in the company.
We return that trust and support, in the form of explicit commitment, in the form of this investment, superior customer service and delivering products that empower customers and measurably contribute to socio-economic development in Lesotho.”
According to Vodacom, in 2012 it achieved South Africa’s first six-star Green Star rating for its Innovation Centre building in Midrand, Johannesburg.