Orange Egypt Shares Its Inspiring Journey To "Zero Carbon"

Ahram Online , Monday 21 Nov 2022

Orange Egypt has revealed massive efforts it has made over many years to achieve its ambitious goal of carbon neutrality, or "zero carbon emissions".


After investing millions of pounds in advanced technologies that contribute to reducing emissions and rationalizing energy in its buildings, branches, networks, stations, and entire chain of operations throughout Egypt, the company is miraculously close to achieving this goal and ahead of schedule.

On the occasion of (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Orange Egypt unveiled an exciting journey that began in 2015 to achieve "zero carbon," when 193 countries, including the European Union, met in Paris on the sidelines of COP 21 and concluded an agreement to significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

At the time, the most optimistic countries aimed to achieve "zero carbon" by 2050, but Orange group set an ambitious goal of achieving this goal by 2040, and work began immediately to assess the group's and all its subsidiaries' situation in different countries, and Egypt of course was a top priority, as it has the largest market in terms of subscribers.

Outstanding accomplishments

Orange Egypt spared no effort in moving forward in achieving the climate goal, so it quickly developed plans and strategies to achieve zero carbon, taking into account the implementation of all carbon neutrality standards approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for telecommunications companies.

Orange Egypt has invested half a billion pounds in order to acquire these climate-friendly innovations, and will bear the increases in operating costs as long as this increase will transform its operations into green operations.

Orange Egypt's carbon-emission strategy is also clearly focused on several axes in its chain of operations, the most important of which are the networks and external stations, the headquarters and administrative buildings, as well as its branches and stores.

Orange Egypt's passion for the environment was translated into impressive figures, most notably that the company managed to reduce carbon emissions in some of its main operations by 50% over the last two years, and save energy consumption by more than 40%. However, the company is on track to achieve "zero carbon" status by 2040.

Orange Egypt is the first to launch ecofriendly networks

Orange Egypt decided to focus on the environment file in one of the most difficult and important areas facing telecommunications companies in general around the world, which are towers, networks, and stations, after evaluating its series of operations.

Some external components based on fossil fuels "diesel" have been developed because they are frequently outside the scope of government electricity coverage, and diesel is, of course, a major source of harmful emissions to the environment.

Orange Egypt has become the first and only company in Egypt to obtain an international ISO certificate due to its efficient use of energy in its towers, networks, external stations, administrative buildings, branches, and data transmission centers.

It received this certification after implementing an ambitious plan to reduce emissions using new and smart technologies while maintaining the highest process quality and network efficiency standards.

Orange Egypt has succeeded in operating a large number of towers and stations using 100% solar energy over the last two years, and has also converted hundreds of sites to work with hybrid energy by installing modern generators that reduce the use of diesel while also working on charging high-efficiency lithium batteries. This means that the number of conventional generators has decreased by more than 55%, and the generator operating time has decreased to less than 6 hours daily.

These technologies clearly had an impact in reducing diesel use by 50%, i.e., millions of liters of diesel were avoided, which has an impact on the environment and climate.

As a result, the company decided to switch to a more efficient and energy-saving system, which succeeded in rationalizing energy consumption and reducing carbon emissions by up to 40% per station.

All of these developments have led to a reduction in network electricity consumption of approximately 21 thousand megawatt-hours over the last two years. subsequently, despite the fact that its equipment is more expensive, the company decided to switch to a more efficient and energy-saving system, which succeeded in rationalizing energy consumption and reducing carbon emissions by up to 40% in a single station.

Orange Egypt's smart village headquarters is a great source of oxygen

Orange Egypt's headquarter is located in the Smart Village, in a building that has been outfitted with everything needed to become smarter, greener, energy-saving, and environmentally friendly. It also serves as an oxygen source!

Before entering the building, the size of the green space surrounding it is really impressive, as 6000 square meters of green space surrounding the building has been provided with plants of special types to provide the site with enough oxygen for the living of more than 5,000 people annually.

Furthermore, tall trees and palms surrounding the building form a natural noise shield and a green filter that purifies the surrounding air from impurities and eliminates noise, allowing employees to have more fresh air and a good feeling by reducing stress and fatigue, and increasing productivity.

Orange building is distinguished by a pipe cooling system that relies on the chilled water cycle inside, and unlike other nearby buildings, Orange has developed this system so that the water cycles are repeated several times to take full advantage of their coldness, resulting in a 48% reduction in water use in 2021 compared to 2019.

Furthermore, Orange has implemented many applications of rationalization and carbon reduction in its headquarters, such as the automated (BMS Systems) system to ensure saving energy consumption, where the system operates buildings from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., controlling electrical consumption, turning off the air conditioning from 4:30 p.m., and lighting by 50%, in addition to the use of LED technology. This allowed the company to cut energy consumption inside the building by 48% in 2022 versus 2019.

Orange Egypt Is A Forerunner In Using Green Footprint In Telephone Exchanges And Branches

Orange Egypt is one of the companies that has taken the lead in implementing what is known as the green footprint, as Orange Egypt's development plan extended to its subsidiaries and the telephone exchanges it manages nationwide.

Regarding phone exchanges, Orange has set a direct plan to rely on clean and renewable energy by contracting directly with suppliers to install solar cells on the roofs of the exchanges and the main mobile switching centers, so that these cells become a reliable source of energy supply.

A complete digitization plan has been implemented at the branch level, reducing the reliance on paper, even in internal advertisements, which are now broadcast on screens, in addition to the use of energy-saving lighting.

In terms of products, Orange has implemented several digital transformations to reduce reliance on paper recharging cards, and the company has also launched Eco-SIM cards made of environmentally friendly and recycled materials, with the goal of reducing plastic consumption and carbon footprint.

Orange's Future store in Sharm El Sheikh

Orange Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh store, which is one of the most eco- friendly workplaces ever, serves as a model for how all branches should evolve in the future. It provides efficient services to customers while respecting the environment and climate, by embracing water, energy, waste disposal self-sufficiency.

In this store, you can easily drink a glass of water produced by a device that converts humidity in the air into pure water (via UV filtration) at a rate of 20 liters per day, enough for 125% of the store's customers. It also saves up to 1700 plastic bottles annually.

Additionally, you will also be able to breathe clean, impurity-free air thanks to the green walls that are watered and cared for inside the store by AI technologies that provide oxygen for 18 people for 24 hours (72,000 cubic meters of fresh air annually), reducing the temperature, humidity, and noise, and creating an optimal workplace for employees and customers.

In the store, there is a bin AI Automatic Sorting Waste container that sorts and separates waste into recyclable and non-recyclable parts while also absorbing strange odors caused by waste.

Sensors are strategically placed throughout the store, including around doors, windows, and other entry points. They are designed to use as little energy as possible. The degree of cooling inside the store changes automatically based on the number of customers, the time of day or night, or the temperature outside. Furthermore, the humidity levels are automatically adjusted to a comfortable level.

 All of these systems are linked to a cutting-edge intelligent quality monitoring system that calculates and regulates the energy consumed during heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, as well as counting the number of people who have entered the store, monitoring carbon dioxide and oxygen levels, detecting viruses, and performing other tasks.

It is not a surprise that this iconic store, with all of its eco-friendly technologies and innovations, can reduce emissions by 0.64 metric tons per year, which will have a significant impact on our planet if replicated across all branches.

ISO certificates are international recognition of Orange's accomplishments

Orange Egypt has received two ISO certificates in the fields of environment and energy efficiency in 2022 alone, confirming that its environmental strategy is on track and yielding tangible results.

Orange Egypt is the first telecom operator in Egypt to be awarded the ISO 14064-1:2018 certificate of conformity. This certificate attests to Orange Egypt’s adherence to a greenhouse gas management, calculation, verification, and reporting system. The Company has implemented integrated systems that comply with previous ISO standards, with the ultimate goal of incorporating environmental factors across its value chain in the provision of mobile and landline services, network and tower maintenance.

Also, the Company has previously received the widely recognized Global ISO 50001 Certification for Energy Management Systems. This certificate confirms Orange Egypt's commitment to the best energy management practices and to the systematic approach it adopts to achieve ongoing energy performance improvement throughout its daily operations as a mobile operator, virtual fixed phone provider, tower Maintenance Company, provider of ADSL services, and other telecom services.

In the past years, Orange obtained a certificate of technical conformity to the international standard for environmental management systems "ISO14001:2015", which is concerned with enhancing its operational procedures.

Innovative initiatives...

Throughout the years of implementing its strategy to shift toward ecofriendly policies, Orange Egypt launched several initiatives and parallel campaigns to raise community awareness on environment and climate. This is part of the company's belief that the issue extends beyond the boundaries of the ICT sector and necessitates integrated community participation to achieve the desired higher goals in this regard.

Among the numerous campaigns, we highlight the initiatives to clean the Nile River, which were marked by the special participation of Orange employees, as well as competitions to encourage citizens to collect and recycle plastic water bottles in order to make other useful items such as clothes and others.

Regarding Orange's most recent initiatives in this field, it encourages customers to replace their old phones and electronic accessories inside any Orange branch and receive 2,000 units on accessories and 8000 units on devices that can be used for calls and the Internet. Thus, Orange will send this hazardous e- waste to the appropriate authorities for recycling and use in other products that benefit society, the environment, and the climate.

Orange was undoubtedly recognized at COP27

Since COP27 is a global event held specifically to discuss how to protect the planet and its climate, Orange Egypt has prepared powerfully to provide services befitting the massive event and raise awareness of the importance of the issue for our future.

All attendees were able to access free internet from Orange via Wi-Fi in the touristic walkway. It was also simple to spot the company’s presence by looking at two telecom stations that Orange has launched to work in collaboration with solar energy as a model for providing environmentally friendly communication services with no carbon emissions. These stations are distinguished by their visual identity, which blend in with the surrounding greenery.

Furthermore, Orange has deployed professional and specialized teams in several locations in Sharm El-Sheikh to ensure that its services are provided with the highest possible efficiency throughout the event, whether at the level of operations or instant maintenance, as well as conducting periodic measurements of services and upgrading them as much as possible to ensure the provision of technical services befitting Egypt's position as the host country for this global event.

Moreover, Orange Egypt has signed a cooperation protocol with the New and Renewable Energy Authority of the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy to purchase renewable energy and use it to power its networks and sites across the country, as Orange has pledged to implement an integrated approach to achieve zero carbon in its networks, operations, buildings, and branches by 2040.


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