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Africa|Building|Business|Environment|Gas|Power|Projects|Resources|Services|Sustainable|Technology|Products|Environmental
africa|building|business|environment|gas|power|projects|resources|services|sustainable|technology|products|environmental

Connectivity in digital services will strengthen the resilience of society, climate change initiatives

3rd November 2021

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer

     

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The 2021 edition of the 'Global Risk Report' by the World Economic Forum highlighted environmental risks such as extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, the loss of biodiversity and failure to respond to climate change as some of the top risks facing the world in the years ahead.

Another recent report on global climate change and global warning, this time released by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), meanwhile, highlighted that in spite of the urgency of climate change, its challenges and the state of current commitments from countries around the world, “it is not enough to prevent rising temperatures”.

Referencing both of these reports, South African mobile operator Vodacom Group property and facilities managing executive Shobana Singh lamented the worsening situation, which, according to previous forecasts, will see an estimated temperature increase of 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels.

Speaking at this year’s Green Building Convention on November 2, Singh stressed that vulnerable countries were more at risk of the impact of rising temperatures and were often at the frontline of climate crisis initiatives, compared with developed countries, which were often “lagging in near-term goals and lagging in efforts with respect to planning concerns”.

South Africa, meanwhile, is particularly vulnerable to these impacts, as it is being impacted by twice the global rate according to the IPCC report.

“The frequency and severity of extreme weather events in our country is dissipated to amplify further global warming projections. In the normal business-as-usual trajectory, a factory basically will be severely impacted by the consequences of further global warming, which in turn, threatens our inequality, and reverses poverty alleviation efforts,” she lamented.

In addition, this will exacerbate the country’s unemployment concerns, which was further amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Taking the severity of the global situation, together with the local situation, into account, Vodacom’s journey of being purposely an organisation guided by our social contract has remained a key focus,” Singh told attendees.

Vodacom leverages its technologies, as well as its communication capabilities to connect people and businesses in a world that is increasingly becoming digital.

The mobile operator has already connected people into a digital society and believes that it can further reduce the digital divide and improve people's lives through connectivity, technology and digital services, which Singh said would ultimately serve as an engine for growth, economic prosperity, inclusion, as well as sustainable development.

“Our focus remains consistent and aligns with our transition to an increasingly digital world, a move which will be a fast-paced transition to the digital age. Our goal is to democratise access to connectivity to make the digital platforms truly accessible for everyone,” Singh said, emphasising that the company intends to “leave no one behind”.

In getting to meet its customer needs and expectations, she added that Vodacom “recognises and understands that this will increase demand for the planet's resources”.

Vodacom intends to serve and strives to act responsibly and ethically to ensure that its commitment remains environment-friendly as it continues its journey to connect the next 100-million customers while targeting greenhouse-gas emission reduction.

In the interim, Vodacom is scrutinising its environmental, social and corporate governance performances, as well as their weighting in terms of sourcing products and services.

In this regard, sustainability has become a critical strategic topic.

Vodacom’s new products are aimed at channeling capital towards projects and achieving positive environmental and social impacts.

Additionally, the operator is also guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a blueprint for progress, as well as a call to action for businesses to contribute to a better future.

Singh said the penetration of digital technologies would facilitate an acceleration in progress towards delivering sustainable goals, leading to a society in which Vodacom has a vital role to play, while also partnering with stakeholders.

“Power of connectivity in digital services will strengthen the resilience of society while making the world fairer, greener and more inclusive for everybody.”

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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