Axiata Sustainability

ADVANCING TO ZERO

Addressing the critical global issue of our times

Climate Action

We place climate governance at the core of our organisation and our decision-making processes, with the Axiata Sustainability Steering Committee overseeing climate action and environmental management across our OpCos, and environmental performance included in the KPIs of all members of our senior management team.

Moreover, we leverage the combined specialisms of our talent base through the Collective Brain initiative to bring forth impactful environmental initiatives, while also collaborating with industry bodies such as GSMA. As a member of the GSMA Climate Action Taskforce, we maintain an eye on industry innovations, with the aim of implementing such initiatives towards reaching our net-zero goal.

Ultimately, our collective efforts are energised by our goal of achieving net-zero no later than 2050, with a near-term target to reduce operational emissions by 45% from a 2020 baseline, by 2030.

Outlook
Axiata’s Sustainability Steering Committee oversees climate action and environmental management across the OpCos – where each OpCo is driven by their own localised environmental agenda, regulatory landscape, policies and systems nationally, to deliver responsible operations that reduce negative impact on the environment for digital telcos to operate on greener, efficient and more sustainable energy and systems. Our carbon reduction strategy focuses on areas of operational control.
  • Strengthening Carbon Data Governance & Capabilities

In 2021, we placed focus on reviewing and updating our carbon inventory by using a newly developed Environmental Data System. Presented on a visual interactive dashboard, the data collected is critical to support the formulation of internal targets aligned with our Net-Zero Carbon Roadmap goals.

Towards this end, our enhanced approach to data governance is enabling us to carry out several crucial functions, as detailed below.

Tracking of energy consumption across the different energy sources in our operations

Tracking energy costs to keep an eye on regional electricity tariffs

Incorporating dynamic factors such as improved emission factors into our planning and target-setting processes

Managing single-source and multiple-source energy sites for site planning

Interactive Carbon Dashboard

Provides enhanced oversight of all OpCos’ emissions performance

Enhances our ability to identify the impact of improvements towards our 2030 target.

Tracking energy consumption across the different energy sources in our operations

Tracking energy costs to keep an eye on regional electricity tariffs

Incorporates dynamic factors such as 3 improved emission factors as regionally there is less fossil-fuel powered electricity

Managing single-source and multiple-source 4 energy sites for site planning aligned to climate ambition at Group

Our carbon data governance, and accompanying visual interactive dashboard, were strengthened as these form an important reference point to steer our short- and long- term targets as well as action plans. However, with increasing technology, digitisation and remote monitoring, we hope for our data collection, monitoring and tracking to continue to improve.

Interactive Carbon Dashboard

Provides enhanced oversight of all OpCos’ emissions performance

Enhances our ability to identify the impact of improvements towards our 2030 target.

  • Accelerating Energy Efficiency

2021 saw a rapid adoption of energy efficiency technologies and processes across the Group, with our OpCos placing particular focus on phasing out energy-intensive hardware and carrying out the electrification of sites, thereby reducing reliance on diesel generators. Detailed information on the energy efficiency initiatives launched by our OpCos can be found in the Climate Action topic within our Sustainability and National Contribution Report 2021.

How We Are Strengthening Energy Efficiency Across Our OpCos

With our physical networks making a substantial contribution to Group-wide energy use, we introduced various energy saving measures across our operations including:

Electrification

Phasing out back-up diesel generators and introducing solar generators for a zero-emissions alternative

Optimising
Tower-sites

Phasing out energy-intensive hardware equipment while carefully considering the dependency of certain communities on legacy equipment

Introducing Remote
Monitoring Technology

Unlocking the ability to continuously and remotely monitor and optimise tower sites

Introducing Artificial
Intelligence and IoT

Identifying anomalies and energy-inefficiencies through data analytics

  • Choosing Renewable Energy

In our drive to increase adoption of renewable energy across the Group, the current regulatory landscape for the implementation of large-scale solutions remains underdeveloped. However, extensive feasibility studies and ROI assessments have continued apace across our OpCos with the goal of identifying the most viable renewable energy solutions per country and region.

Meanwhile, key sustainability professionals across our business footprint are active participants in industry and decision-making level policy forums, advocating the introduction of regulations that would enable the development of the necessary infrastructure to make more substantial progress.

  • Building Greener Telco Towers

Our tower infrastructure company edotco specialise in the construction of green telco towers, being the first company in the world to develop a tower built out of bamboo and continuously exploring alternative construction materials to reduce its carbon emissions.

Over the past year, edotco’s renewable energy portfolio has increased from 1,692 to 2,350 sites, while its emissions per site has dramatically decreased by 63% from a 2013 baseline.

3-legged towers which use 30% less steel

25%

Reduction in carbon emissions per site

Sleeker, innovative tower designs using less materials

30% – 60%

Reduction in carbon emissions per site

20 towers built using carbon fibre

20%

Reduction in carbon emissions per site

29 towers built using bamboo

70%

Reduction in carbon emissions per site

3-legged towers which use 30% less steel

25%

reduction in carbon emissions per site

Sleeker, innovative tower designs using less materials

30% – 60%

reduction in carbon emissions per site

20 towers built using carbon fibre

20%

reduction in carbon emissions per site

29 towers built using bamboo

70%

reduction in carbon emissions per site

3-legged towers which use 30% less steel

25%

Reduction in carbon emissions per site

Sleeker, innovative tower designs using less materials

30% – 60%

Reduction in carbon emissions per site

20 towers built using carbon fibre

20%

Reduction in carbon emissions per site

29 towers built using bamboo

70%

Reduction in carbon emissions per site

edotco’s Progress Towards Greener Tower Sites

1 Calculations on carbon emission reductions are based on in-house estimations which are currently undergoing an external audit and verification process which will be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2022.

2 These reflect the proportion of sites based on the total number of tower sites for each respective year.

  • Contributing To National Climate Ambitions

Conscious of the importance of climate action to the long-term advancement of our societies and economies, our OpCos take a leadership role in driving collaboration and progress towards national climate ambitions, nurturing relationships and initiating meaningful discourse with their suppliers, government authorities and other stakeholders. By investing in this process of engagement, they are driving awareness of the urgency of the climate challenge and encouraging the adoption of solutions that create shared value.

Robi is working on multiple fronts, empowering its suppliers to adopt renewable energy towards meeting pre-agreed targets while incentivising the uptake of solar energy amongst its employees. They have also initiated a feasibility study of large-scale solar solutions in collaboration with Bangladesh’s Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), with the aim of enabling better renewable energy accessibility in the country.

Smart have invested in Okra Solar – a company that helps rural communities access affordable solar using an advanced distributed energy technology. The investment reflects Smart’s overall focus on solar energy adoption as a cornerstone of their climate action agenda, whereby they have also added solar to 115 new coverage sites and 500 existing sites.

edotco have collaborated with the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MET) to form the National Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Network, hosting greenhouse gas monitoring stations on three of their towers.

Ncell has partnered with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the Go Green Initiative to promote cycling as a sustainable mode of urban transportation. This programme leverages technology to track, map, credit and reward cycling for healthy cities, as well as promotes the initiative through gamification and rewards. Through promoting cycling, Ncell aim to contribute to the city’s approach to sustainable, lower-carbon mobility in line with promoting a healthy lifestyle and urban environment.

Robi is working on multiple fronts, empowering its suppliers to adopt renewable energy towards meeting pre-agreed targets while incentivising the uptake of solar energy amongst its employees. They have also initiated a feasibility study of large-scale solar solutions in collaboration with Bangladesh’s Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), with the aim of enabling better renewable energy accessibility in the country.

Smart have invested in Okra Solar – a company that helps rural communities access affordable solar using an advanced distributed energy technology. The investment reflects Smart’s overall focus on solar energy adoption as a cornerstone of their climate action agenda, whereby they have also added solar to 115 new coverage sites and 500 existing sites.

edotco have collaborated with the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MET) to form the National Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Network, hosting greenhouse gas monitoring stations on three of their towers.

Ncell has partnered with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the Go Green Initiative to promote cycling as a sustainable mode of urban transportation. This programme leverages technology to track, map, credit and reward cycling for healthy cities, as well as promotes the initiative through gamification and rewards. Through promoting cycling, Ncell aim to contribute to the city’s approach to sustainable, lower-carbon mobility in line with promoting a healthy lifestyle and urban environment.

  • Promoting Natural Carbon Removal Solutions

Conscious of the importance of climate action to the long-term advancement of our societies and economies, our OpCos take a leadership role in driving collaboration and progress towards national climate ambitions, nurturing relationships and initiating meaningful discourse with their suppliers, government authorities and other stakeholders. By investing in this process of engagement, they are driving awareness of the urgency of the climate challenge and encouraging the adoption of solutions that create shared value.

edotco has undertaken extensive tree planting initiatives since 2018, planting a total of 38,500 trees as of end-2021, and will continue to strengthen actions in this area in support of the company’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

In 2021, Ncell completed the greening of a 10.2km stretch of the Koteshwor-Kalanki ring road. Moving forward, they will continue to fund the maintenance of the newly greened area, driving long-term benefit for the city.

  • Our Performance In 2021

Although there was an overall increase in carbon emissions at Group in 2021 compared to 2020 (6%), these can be attributed to the efforts in the year to enhance 4G coverage and quality across our operating markets against the 2020 performance which was affected by the pandemic. There is continuous effort to ingrain energy efficiency into our network operations through technological advancements and the procurement of products and services that are more efficient. Where practical, increasing the use of renewables is an approach that the Group will assess for adoption where there are opportunities across our footprint.

Group Total Carbon Emissions

Total Carbon Emissions By OpCo (tCO2e)

Total Energy Consumption by Source

Energy and Carbon Intensity (Digital Telcos Only)

Description of our material matters

Our material matters are determined through a bi-yearly process of materiality assessment, detailed below:

1. Review Of Material Matters

We review and update our material matters in response to changes in our business landscape, risk environment, internal policies, KPIs, emerging local and global sustainability trends, regulatory developments and stakeholder opinions. Our review also incorporates peer benchmarking.

2. Stakeholder Engagement

We conducted a structured stakeholder prioritisation exercise by leveraging insights from our dialogue with various stakeholders on our material matters. This allows us to identify the influence and dependence of key stakeholders on the Group. We then engage with the prioritised stakeholders to obtain their feedback on material matters.

3. Sustainability Impact Assessment

Upon identification of our material matters, we conducted workshops within the Group to further prioritise materiality matters from the business perspective.

Description of sustainability material matters - Next Generation Digital Champion

Material matter

Description

Material matter

Description

Sustainable Business Growth

Consideration of Economic, Environmental and Social (EES), and positive direct and indirect value creation in our strategic investment decisions to enhance our shareholder returns

Network Quality & Coverage

Enhancing network quality and coverage through continuous improvements in efficiency, availability and reliability

Digital Inclusion

Providing affordable and innovative products and services in bridging the digital gap

Digitisation & Modernisation

Technological innovation to enhance key internal business functions, improve process efficiency and effectiveness, and promote innovation and business continuity

Description of sustainability material matters - Environment

Material matter

Description

Material matter

Description

Climate Action

Internal controls and monitoring mechanisms to manage environmental impacts

Resource & Waste Management

Towards circular economy within our operations as well as the solutions we can provide our customers and supply chains waste management

Description of sustainability material matters - Social

Material matter

Description

Material matter

Description

Fair Employment & Welfare

Fostering fair recruitment practices by embracing diversity and inclusion in the workforce, and offering employees fair compensation and benefits

Talent Development

Promote development and uplift competencies of employees to respond to the rapidly changing and complex business environment

Employee Health, Safety & Wellbeing

Providing for the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees in ways that address key challenges and bring value to their livelihood in the workplace

Customer Service

Delivering a differentiated user experience for customers, and offering the most affordable products and services relative to customer promise in our highly competitive markets

Supply Chain Management

Consideration of EES factors across supply chain management and processes

Community Development

Financial and non-financial contributions to support local communities, underprivileged and underserved groups

Emergency & Disaster Response

Providing society in times of emergency and disaster, through the contribution of our business streams in disaster response

Description of sustainability material matters - Governance

Material matter

Description

Material matter

Description

Business Ethics & Compliance

Enhance business integrity compliance within the ambit of Malaysian and international laws on bribery and corruption

Data Privacy & Cyber Security

Protection of all data, information and intellectual property against cyber security breaches

Regulatory & Political Risk

Management of the evolving changes in the regulatory landscape and political context