As of January 1st 2009, all minutes carried across the Gamma Telecom network are carbon neutral. This is a first in the UK telecoms market, and is particularly beneficial to businesses and Channel Partners who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
“This is more than just a gimmick,” says Bob Falconer, Gamma’s CEO. “We have dramatically reduced our power consumption in running the Gamma network as we’ve moved to a softswitch environment. We now decided to move to the next stage and reduce our carbon footprint by carbon offsetting the power that we do use to carry minutes across our network. In terms of leading the green agenda, this really is a first for any UK telecommunications company”.
Richard Bligh, Marketing Director, explained how it can benefit the channel. “It is hard with traditional voice minutes to uniquely differentiate yourself against other Carriers. Our green minutes product achieves precisely that. More importantly for our Channel Partners, it gives them something new and different to sell against the competition. Even in the current climate, the green agenda is important to many small businesses, and providing green minutes as part of a broader solution can be a deal winner for some of our Channel Partners. This is particularly true for resellers providing telephony services for the public sector, where reducing the organisations carbon footprint is becoming a key objective.”
The process for developing the Green Minutes proposition involved Gamma Telecom using independent consultants to measure Gamma’s Carbon footprint, based upon the electricity power consumed transporting minutes around the Gamma network. Gamma then approached CarbonNeutral Ltd to offset the value of our carbon footprint onto appropriate projects that would not have happened without carbon offset investment.
Gamma is investing in two projects – an Indian Wind Power Project in India and the Sichuan Province Hydro Power Project in China. The Wind Power Project is similar to Jamnagar Wind Power Project which sees the construction of a number of new wind turbines and helps to reduce India’s reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation by providing renewable energy. This project will provide reliable, renewable power to the electricity grid and will directly benefit nearby villages through the provision of local employment.
The Sichuan Province Hydro Power Project bundles four small run-of-river hydro power stations and displaces electricity that would otherwise have been generated by fossil-fuel power stations. The project brings benefits besides that of climate change mitigation, including job creation and helping to address the shortfall of electricity available on the regional grid, with benefits to local households and economic development of businesses as well as providing energy security to the general community.