We started our engagement with the telecom industry in the year 2011 when we released "Dirty Talking", the report highlighting the misuse of diesel subsidy by the profit making sector. This report shook the entire industry and several important politicians took note of the issue and raised it in Parliament as well.

As part of this campaign Greenpeace along with lakhs of supporters started asking Bharti Airtel, the biggest telecom company in India and 5th largest in the world, to acknowledge the issue and take necessary leadership. Greenpeace activists painted 'Switch off Diesel' at Bharti Airtel's head-office building in Gurgaon. Bharti Airtel brought the industry associations in picture, but Greenpeace activists and supporters continued with their demand, asking the telecom giant to switch-off diesel from its operations through online petitions, fax and SMS.

Airtel action

The telecom sector initially remained silent on this, but with continued pressure from Greenpeace and lakhs of mobile consumers like you, they had to come forward. Thereafter we saw several meetings and roundtable conferences being organised on this issue, yet what was missing was action on ground.

The Department of Telecommunications' Green Telecom Directive issued last year was a positive and much needed step. The directive makes it mandatory for telecom operators to shift to renewable energy, set up progressive emission reduction targets and make a timely disclosure of their carbon emissions.

In the year 2012 Greenpeace released 'Enabling Clean Talking' an economic and environmental road map for implementation of the progressive Green Telecom Directive issued by the Department of Telecom. The industry took note of the report and appreciated the same. Greenpeace has been successful in bringing this issue to the forefront and made the industry and the government focuses on the same.

Our continuous engagement with Bharti Airtel resulted in them releasing their sustainability report this year. This is a welcome step and we hope to see more companies follow suit. Vodafone had already released their sustainability report in the year 2011.

Moreover when the diesel prices were revised recently, the government brought in the concept of dual pricing. The bulk consumers like telecom companies will have to pay a higher price for purchasing diesel for their operations, making dirty diesel even more economically unviable for the sector.

This campaign achieved what it aimed for. Along with lakhs of supporters like you, Greenpeace has been able to move the industry towards clean energy. We hope that more organisations come forward and advocate for growth decoupled with carbon emissions and create more success stories for our planet.