Airtel fails to grab the opportunity to become a clean corporate leader

Hides behind the industry association by being non committal to come out clean

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Press release - June 10, 2011
New Delhi, June 10th, 2011- The talks between Greenpeace and telecom giant Airtel today failed as the telecom operator refused to commit to a timeline to disclose its carbon emissions and phase out diesel from its telecom tower operations.

In a clear case of hiding behind the industry association and desisting from taking responsibility, the senior management representatives of the telecom giant along with those from Indus Towers (an Airtel joint venture), Bharti Infratel (Bharti Airtel’s fully owned subsidiary) and Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI), said COAI would report to Greenpeace in three months on possible areas of cooperation.

Greenpeace delegation was led by Campaign Director Divya Raghunandan, Campaigners Abhishek Pratap, Mrinmoy Chattaraj and Amrin Shaikh.

“It is unfortunate that Airtel failed to agree to our demands and thus there was no headway in the meeting. We are urging the company to reconsider its stand on the issue and come out clean in the public. ”said Divya Raghunandan, Campaign Director, Greenpeace India.

The meeting between Airtel and Greenpeace was held a week after Greenpeace staged a demonstration outside Airtel headquarters in Gurgaon near New Delhi demanding the company to switch off diesel1.

Despite earlier having indicated that Airtel will give a commitment on the timelines for carbon emission disclosure and diesel phase out, it did not come up with a clear roadmap, In fact, it insisted that the entire industry needs to give commitment and  will come back only after three months on what the entire industry will commit.

Greenpeace has been urging Airtel to-

  • Publicly disclose the carbon emissions of its entire business operation and establish progressive emission reduction targets
  • Commit to shift the sourcing of 50% of its energy requirements towards renewable energy sources and phase out diesel use in its business operations by 2015.
  • Catalyse a low-carbon economy wide growth, by using its brand power to advocate for strong policies that promote renewable energy

Notes to editor


For further information, contact:

Abhishek Pratap, Senior Campaigner, Greenpeace India, +91 98456 10749,

Shashwat Raj, Media Officer, Greenpeace India, +91 968686 1974,