Bell planning for carbon neutral operations in 2025
First North American communications company to achieve ISO 50001 certification
Named one of Canada's Greenest Employers for a fourth straight year
BCE 2020 Annual Report highlights Environmental, Social and Governance strategy
MONTRÉAL, March 11, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today celebrated its status as the first North American communications company to achieve ISO 50001 certification for energy management by announcing a plan to be carbon neutral across its operations in 2025.
"We are proud to build on Bell's strong record of environmental leadership by announcing our objective to achieve carbon neutral operations across Canada's largest communications company in 2025," said Gordon Nixon, Chair of the Board of BCE Inc. "Bell's goal is to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world, a purpose enabled by consistent execution of the highest environmental, social and governance standards across the company's operations."
Bell's ESG commitment is highlighted in the BCE 2020 Annual Report to shareholders, available today at BCE.ca. In addition to detailing Bell's financial and operating results for 2020, and success in delivering for Canadians in a uniquely challenging year, the report outlines ESG targets and metrics for environmental sustainability; diversity and inclusion; privacy and information security; and community investment, including the ground-breaking Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative.
"Bell is consistently ranked as one of Canada's greenest employers and most sustainable operators, and today's announcement of our industry-first ISO 50001 certification is welcome acknowledgement of our active focus on environmental leadership," said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada. "Our climate commitment extends throughout our own operations, and through the Bell network and customer service innovations that are critical enablers of the green economy, including the potential for 5G connections to enable unprecedented reductions in greenhouse gas emissions."
First in international environmental standards
The international ISO 50001 standard requires companies to adopt a strict set of energy management objectives, guidelines and practices that enable energy efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. ISO 50001 status is the latest example of Bell's world-class sustainability practices – we were also the first Canadian communications company to achieve ISO 14001 environmental certification.
As part of its energy management system (EnMS), Bell has optimized facility and equipment heating and cooling, cut electricity usage through LED lighting conversion and other operational innovations, reduced fuel consumption with ongoing fleet modernization, and invested in solar and other renewable energy options for cell sites and other installations. Bell also leverages the next-generation communications technologies we offer to customers, including video and teleconferencing, and Internet of Things (IoT) advancements enabling the optimization of asset and fleet management, home automation, smart buildings and smart cities.
With the launch of Canada's fastest 5G wireless network, Bell is accelerating the positive environmental impact of its networks. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association estimates 5G technology can support 1000x the traffic at half of current energy consumption over the next decade, enhancing the potential of IoT and other next-generation technologies to support sustainable economic growth. With Bell's plan to accelerate the rollout of its fibre, rural Wireless Home Internet and 5G networks with an additional $1 billion to $1.2 billion in capital investment over the next 2 years, Bell will double the reach of 5G to more than 50% of the Canadian population this year.
Canada's Greenest Employers
In 2020 Bell was named one of Canada's Greenest Employers for the fourth consecutive year, recognizing the company's focus on minimizing environmental impact, EnMS leadership, and success in ongoing initiatives to reduce waste and save energy. In 2020, Bell surpassed its objective to reduce GHG emissions, reducing the ratio of operational emissions by 34% from 2019 levels in proportion to network usage, and plans to further reduce operational emissions by 40% of 2019 levels by the end of 2021.
Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is Canada's largest communications company with more than 22 million residential, business and wireless customer connections across every province and territory. With a goal to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world, Bell provides the most extensive broadband wireless and wireline networks, innovative mobile, TV, Internet and business communication services, and the country's premier television, radio, out of home and digital media brands.
Bell is committed to the highest environmental, social and governance standards, reflected in our unparalleled community investment, leadership in international standards compliance and strong performance on sustainability indices including the Global Compact 100 Index, the FTSE4Good Global Index and the Jantzi Social Index. The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative confronts the challenge of mental illness by raising awareness and reducing stigma, including through the annual Bell Let's Talk Day, and funding for community care, research and workplace programs nationwide.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this news release are forward-looking statements, including statements relating to our plan to be carbon neutral across our operations in 2025, our GHG emission reduction plans, our two-year increased capital investment program to accelerate fibre, Wireless Home Internet and 5G footprint expansion and the benefits expected to result therefrom, our business outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities, and other statements that are not historical facts. All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws and of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events could differ materially from our expectations. These statements are not guarantees of future performance or events, and we caution you against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release describe our expectations at the date of this news release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date. Except as may be required by applicable securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Our capital investment and network deployment plans and the benefits expected to result therefrom are subject to risks and, accordingly, there can be no assurance that our capital investment and network deployment plans will be completed or that the benefits expected to result therefrom will be realized. The value of the planned investment assumes our ability to access or generate the necessary sources of capital. However, there can be no certainty that the required sources of capital will be available with the result that the actual investment made by us could materially differ from current expectations. For additional information on assumptions and risks underlying certain of our forward-looking statements made in this news release, please consult BCE's 2020 Annual MD&A dated March 4, 2021 (included in BCE's 2020 Annual Report), filed by BCE with the Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities (available at Sedar.com) and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (available at SEC.gov). This document is also available at BCE.ca.
SOURCE Bell Canada