Climate & Environment

Minimising our environmental footprint while growing our reach, and leveraging digital services to address climate change.
Digi pursues long-term environmental targets and this is reflected through the strategic and operational decisions that drive effective management of environment matters.

Balancing Growth with Sustainability

Digi has a large and growing footprint across Malaysia. With the increasing usage of digital services, we have seen a phenomenal growth in internet traffic on our network and this forms the continuous challenge to balance the demand for growth with the need for sustainability. While we understand our impact on the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and waste challenges, we are also aware of the huge potential of technology to decarbonise the entire economy.

Our climate strategy remains focused on pushing for energy efficiency gains in all aspects of our energy consumption to minimise our carbon footprint and pave the way to realise climate-friendly innovations. We continue to disclose our carbon footprint and we report as part of the Telenor Group to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) climate reporting system, in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting framework. For the fourth year in a row, CDP rated Telenor Group in their ‘Leadership’ category as part of its climate ranking list for 2017.

We continue to take guidance from the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) SMARTer 2030 Global Report which demonstrates ambitions of how responsible technology-enabled transformation initiatives can improve the quality of human life globally and create a more sustainable world. According to the report, by 2030, technology has the potential to slash global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions up to 20% by helping companies and consumers to use and save energy intelligently, thus contributing to operational efficiencies and wider societal benefits. For instance, to generate carbon savings in our downstream, our iFleet smart solution reduces fuel wastage and improves driving behaviour for corporate customers while Digi Connected Cars with AXA FlexiDrive is a commercial offering that rewards safe and efficient driving patterns, tracked based on speed and mileage. Meanwhile, Omni, our innovative enterprise-level virtual phone system allows enterprises to dematerialise and avoid resource-intensive setups for office phone systems or a call centre.

Energy and Carbon Reporting

While we saw energy savings in some indirect value chain emissions (Scope 3), we still recorded energy growth in our direct (Scope 1) and indirect emissions (Scope 2) resulting from our business growth. Our energy consumption increased by 12.9% while our carbon emissions increased by 13.4%.

All energy and emission figures (Scope 1,2 and 3) areassured by KPMG except for ^ which includes an estimation for diesel consumption in generators on standby. Standby generators account for 0.18% of total diesel consumption.

*Energy consumption from transportation reported in 2017 has been categorised to Scope 1 and Scope 3
Energy Intensity
unit : KWh per RM Revenue
Increased

15.7%

Energy Intensity Per End Use Customer
unit : KWh per customer

Carbon Emission

In 2018, our total carbon emission equivalent is at 182,457 tonnes (15.5% year-on-year rise). While the carbon intensity per customer has risen 23% to 0.016 tonnes CO2e due to demands of a growing subscriber base, the carbon intensity per data usage has decreased by 31% to 0.20 tonnes CO2e. This means that though the average customer is using more data, we have achieved a lower carbon footprint per unit of data consumed.


Carbon Intensity per end use Customer
unit : Tonnes CO2e Per Customer


Carbon Intensity per Data Usage
unit : Tonnes CO2e Per Customer
*Our boundary for carbon reporting only covers emissions from Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd. Emissions from our network, which accounts for our largest emissions, operate under this company. It does not include subsidiaries, outsourcing services or joint ventures.

Sustainable Workplace

Our buildings incorporate design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate negative impacts on the environment. These practices contributes to lower costs, provides new business models while optimising our employees’ health and wellness. We have undertaken several measures to further reduce energy consumption in our office buildings. Among others, we implemented the enhanced Building Automation System (BAS) and decentralized air-conditioning, resulting in improved cooling controls and reduction of electricity consumption. A mobile app linked to the BAS permits robust and timely controls to the multiple facilities in the building – chiller, lighting, water, fire safety, ventilation and air handling unit systems among others. Data points collected from these systems enable a more efficient energy improvement measures to be undertaken periodically.

For 2018, we registered over 950,000 kilowatt hour (kWh) savings or a 12.5% reduction in energy consumption at our headquarters in Shah Alam.

Next-Gen Infrastructure and Smarter Networks

In 2018, we were more intentional in implementing sharing models (up to 70% tower sharing), rolling out more efficient small cells and rooftop sites in place of larger base station towers which has a more significant environmental footprint. We were also more aggressive in converting fuel based generators to grid energy. However, our solar renewable energy sites were reduced to 41 sites as 16 sites were vandalised.

We undertook a change in operating model as we engaged Ericsson in a Common Delivery Centre (CDC) agreement to maintain our network operations for optimal efficiencies. This synergy provides us access to Ericsson’s latest technologies, tools and software to manage day-to-day operations and network expansion, and contributes towards greater energy efficiencies.

Managing Waste

Electrical Waste
The growing amount of e-waste not properly disposed of has health and environmental implications. E-waste directly produced from our operations is managed under the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulation 2005 and our E-Waste Guidelines.


Decommissioned network equipment constitutes the largest amount of e- waste generated by tonnes. We reuse equipment, and send those that are obsolete to recycle and be disposed of safely by a licenced vendor. Our target is to achieve 100% recycling rate of decommissioned electrical and electronic equipments through professional service providers who guarantee that the waste is processed, sorted, resold, recycled and disposed in an environmentally sound manner.

We continue with our collection of old mobile phones for responsible disposal through our e-recycling boxes in all Digi stores. This is in collaboration with the Mobile e-Waste: Old Phone New Life initiative which is a joint recycling and awareness initiative by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, Malaysian Technical and Standards Forum Berhad, and the industry.

Obsolete Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Collected
unit : tonnes
Recycled
unit : tonnes

General Waste

General waste and Recycling Rates
Waste Collected
unit : tonnes
Waste Recycled
unit : tonnes
Waste generated per employee (kg)

Water Consumption

In 2018, we recorded a marginal 1.2% increase in our water consumption across all our operations nationwide at 102,548 m3.

Future Plans and Solutions

Moving forward, our plans are focused on these key areas:
  1. Review and align climate reporting processes with the TCFD recommendations.
  2. Reduce energy demand of our network and buildings by investing in more efficient cooling technologies. This is in continuation of cooling initiatives implemented in our headquarters in 2018 where we realised carbon savings.
  3. Reduce vehicle fuel consumption through driver monitoring software and synergised fleet management under our new operating model.
  4. More aggressive conversion of sites from generator to grid energy to reduce dependency on fuel.
  5. Work towards zero office waste to landfill through better recycling efforts and removing single-use plastic waste.
  6. Instil good environmental management principles across our operations via the ISO 14001:2015 certified Environmental Management System.

Safe Use

We are committed to providing mobile connectivity safely to our customers. We support proactive engagement with stakeholders concerned on the misunderstanding of the low risk associated with electromagnetic frequency (EMF) matters and are open in how we ensure our emissions are within the prescribed levels.

In many Malaysian states, state backed companies are responsible for identifying sites and erecting towers, working with local authorities to obtain the required permits and engage local communities. Our transmission equipment adheres to stringent guidelines of the International Commission on Non Ionising Radiation Protectionon (ICNIRP) standards, endorsed by the World Health Organisation. We also take guidance from the ITU EMF Guide developed my MCMC in collaboration with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and represent the basis for all our planning, installation work and safety measures at antenna sites. An internal EMF Response Team investigates and addresses any complaints.

Telenor Group continues to be supportive of serious research efforts to establish whether there may be any negative health effects of exposure to EMF from mobile phones and infrastructure. With 5G emerging, there has been an increase in public requests on health risks related to EMF and 5G. As referenced from Telenor Group’s research on this area, it should be noted that 5G is not fundamentally different than previous generations of mobile networks; the emitted radio signals will use same or similar frequencies as 4G (700-3,700 MHz) or existing micro wave radio connections (26,000 MHz). Hence, existing research and safety limits are fully valid also for 5G. Supplementary 4G/5G services like Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to be abundant. Such connected devices are typically transmitting very limited data volume, and with batteries expected to work for more than 10 years without charging it is a prerequisite that IoT signal emissions will be extremely low. Further information of Telenor Group’s development in this area can be viewed here.