Maseru — MOBILE operator, Vodacom, has launched the biggest green building in Lesotho at a cost of R80 million (US$5,76 million).
This is in support of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Covered with solar panels, the building is carbon neutral and powered by renewable energy at its headquarters in Maseru.
This is the second green-build Vodacom Group has launched. In 2012, Vodacom achieved South Africa's first six-star Green Star rating for its Innovation Centre building, in Midrand, Johannesburg.
Through its latest green building initiative, Vodacom intends to take a leading role in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in the country of Lesotho.
The building is an additional milestone in a string of successes, achievements, and 'firsts' that Vodacom has had in Lesotho in recent years, Vodacom Lesotho Managing Director, Rishaad Tayob, said.
"There is a strong business case for installing green base stations as they reduce on-going operating costs and these cost savings will ultimately benefit our customers. This is why it was a natural for us to launch a green build," Tayob said.
A quarter of Vodacom Lesotho's cell phone network is powered by 'green' base stations using energy saving technologies such as wind and solar power to help reduce carbon emissions.
Vodacom Lesotho's base stations are powered independently of diesel generators or the national grid and are among the first of their kind world-wide.
Currently 86 out of a total 300 base station sites in Lesotho are powered through a combination of solar and wind.
Vodacom Lesotho's other environmentally conscious technologies include power system optimisation that ensures that in the event of power failure, a traditional site continues to operate for up to three hours on stored battery power before a diesel generator kicks in.
Diego Gutierrez, Chief Officer for International Markets at Vodacom Group, reiterated the company's commitment to ensuring a successful operation in Lesotho.
He Vodacom Lesotho's success was a reflection of the level of support, partnership and trust the government and all Basotho placed in the company.
"We return that trust and support, in the form of explicit commitment, in the form of this investment, superior customer service and delivering products that empower customers and measurably contribute to socioeconomic development in Lesotho."