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New Delhi: Bharti Airtel has commissioned a 21 MW solar power plant in Bhuldana, Maharashtra to supply clean energy to its unit Nxtra's large and edge data centers, and switching centers in the state.

This is part of the company’s commitment to progressively reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to global efforts to curb effects of climate change, the telecom services provider said in a statement Tuesday.

The captive power unit, which is spread over 80 acres, has been set up by Airtel in partnership with Avaada.

The company expects a significant reduction of 25,517 tonnes in carbon emissions annually through this unit, it said.

Rajesh Tapadia, CEO, Nxtra, said, “Sustainability is a priority area for Nxtra by Airtel. This is yet another step towards fulfilling our commitment to source more than 50% power requirements of our data centres through renewable energy sources in next 12 months and contribute to Airtel’s overall Green House Gas (GHG) emission reduction targets."

Nxtra by Airtel has already commissioned two captive solar power units of 14 MW each in Uttar Pradesh. Nxtra has the largest network of data centers in India with 11 large and 120 edge data centers across the country and will invest over 5000 crore over the next four years to expand its capacity by three times.

Airtel has committed to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 Green House Gas (GHG) emissions across its operations by 50.2% by FY2031 (from FY2021 as base year).

The company has also committed to reducing absolute scope 3 GHG emissions by 42% over the same timeframe. It will achieve this through multiple interventions including accelerated green energy adoption across its network operations, energy efficient infrastructure and processes as well as implementing sustainable business practices at its workplaces.

Airtel is aligned to the Paris Climate Accord. It benchmarks against global standards and transparently publishes the progress it makes against the targets it has set itself.

Airtel is the first Indian telecom company to join the UN Global Compact - the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world comprising comprehensive Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. The company has also instituted a an ESG committee of Board of Directors to sharpen its focus on ESG initiatives.

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