Vodafone Group has announced that by 2020 it will reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% against its 2006/7 baseline of 1.23 million tonnes.

The telecoms company says this target will be achieved mainly by improvements in energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy.

As part of its climate change strategy, Vodafone will be focusing on developing products and services which will help customers limit their own emissions too.

Arun Sarin, Vodafone CEO, says: "This is the right decision for a responsible business to take. It is good for the environment but also makes sense for the business. It resonates from a financial perspective as improving energy efficiency helps us to control costs".

"It also resonates with customers as developing new products and services, such as our plans for solar-powered phone chargers, and universal phone chargers for Vodafone-branded handsets will help customers to limit their own emissions and this is something they value more and more."

"We have reviewed the options, including carbon off-setting, and have concluded that the most effective strategy is to cut our CO2 emissions directly."

"There are no simple solutions to what is a complex challenge, but through operational changes and technological innovation we will focus on improving energy efficiency in our networks, which account for 80% of our emissions. We will use renewable energy when and where we can."

"We hope that making this public commitment now will encourage others to take similar action."