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Bridging the gap: How tower companies can lead the charge towards sustainable connectivity

Tower companies are the unsung heroes of our hyper-connected world. Their vast network of cell towers silently facilitates the constant hum of communication, keeping us tethered to information and each other. However, this critical role comes at a cost – a carbon cost. And with the growth of global telecom power system market projected to grow from $4.2 billion in 2023 to $6.6 billion by 2028, this environmental impact is poised to climb.

At this juncture, tower companies find themselves at a pivotal crossroads, where innovation needs to meet responsibility. And surely, the trajectory towards a sustainable future beckons with promise, guided by transformative solutions and forward-thinking strategies rooted in the principles of circular economy, by optimizing energy use with renewable sources and advanced technologies, reducing waste, and engaging local communities. Through collaboration and innovation, towercos are not only minimizing environmental impact but also driving efficiency and creating value for stakeholders. In short, their sustainability journey exemplifies industry leadership and a commitment to a more sustainable future.

Practical measures to achieve ESG targets

With most organizations now aiming to reach and surpass ESG targets, it is no surprise that towercos and MNOs are looking at ways to minimize environmental impact and implement sustainable business practices. 

Energy efficiency and investing in renewable ownership

Optimizing energy usage through smart technologies and renewable energy integration, slashes carbon footprints and operational costs simultaneously. Moreover, towercos can further reduce reliance on the grid by investing in renewable energy sources like wind or solar farms, directly greening their operations. Tower companies and wireless infrastructure owners across the globe are at the forefront of sustainable practices, exemplifying the integration of environmental stewardship into their operations.

Summit Digitel, for instance, champions a systemic approach towards achieving its ESG goals, including the commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. They collaborate with partners to ensure a sustainable supply chain while boosting the adoption of renewable energy across all their sites in India. Concurrently, they implement energy-efficient measures across facilities, illustrating their dedication to environmental sustainability. 

Similarly, Vantage Towers proudly utilizes 100% renewable energy for its sites and continuously innovates to find even more sustainable solutions such as wind turbines.

Meanwhile, Cellnex pioneers energy-saving trends through pilot projects promoting self-production of solar energy and testing aluminium-air batteries as backup power sources at its sites.

Through such concerted efforts, these companies exemplify how optimizing energy usage and embracing sustainable practices go hand in hand, slashing carbon footprints while reducing operational costs.

Waste reduction and recycling 

Championing waste reduction initiatives, including proper waste sorting, recycling programs, and composting, is vital to minimize environmental impact and cultivate sustainability. Given that mobile towers are predominantly made of metals like aluminium and stainless steel, disposing of these materials in landfills presents considerable environmental risks. Such actions result in harmful toxins leaching into the soil, groundwater, and air, causing pollution. Opting for recycling and reprocessing methods over landfill disposal is imperative to mitigate environmental harm.

In what can be considered as an eco-conscious move, TOTEM has partnered with DeltaComGroup in Spain as an exclusive equipment reuse and recycling partner. This means that any telecom equipment and infrastructure that has reached the end of its useful life or become obsolete will be collected, disassembled and refurbished or scrapped by DeltaComGroup, with most equipment being given a new lease of life in Spain or in other countries.

Sustainable materials and construction

Prioritizing eco-conscious materials and construction practices and aligning with green building certifications like LEED and BREEAM are all key measures to ensure sustainable infrastructure development from inception to maintenance. The future of tower construction lies in utilizing eco-friendly materials with lower carbon footprints. Research into sustainable alternatives like bio-composite materials is already underway.

Towercos globally are looking to use alternative materials to bolster sustainability in telecommunication infrastructure. These include fiberglass, providing lightweight and durable alternatives to metal towers; carbon fibre, offering strength and corrosion resistance; timber and bamboo towers for eco-friendly solutions in natural environments; pre-stressed concrete for durability and minimal maintenance; recycled materials to reduce resource consumption; and innovative options like biodegradable plastics and natural fibres, minimizing environmental impact and promoting renewable resources.

One of the tower companies that is setting trends in this arena is Malaysia-based EDOTCO with its innovative use of bamboo to build towers in Bangladesh. The robustness and sustainability of bamboo offers a promising alternative to traditional steel towers, with the structure being capable of withstanding 210km/h winds and boasting a 10-year lifespan. After pioneering this innovation in Bangladesh, EDOTCO has rolled it out in Myanmar as well, emphasizing its commitment to sustainability and technological advancement.

AI-Powered Optimization

Artificial intelligence can play a crucial role in optimizing energy usage at tower sites. Imagine AI algorithms dynamically adjusting power consumption based on real-time traffic data, maximizing efficiency. Tower companies are exploring AI or automation to optimize tower operations, such as smart controls for heating/cooling or predictive maintenance, reducing unnecessary site visits, and enhancing operational efficiency.

Additional sustainability measures

Colocation – Sharing is caring (for the planet) 

Tower sharing of space with multiple operators not only reduces the overall number of towers needed, it also take away the financial burden for operators to manage their own sites. Tower companies can provide optimized services, manage energy costs and landlord rents, and empower operators to focus on their core business of providing communication services. Tower management software is a critical tool for towercos in this to help identify co-location opportunities, minimizing the environmental impact.

Looking beyond pass-through costs 

Towercos can incentivize sustainable practices among tenants, offering rewards for lower energy consumption or providing renewable energy options for powering their equipment.

Transforming towers into green hubs 

Exploring alternative uses for towers beyond telecommunications, such as integrating community solar panels or hosting urban gardens on rooftops, fosters a greener image and delivers community benefits.

Prioritizing transparency and communication 

Developing clear ESG strategies and openly communicating progress on sustainability goals helps to build trust with investors, tenants, and the public.

Tower Management Software: A game-changer for sustainability

Hand in hand with deploying strategies to drive sustainability and minimize environmental impact, tower companies wield a potent tool in Tower Management Software. This business-critical repository of site portfolio data not only streamlines operational efficiency, but also catalyses sustainability within the circular economy framework. Tarantula's telecom site management software, Red Cube, proudly stands as a partner for towercos in their transformative journey towards a greener future.

Tower management software is not just a nifty operational tool; it's a sustainability game-changer. The software acts as a central nervous system for tower operations, providing a wealth of data that empowers companies to make informed, eco-conscious decisions.

  • Resource optimization: Tower Management Software facilitates efficient resource allocation, minimizing waste and maximizing the lifespan of materials and equipment, thus aligning with the circular economy principle of resource optimization.
    • Material recovery and recycling: By tracking and managing materials used in tower construction and maintenance through digital tools, companies can implement strategies for material recovery and recycling, reducing reliance on virgin resources and minimizing environmental impact.
    • Extended product lifecycle: Through proactive monitoring and preventive maintenance, Tower Management Software extends the lifecycle of equipment and infrastructure, reducing the frequency of replacements and contributing to the circular economy's goal of prolonging product life.
    • Closed-loop systems: Integration with renewable energy sources such as solar and batteries enables tower companies to establish closed-loop energy systems, where energy generation and consumption occur within a self-sustaining cycle, minimizing reliance on external resources. An accurate and up-to-date fixed asset register through tower management tools helps towercos plan their energy optimization strategy.  
    • Colocation and shared infrastructure: By identifying opportunities for colocation and shared infrastructure, Tower Management Software promotes resource sharing and collaboration, optimizing space utilization and reducing the need for additional construction, in line with circular economy principles.

  • Data-driven decision-making: Leveraging data analytics, the digitalization software enables organizations to make informed decisions regarding resource allocation, maintenance schedules, and infrastructure planning, fostering efficiency and sustainability.
  • Automation and reduced site visits: Automation features within the software streamline operations and reduce the necessity for site visits, thereby curbing travel emissions.


As the digital landscape evolves, tower companies lead the charge for change, driven by innovation, collaboration, and a steadfast commitment to circular economy principles, shaping a more sustainable tomorrow. In this endeavour, Tower Management Software is a critical tool in empowering companies with invaluable data insights to optimize clean energy solutions, accelerating the journey towards sustainability and other tower management technologies creating a win-win situation for all players involved.