Extreme E and Vodafone Business team up to tackle wildfires in Sardinia

As Technology Communications Partner to Extreme E, Vodafone Business’ collaboration with the pioneering series extends beyond leading innovations in communications towards sustainable solutions.

Today Vodafone Business announced the next phase of its partnership with Extreme E.

Extending beyond racing to support the series’ local sustainability projects, Vodafone Business is launching a new Internet of Things (IoT) ultra-early forest fire detection system in a region of Sardinia hardest-hit during the wildfires of summer 2021.

Sardinia is the location for the Championship’s double-header event this week (6-7 and 9-10 July). Last year, forest fires devastated forests in Sardinia and elsewhere in the Mediterranean region. The fires blazed through 20,000 hectares of land, displaced over 1,000 people and killed around 30 million bees. Wildfires such as these are responsible for 20% of total global CO2 emissions and cost $5bn to fight.

Away from the course, Extreme E is embarking upon a legacy sustainability project to restore the historic olive groves lost to wildfires. Together, Extreme E and Vodafone Business will run a fire prevention campaign within the local communities in the area of Montiferru. As part of this project, Vodafone Business is deploying long-life Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) sensors to quickly detect any fire and promptly send an alert to the authorities.

The low-cost IoT gas sensors operate without the need for cellular coverage and will be installed in trees to detect the smouldering phase, before the fire takes hold, which will preserve forest footprint by shortening reaction times in the ‘golden hour’. Using a Mesh Gateway to connect to a cloud-based alert centre means this is a much faster-acting solution to the problem of wildfire detection than using cameras or satellites.

Many of Vodafone’s solutions have sustainability and inclusivity at their core, and through its IoT solutions Vodafone Business is helping sustainability efforts, including agriculture, forestation and decarbonisation of energy grids. This partnership will have many benefits for the local area and the environment, including:

  • Reduced cost of firefighting
  • Reduced impact to economy
  • Saves lives and wildlife species
  • Reduced insurance costs

Amanda Jobbins, CMO at Vodafone Business, said:
“At Vodafone Business our purpose is to help the organisations we work with connect for a better future, enabling an inclusive and sustainable digital society. We are thrilled to bring our technology to the fore to help Extreme E and its partner Medsea solve the urgent issue of early detection of wildfires in Sardinia.

“Our cloud-based IoT solutions are world-leading in their detection and communications capabilities, and are able to operate in particularly remote environments where the impacts of climate change have become the hardest to monitor. We believe this move will provide Sardinia’s hardest-hit region with the protection it needs from future devastating fires."

The exciting partnership includes full involvement in the purpose-driven elements of the series, with special prominence on Extreme E’s Legacy Programmes and the Science Laboratory on board the St Helena.

With sustainability at the heart of everything Extreme E does, the series will also be using Vodafone’s IoT solutions to monitor power usage to further minimise its carbon footprint.

Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “This collaboration in Sardinia is just the start of what promises to be an innovative partnership with Vodafone Business.

“Integrating solutions to raise awareness of environmental issues and to combat the climate crisis is so important for our Championship, and Vodafone Business has a longstanding history of embedding sustainability practices into its core strategies. This fire prevention initiative builds upon our existing legacy work in the region and will provide greater support to the local community and authorities.”

Extreme E’s five-race global voyage aims to: pave the way to a lower carbon future through the promotion of electric vehicles; draw attention to the impacts of climate change and the solutions we can all be part of; and seeks to accelerate gender equality in motorsport.

The Island X Prix, co-organised by the Automobile Club d’Italia and Regione Sardegna, is just days away, and the scene is set for double the on-track action and double the impact in the fight to tackle climate change.