Telefónica advances zero net emissions target to 2030

  • Brings its target date for zero net emissions forward by 20 years
  • Believes Covid-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to accelerate plans
  • Announcement marks World Environment Day

Having already beaten one of its sustainability targets by six years, Telefónica has now taken the bold step of saying it now plans to reach its target of zero net emissions in its four main markets by 2030, 20 years earlier than initially planned.

The Spanish operator said the shift in its carbon neutral target date for the combined markets of Spain, Germany, Brazil and the UK follows its success in achieving a 50% reduction in global CO2 emissions in 2019, six years ahead of the company's original target of 2025.

The operator believes the current Covid-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity for companies to identify ways in which a “low-carbon, greener, more prosperous and healthier economy” can be achieved. “Connectivity has proved critical in this process, as has digitalisation, which is key to the task of decarbonising the economy,” noted Telefónica in this announcement.

The announcement comes on World Environment Day, and highlights just how seriously the Spanish operator is taking its sustainability strategy, which was described in detail by Gema Esteban Garrido, Telefónica’s ESG [Environmental, Social and Governance] Investors & Non Financial Reporting Director, during the recent DSP Leaders World Forum session on Digitalisation for Sustainability.

“Digitalisation is going to be a main contributor to meet the ambition of zero net emissions… I think that technology and especially telecoms are really supporting other sectors to achieve these environmental goals,” she noted.

And could the introduction of 5G systems and platforms help achieve such goals? The link between 5G and enhanced sustainability has certainly been made in recent years, so as part of the DSP Leaders World Forum event we created a poll to ask the TelecomTV community ‘Can 5G provide the opportunity for network operators to reduce power consumption?’

As you can see from the chart below, the majority of respondents did link 5G to the potential for reduced power consumption, but many believe such benefits may take some time to emerge.

To vote in this poll and add your voice, go to this page.

Telefónica wasn’t the only network operator on the DSP Leaders event panel – Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone also shared their strategies, as did Intel.

Watch out for further coverage of sustainability issues in the telecom sector on TelecomTV in the near future, when we’ll delve deeper into how every part of the communications industry ecosystem has a role to play in making the world a better and safer place to live.

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.