The Science-Based Targets initiative validates Orange’s reducing greenhouse gas emissions targets

Founded in 2015, the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) encourages businesses to set science-based targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, to help effectively combat climate change. The SBTi target validation team has evaluated the targets of Orange’s near-term (2030) and long-term (2040) commitments to be consistent with keeping the planet’s global warming below 1.5°C, and aligned with the need to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.

Orange has placed its corporate social and environmental responsibility policy at the heart of its business model. The Group has gained a clear insight into its carbon footprint, making substantial commitments within and outside France to reduce its emissions and combat climate change:

  • Achieving net zero by 2040, ten years before the industry’s recommendations

With intermediate milestones:

  • Reducing its scope 1 & 2 emissions by 30% by 2025 compared to 2015, achieved 2 years ahead of schedule
  • Reducing its emissions by 45% across scopes 1, 2 & 3 by 2030 compared to 2021.

As a digital company, Orange has an important role to play in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of digital technology. The Group recognizes its two-fold responsibility to minimize its carbon footprint, while also building and maintaining resilient infrastructure to guarantee business and service continuity.

To achieve these targets, Orange has an ambitious action plan:

  • Improving the energy performance of its information systems and networks, which accounted for 85% of energy consumption and 80% of CO₂eq[1] emissions for scopes 1 and 2 in 2023. Thanks to the Green ITN program, the increase in their energy consumption (scopes 1 and 2) was limited to 0.3% compared to 2022 on a like-for-like basis, despite new deployments and a significant rise in traffic in 2023. This means that during the 2015-2023 period, over 5.3 TWh of electricity and more than 430 million liters of fuel oil were saved in this area. These results are made possible thanks to more active network sharing with other operators; modernized networks (5G and fiber) and data centers; advanced standby modes; the withdrawal of outdated technologies (xDSL, 2G/3G); and the use of artificial intelligence.
  • The transition to renewable energies, with renewable energy supply contracts signed in Europe, solar farms and a switch to solar energy at sites in Africa & Middle East, and also guarantees of origin certificates purchased on the market. In 2023, three quarters of the electricity used for networks and information systems was low-carbon, 45% from renewable energies (30% from nuclear energy). In Europe, 92% of electricity needs were low-carbon. In Africa and Middle East, more than 8,000 sites have been solarised.
  • Optimized building energy efficiency with the design and technical management of tertiary buildings in terms of heating, air conditioning and lighting. Orange is gradually fitting out its buildings with heat pumps, replacing fuel oil or gas boilers. In 2023, building energy consumption and CO2 emissions fell by 17% and 18% respectively (on a like-for-like basis compared to 2022).
  • The development of the circular economy can contribute 20-30% to the target to reduce scope 3 emissions by 2030. The eco-design and extension of the product life cycle, as well as the reuse of network equipment, is a very concrete target. Through its Rɘ program, Orange raises customer awareness of the recycling, buyback and purchase of refurbished phones. In Europe, Orange collected 25.4% of phones in 2023, and aims to reach 30% by 2025.
  • Advocacy work to consolidate actions and commitments by the entire ecosystem to define relevant carbon targets and create shared measurement methods and tools. This year, Orange launched a program with its biggest suppliers to map out a long-term pathway to net zero together, for example by focusing on production and logistics processes, product design and manufacturing and services.

“After receiving the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Terra Carta Seal last year, we are delighted to receive the SBTi’s validation, which acknowledges our 2040 net zero target, currently one of the most ambitious as part of the SBTi process. We are honored by this acknowledgment, as it demonstrates the seriousness and sincerity of our approach. It also encourages us to convert these ambitions into short, medium and long-term action plans to build a more sustainable digital world” explains Elizabeth Tchoungui, Executive Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility at Orange.

[1] Consumption including that of buildings housing network equipment

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