Meeting sustainability targets – a priority for telcos

Meeting sustainability targets – a priority for telcos

Telefonica has already achieved one of its sustainability targets way ahead of its deadline. The company has now taken the impressive step of saying that it now plans to reach its target of zero net emissions in at least four main markets by the year 2030 – 20 years earlier than they had originally planned.

The Spanish telco said that the transition in its carbon neutral target date for the combined markets of Spain, Germany, Brazil and the UK follows its success in achieving a 50% decrease in global CO2 emissions last year. This is six years ahead of the companies original target of 2025.

Telefonica believe that the current covid-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity for companies to identify ways in which a greener and more prosperous economy can be achieved. Connectivity has proved critical in this process as well as digitalisation, which is key to the task of decarbonising the economy.

The announcement was made on World Environment Day, and also highlights just how seriously the Spanish company is taking its sustainability strategy which was given in more detail by Gema Esteban Garrido, Telefonica’s (Environmental, Social and Governance) Investors and 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 omissions… I think that technology and especially telecoms are really supporting other sectors to achieve these environmental goals,” she noted.

Could the introduction of 5G systems and platforms help to achieve these goals? The link between 5G and enhanced sustainability has certainly been made in recent years.  Network operators do link 5G to the potential for reduced power consumption, however many believe such benefits may take some time to emerge.

Telefonica is not the only network operator working on improving their sustainability targets both Vodafone and Deutsche Telecom are also due to release their upcoming strategies.