Accelerate the green transition, the path to decarbonization

The telecommunications sector is a fundamental pillar for our society. Likewise, in the coming years, the sector will continue to play a fundamental role in addressing an economic and social recovery and in building a greener and fairer economy for all.

It has been shown that without connectivity and digitalization there is no green transition. Therefore, it is key to health, education, industry, agriculture, transportation and employment of the future.

Telefónica, whose purpose is to connect people's lives, aligns it with its commitment to the planet, specifically focusing on the environmental SDGs (7,11, 12 and 13), decoupling its growth from the environmental footprint and helping to decarbonize the economy. The Climate Action Plan is your roadmap and is integrated transversally throughout the Company with the objective, validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), of achieving net zero emissions by 2040.

Connectivity is the first requirement to access the digital world. It is a core service that it offers directly to its clients, and that is present in most of the most advanced digital solutions. Therefore, telecommunications networks constitute the first and most powerful platform for the green transition.

Telefónica focuses its environmental sustainability strategy on optimizing its fixed and mobile networks through energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced technologies: fiber optics – 85% more efficient in energy consumption– replacing copper and 5G – up to 90% more efficient than 4G in terms of energy consumption per unit of traffic. Thanks to this, Telefónica offers a robust, secure, stable and increasingly sustainable network to respond to the growing demand for data, allowing the adoption of actions that favor the reduction of CO2 emissions such as teleworking, the migration of services and servers. in the cloud, training or remote medical care, among others.

Emissions reduction

In its progress, Telefónica has decreased, since 2015, 81.4% of its operational emissions, and 51% by including those generated in their value chain. Reducing emissions is not only compatible with network expansion and service quality, but also allows Telefónica to be more competitive. Thanks to fiber and 5G, more energy efficient, and more than 170 projects, the company has reduced energy consumption by 8.6% compared to 2015, despite the fact that the traffic managed by its networks has increased 8.6 times .

Likewise, currently 100% of its electricity consumption comes from renewable sources in Europe, Brazil, Chile and Peru; 84% globally. Telefónica's emissions in 2023, without its Renewable Energy Plan, would have been 3.5 times higher.

Likewise, digitalization is crucial to limit the increase in the planet's average temperature to below 1.5ºC. Telefónica offers its Eco Smart solutions to companies in order to contribute to decarbonizing the economy. Thanks to the efficiencies generated by connectivity and digital services helped companies avoid 86.1 million tons of CO2 in 2023.

Zero waste

In addition, it works to be a Zero Waste company in 2030 through the circular economy. In 2023, Telefónica recycled 97% of its waste, and repaired and reused 4.5 million electronic equipment for operations, offices and clients, of which 313,805 are network equipment.

Telefónica values ​​the importance of protecting biodiversity and efficient water management. 98% of its facilities are located in habitats of low or very low value for biodiversity and in 2023 the company reduced water consumption by 12.8% compared to the previous year by having sustainable water management plans in more than 1,700 buildings. In addition, 191 million customers chose the paperless invoice, so the consumption of 4,375 tons of paper was avoided and the felling of nearly 74,000 trees.

The strategy and actions implemented allow the telco to continue leading in this area and be part of List A of the CDP Climate Change index, in which it has been present for a decade consecutively.