Energy and climate change

We recognise the urgency of reducing CO₂ emissions and we strengthened our commitments to help limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C. We validated our net zero emissions target under the new Science Based Targets (SBTi) standard, going beyond the Paris Agreement. Our reduction targets are not only compatible with network expansion and service quality, but also help us to be more competitive.

Net zero emissions

Our Executive Committee approved the global goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2040 across the value chain. To achieve this, we are committed to reducing emissions by 90% and neutralising residual emissions through the purchase of carbon removal credits, preferably through nature-based solutions.

Climate Action Plan

In our Climate Action Plan, we explain how we align our business model with the most ambitious scientific climate recommendations. In the Plan, we quantify GHG emissions, show our SBTi validated targets and define specific actions to achieve them, both for the company’s activities and for our collaboration with customers and suppliers.

With this Plan, the company’s second, which follows the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations, we are ahead of the various regulatory requirements.

The 2023 version includes more detail on the climate-related risks and opportunities and on the oversight and accountability mechanisms within Telefónica’s governance model, among other aspects.

Without digitalisation there is no green transition

In eight years we have already reduced 51% of our GHG emissions (81% of Scopes 1 and 2 since 2015 and 31% for Scope 3 since 2016). After achieving this 80% in 2022, eight years in advance, we have updated our interim target: we will reduce our global operational emissions by 90% by 2030.

These are Telefónica’s strategic levers for the climate transition:

  • Network transformation
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • Low carbon procurement
  • Carbon offseting
  • Decarbonisation of suppliers and customers
  • Sustainable finance

All employees are involved: a part of our variable remuneration is linked to the reduction of emissions.

Global movement

Aware of our responsibility to promote a global movement against climate change, we are part of the following initiatives:

  • Our Business:

Business Ambition for 1.5ºC

The Climate Pledge

Exponential Roadmap Initiative

  • Suppliers:

1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders

SME Climate Hub

Energy Efficiency Programme

Our challenge is to keep electricity consumption stable despite the sharp increase in the digitalisation of society and the rising amount of data going through our telecommunications networks. The main savings are achieved by upgrading our network and shutting down old equipment. To this we add initiatives to reduce energy in off-peak periods and in cooling, lighting, power equipment, etc.

170 energy efficiency initiatives in 2023
€ 82 M saved in a year
-8.6% the reduction of energy consumption remains
-90% energy consumption per unit of traffic by 2025

Renewable Energy Plan

Not only do we want to be 100% renewable, but as a large consumer of electricity, we also help countries to generate more clean energy. To achieve both goals, we promote long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with utilities, contribute to the construction of small renewable hydroelectric or solar power plants, and self-generate our own power.

Our networks are green: we are 100% renewable in Europe, Brazil, Chile and Peru (in the data centers we operate, both owned and in third-parties, 66% of the 373,363 MWh we consume come from renewable sources), fibre is 85% more energy efficient than copper and 5G is 90% more energy efficient than 4G.

100% renewable energy in Europe, Brazil, Chile & Peru
84% Renewable electricity globally
6.8 mill. tCO₂e Cumulative avoided emissions from 2015

Internal Carbon Princing (ICP)

At Telefónica, we use carbon pricing through different ways: an implicit price used for example in our Brazil operations.

We also implement a shadow price in our purchasing decisions for hardware that consumes fossil or electricity, as well as hardware containing refrigerant gases, which contributes to reducing our Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

On the other hand, we are introducing an internal carbon fee that will help us to establish a “carbon fund” with the proceeds of this carbon fee, and that could be used to finance carbon removal projects to neutralise our residual emissions as of 2025.

Pioneers in the sector, we launched the industry’s first green bond in January 2019 and sustainable funding exceeded 33.6% of our total funding in 2023

Energy Management Policy

Our Energy Policy forms part of our Environmental Policy and establishes our energy management principles. 

Ten years on the CDP A-List

Telefónica as a leading global company against climate change.

Energy and GHG Emissions Inventory

All the data on our decarbonisation in the last few years.

Telefónica’s approach to the EU Taxonomy

Our activities contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation according to the EU Taxonomy.

Discover more

Connectivity Solutions’ Life Cycle Assessment

Telefónica Spain has assessed the environmental impact of connectivity solutions according to EU Taxonomy criteria.

Read the report

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