Just a few days before the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), the concept of a climate “emergency” is more relevant than ever. The situation, aggravated by the energy crisis, has led the Secretary-General António Guterres to state that “the climate crisis is killing us”. However, according to the latest reports, “despite the challenges, there is clear evidence that immediate action could still save the lives of millions, with a rapid shift to clean energy and energy efficiency”.
Towards net zero
Companies remain a critical part of delivering on the Paris Agreement. However, it is vital for the climate commitment to become a genuine business strategy aimed at substantial emissions reductions to make net zero a reality before the deadlines set.
This is one of the findings of the “2022 Corporate Climate Reporting Performance Report” EcoAct, published this week. A study that recognises Telefónica as the international leader on climate issues, with a score of 81.5%.
Do you know what aspects carry the most weight in this ranking?
- Addressing climate change has formed part of our management strategy for 20 years; therefore, it forms a cross-cutting element of the latter and this is increasingly integrated into the day-to-day running of the company. Our goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 across our footprint and value chain is a decade ahead of the United Nations targets and the Paris Agreement.
- To achieve this, it is very important to start acting now and we have specific emission reduction targets in the short, medium, and long term in all scopes (1, 2, and 3). Moreover, these commitments are itemised and have been validated by science, specifically by the SBTi initiative.
- We have a robust Climate Action Plan aligned with the most ambitious scientific recommendations designed to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the neutralisation of emissions that we cannot reduce, with lines of action aimed at continuing Telefónica’s process of transformation, in the way we purchase, operate, finance ourselves, and even sell.
- We demonstrate maximum transparency and thoroughness in meeting our commitments (our emissions data are verified annually by AENOR). In six years we have reduced all our emissions by over 40% (70% for Scope 1+2 since 2015 and 27% for Scope 3 or the value chain since 2016).
Leading the EcoAct study confirms the importance of developing long-term climate action strategies designed to ensure business growth that is compatible with decarbonisation goals. We have come a long way and our top-of-the-table position is proof of that. There is still a long way to go, however, both as a company and as a sector and this is essential to facilitate the transition of other industries towards net zero as well. In this regard, involving customers and suppliers is key. Together, we can accelerate change.