What does Telefónica have to do with Energy and Climate Change?
This is what people normally ask when I say that I work in Telefónica’s Office for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.
Well, quite a bit, I usually respond. And this is what I try to explain.
Every year, Telefónica spends around 700 million euros on energy. Energy prices are continually increasing, so it is essential to manage it. To give you an idea, Telefónica consumes some 5.9 TWh of electricity a year, the equivalent of the consumption of a small country like Luxembourg or Nicaragua. Most of this energy, approximately 90%, is consumed by our networks, which are responsible for providing the telecommunications services.
To manage this energy, we have the figure of the energy manager in each one of the countries in which we operate. These energy managers belong to the local operations teams and are responsible for measuring and managing the energy consumed and for implementing energy-efficiency projects on networks and in offices. In 2012, as we explain in the 2012 Sustainability Report, Telefónica implemented more than 35 energy-efficiency projects, reducing power consumption by 15,000 MWh and cutting about 5 million euros off of the annual electric bill.
This energy consumption translates into the emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). Telefónica emits 1.8 equivalent metric tonnes of CO2 each year. These emissions are generated mainly by electrical consumption, but also by the consumption of fossil fuel in operations, offices and vehicle fleets. To reduce GHG emissions, Telefónica is working along three main lines:
- Reducing electrical consumption by implementing projects that improve energy efficiency.
- Reducing fossil-fuel consumption in operations, offices and vehicle fleets, replacing them with more efficient and clean energy sources, using low-consumption hybrid or electric vehicles, and reducing the number of kilometres travelled by improving fleet management.
- Promoting self-generation of renewable energy, mainly in places where access to electricity is complicated.
To measure and evaluate the work that is carried out in this area, Telefónica has global goals for energy and carbon reduction.
- – Reduce energy consumption in operations by 30% per client in the period 2007-2015.
- – Reduce energy consumption in offices by 10% per employee in the period 2007-2015.
- Reduce CO2eq emissions by 30% per client in the period 2010-2020.
The Office for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency promotes energy efficiency and identifies opportunities for reducing GHG emissions. To do this, it analyses the company’s energy consumption, calculates the global carbon footprint and tracks the global goals for the reduction of energy and GHG emissions.
All of this work helps us to improve the management of the energy we consume and the carbon that we emit. It is work that is beneficial for everyone. For Telefónica because it helps it to become more efficient in terms of energy, and therefore reduce energy expenses. For our clients, because when we reduce the cost, we are able to provide services at better prices. For our suppliers, because they work with Telefónica and are a key part of the implementation of energy efficiency projects. And lastly, for the planet, because improving the energy efficiency of the network helps us reduce the company’s environmental impact.
I told you! Telefónica has a lot to do with Energy and Climate Change!