Telefónica’s Green ICT milestones

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JM Boluder

María Elena Cruz Martín

Data Scientist at Telefónica
and Managing Director of Girls in Tech España.

The Group’s Green ICT and environmental strategy is based on the management of environmental risks, the internal promotion of eco-efficiency and the search for business opportunities through Green ICT services that promote a low-carbon economy.

At Telefónica, we are aware that in order to promote our telecommunications services, we need to consume resources such as energy, and generate waste such as cable, equipment and terminals; nevertheless, we want to become more eco-efficient every day. To do this, for years we have been working to make our network more efficient by controlling aspects such as visual impact, waste generation and energy consumption.

All of this has helped us to become one of the leading companies in the world in environmental management. In 1998, Telefónica, and more specifically Telefónica Móviles España, S.A., received its first environmental management certificate under ISO 14001. Today, more than half of our operators have a certified Environmental Management System.


In 2007, a Corporate Environmental Unit was created to establish the Group’s directives in this area. We currently have an environmental team at the global level, with environmental teams in each one of our countries.

Telefónica has a policy for Responsible Deployment of the NETWORK, our DNA. To do this, we work on projects to reduce the visual impact of mobile telephony antennas, efficiently manage our waste and inform communities in regard to the environmental aspects of telecommunications.

2008 was a key year for the company in the area of the environment, because it was the year in which a common Environmental Policy and Strategy was defined for all of the countries.

Energy and Climate Change

In 2008, Telefónica publicly announced its commitment to reducing energy consumption. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Climate Change was created and a common goal of a 30% reduction in electrical consumption of our networks, and 10% in offices was set for 2015, which would considerably reduce the company’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

We are now halfway to our goal. Since 2007, we have reduced our energy consumption and generated savings of more than 25 million euros, thanks to the energy-efficiency projects implemented locally by our Energy Managers, and with the help of the Directorate for Global Operations.

We also promote renewable energies. Fifteen per cent of the energy of our networks comes from the purchase and generation of renewable energy. One reflection of this commitment is that our corporate headquarters in Madrid is known for having one of the largest rooftop solar power stations in Europe.

We are one of the top 5 ICT companies in the world in the area of climate change, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project, the leading investment index that measures transparency and management of companies in regard to climate change.

We currently emit approximately 1.8 million tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent to the annual emissions of 350,000 vehicles.  For this reason, in 2012, Telefónica set a new goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020, in relation to the emission levels in 2010, measured by equivalent client access.

Green ICT Services

We are also working to spread our environmental culture to our clients and generate value for the company through Green ICT Services, which allow our clients to be more efficient. For example:

  • – Telepresence at the global level.
  • – Energy-efficiency inmotics service in Spain.
  • – Fleet management in Europe.
  • – Vivo-Clima in Brazil.

We are also working to offer our clients a green experience from the moment that they consider buying a device until the end of its lifetime.

Telephones are supplied with a universal charger, and we run mobile-phone recycling and re-use programmes worldwide.  In 2012, we managed 212 tonnes of telephones and accessories.

From now until 2020, we are counting on our employees and clients to transform the digital world. Today, we continue to strive to be the leading company in Green ICTs and the Environment in the world.

– More information is available in our 2012 Sustainability Report.


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