Telefónica’s net zero journey: Mitigating climate change via Scope 3

The latest scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) unequivocally confirms that climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health.

Lucía Monforte

Lucía Monforte

Reading time: 3 min

In the IPCC report, there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all. Its alarming acceleration demands attention and action from all corners of society. While companies are actively working towards reducing their own carbon footprint, it is also important to engage their suppliers. By doing so, companies will not only play a crucial role in mitigating climate change, but will also strengthen their own resilience and competitive advantage in a society which achieves a temperature increase lower than 2ºC by the end of the century.

We seek to slow climate change while enhancing our own resilience and competitiveness. At Telefónica we are completely dedicated to minimising emissions across our entire value chain. Our target -validated by the Science-Based Target initiative– (SBTi) under the new Net-Zero Standard, aims to reduce emissions consistent with the 1.5ºC scenario across our entire operation, including the value chain.

Telefónica´s targets related to scope 3 emissions are to reduce 56% of the CO2 emissions in our value chain (Scope 3) by 2030 compared to 2016 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

On a global scale, we have established two collaborative programs focused on climate change, specifically engaging with our most significant suppliers in terms of emissions.

Supplier Engagement Programme

We have developed a robust Supplier Engagement Programme that focuses on addressing emissions throughout our value chain. This programme aims to collaborate closely with suppliers to foster sustainable practices and drive emissions reductions collectively. We gather information from our suppliers, assess the maturity level of their climate strategies and support them in their decarbonisation process, through training sessions and by asking them to set more ambitious targets.

To do so, we have been working for four years with our most important suppliers and in 2022, we invited our most emissions-significant suppliers to join the CDP Supply Chain. Resulting in 218 suppliers answering the CDP Supply Chain Questionnaire, which accounts for 97% of our supply chain emissions.

Telefónica has once again secured its position in the Supplier Engagement ranking for the third consecutive year, reaffirming its commitment to assisting suppliers in reducing their CO2 emissions.

Telefónica`s Carbon Reduction Programme

We are working on a new Carbon Reduction Programme that involves strategic partnerships and collaborations with industry stakeholders, experts, and our strategic suppliers. By sharing knowledge, best practices, and innovative solutions, Telefónica seeks to drive collective action and create a broader impact in reducing emissions throughout the industry at the product level.

In addition, we work closely with other telecommunication operators in working groups and participate in multi-sectoral initiatives with focus on establishing partnerships regarding the supply chain.

JAC Climate Change Worskstream

Telefónica takes a leadership role in the Joint Alliance for CSR (JAC) Climate Change Working Group, which focuses on addressing climate change challenges in the sector. As a leader of this working group, we encourage strategic suppliers to implement collective reduction actions aimed at mitigating climate change impacts.

In addition, we are part of the 2023 JAC Climate Change Report, a collaborative effort of 26 leading telecommunications companies around the world, united in our common mission to decarbonise the ICT supply chain.

Empowering small and medium-sized enterprises

Telefónica takes also active steps to promote decarbonisation among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We encourage decarbonisation among our SMEs and invite them to join the SME Climate Hub, where they can sign the SME Climate Commitment (through the Hub) and have access to the tools made available to help them achieve their climate goals.


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