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 CO₂ absorption carbon credits, preferably through nature-based solutions. Hence our commitment to to conserve and plant 1.5 million trees this decade.

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, define targets and actions for the company’s activities and for our collaboration with customers and suppliers.

All employees are involved: part of our variable remuneration is linked to this target and we already have these programmes in place:

  • More efficient transformation of our telecommunications networks.
  • Energy efficiency projects.
  • Renewable Energy Plan.
  • Incorporation of an internal carbon price.
  • Emission neutralisation plan.

Without digitalisation there is no green transition

In seven years, we have already reduced all our emissions by more than 45% (80% for Scopes 1+2 and 32% for Scope 3 since 2016).

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.

128 energy efficiency initiatives in 2022
€ 176 M saved in a year
-7.2% 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, 69% of the 368,715 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
82% Renewable electricity globally
6 million 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 27% of our total funding in 2022

Energy Management Policy

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

Nine 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.

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Connectivity Solutions’ Life Cycle Assessment

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

Read the report