Environmental Responsibility

Caring for the planet’s resources must be a daily habit. That’s how we see it at Telefónica. What’s our objective? To minimise our footprint and help maintain the fragile environmental balance as we all depend on it.

Being aware of our impact on the environment is the first step towards a sustainable business model. In our case, it comes mainly from communication networks: fibre optics, 4 and 5G, submarine cables, etc. which connect people and businesses. It is our responsibility to minimise it, as well as to facilitate solutions to environmental challenges through digitalisation.

Respect for the environment is for Telefónica one more element of the business

Reducing the environmental footprint of our networks

In network design, operation, maintenance and decommissioning:

  • We pay special attention to legislation in areas such as waste management, efficient use of resources, respect for the landscape and the measurement of electromagnetic fields.
  • We share facilities with other carriers or companies which manage the communication towers. The result is less visual impact, optimised land use, reduced energy consumption and reduced waste.
  • We promote energy efficiency and use renewable energy to reduce CO₂ emissions as part of our strategy to be part of the solution to climate change.
  • We shut off old networks so that they no longer consume energy,and we recycle all the materials derived from their decommissioning.
  • We respect biodiversity with precautionary measures during construction, locating base stations outside protected areas whenever possible and through corrective measures when necessary.
  • We make efficient use of water with different measures to optimise consumption, especially in regions with high water stress.

A robust and measurable Environmental Management System

In order to control our footprint, we ensure compliance with environmental legislation and prevent risks, we have an Environmental Management System which enables us to ensure global standards in all countries, with homogeneous processes and indicators for rigorous monitoring.

We reduce our impact

100% ISO 14001 certified
82% renewable electricity in key markets
€19 M invested in the network per year
98% recycled waste
104 measures to reduce visual impact

We extend our environmental practices to the entire value chain: suppliers, through clauses in contracts, information actions and audits; employees, through training; and customers and others, through consumer programmes and awareness-raising actions.

Efficient water use

During 2022, our overall consumption was 3,194 ML (3.2 Hm³); 765 ML in areas of high-water stress, representing 24% of the total. This is mainly for sanitary use and, to a lesser extent, for air conditioning. In each country we establish specific measures to improve efficiency, especially in those places where water stress is greater, such as Spain, Chile and Mexico.

Thus, more than 1,700 of our buildings have a Sustainable Water Management Plan, which includes measures such as:

Installation of energy-saving and heart rate monitors

Preventive maintenance on taps, cisterns and water heaters

Contractual clauses to encourage efficient use at suppliers

Employee awareness campaigns

In addition, we collaborate with public and private sector entities to promote the efficient use of water, especially in Brazil, where we have participated in the water thematic chamber of the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS) and in the UN Global Compact Platform for Action for Water and Oceans.


Scientists urge changes to halt and reverse an unprecedented biodiversity loss and we are aware of this need. That is the reason why we are developing Telefónica’s Biodiversity Strategy, which will establish our biodiversity commitment and the key actions and levers for its accomplishment.

Aiming at quantifying our nature-related risks and opportunities and improving our decision-making to enhance the organisation’s resilience, we have taken one of our first steps by assessing our biodiversity-related impacts and dependencies, both for our direct operations and those of our supply chain.

In addition, an essential pillar within our Biodiversity Strategy is contributing to slow deforestation and conserve forest ecosystems. We are part of the World Economic Forum’s 1 trillion trees initiative through which we have pledged to conserve and plant 1.5 million trees.

Telefónica’s Global Environmental Policy

Designed in accordance with ISO 14001:2015, setting out our commitments to caring for natural resources.

Environmental Strategy

We reduce our impact and provide solutions to major environmental challenges through digitalisation.

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