According to the World Resources Institute, every year more than 100 billion tonnes of resources enter the economy and only 8.6% of them are recycled. If we continue this path, by 2050 we will need 1.5 planets to meet the market’s needs.
We need to change the way we do things, and the circular economy is the answer. Additionally, it would enable greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 39%. At Telefónica, we are increasingly circular in our processes and with our customers and suppliers.
The resource that we most use at Telefónica is the energy which supplies our telecommunications networks, and therefore, our objectives are focused on reducing our consumption and using 100% renewable electricity. Additionally, we should also mention water; we have reduced our consumption by 28% compared to 2015, and paper, with more than 912 million electronic bills having been sent in 2020, preventing more than 77,000 trees from being felled.
For Telefónica, the best waste is that which is never produced in the first place. That’s why we have set ourselves the goal of moving towards becoming a Zero Waste company.
Eco-design: We save 121 tonnes of plastic thanks to the Half SIM Card format
Re-use: We reuse 4 million devices a year
Recycling: We recycle 98% of our waste
We reduce the plastic used in our SIM cards thanks to the Half SIM Card format, which has enabled us to save more than 400 tonnes of CO2 in one year. In the future, thanks to the Virtual SIM format, the eSIM, this material will no longer be necessary.
We promote the circularity concept in our customers
Industry 4.0 has the potential to facilitate circular strategies. The Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain and a combination of these technologies help to optimise the planet’s resources. At Telefónica we take advantage of them through our Eco Smart digital solutions for companies.
“Digital technologies are driving a profound transformation of our economy”
(Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
We inform our customers about the environmental impact of their phones through the Eco Rating, we make it easier to buy back old telephones, and we repair routers instead of making new ones (the Smart Wifi Router contains less plastic, metal and other components than a conventional device).
Suppliers as partners
We integrate the circular economy philosophy into our relationship with our suppliers, essential allies in this transition. Therefore, as part of our Global Supply Chain Sustainability Policy, we ask them to apply eco-design, reduce single-use plastics and generally protect the environment as much as possible. As regards waste management, we have a joint digital platform and work together to reduce GHG emissions.