The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the most ambitious programme in history to address the major social and environmental problems facing humanity.

The Internet and digital solutions –based on connectivity– are essential for achieving more than half of the proposed goals: they improve the quality of life of people, facilitate equitable growth, and protect the planet.

They are the allies we use at Telefónica to help us build, all together, a better world where no one is left behind.

Our commitment to digital transformation is materialized in the ODS 9, which consists of “building resilient infrastructures, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and encouraging innovation”. This is Telefónica’s main ODS, the one we have the most impact on.



In addition, we have projects focused on contributing to the other objectives, with a more direct influence on those related to economic growth. Despite our impact, we are aware of the many challenges that still have to be met and believe that sustainable innovation is a path to move forwards.

Goal 4

Guaranteeing an inclusive, equitable, quality education, and promoting learning opportunities for everyone throughout life

At Telefónica we promote the technological transformation of teaching and digital education and digital education in order to boost universal access to quality education. How? With training programs, social impact projects, and business solutions through the Telefónica Educación Digital company and Fundación Telefónica.

  • Every year we invest nearly 40 million Euro, equal to a total of 5 million hours, in various training actions.
  • We have supported 1,430 projects which, in turn, have benefited 362,250 people through the formative and entrepreneurial program Think Big.
  • We have allocated 137 million Euro to social and cultural actions, 86 million of which were allocated to projects related to education, and more than 30 to art and culture.
Goal 7

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

We wager on the use of renewable energies for the execution of our activities with the main objective of reducing GHG emissions, as well as reducing energy dependency. We are committed to this cause, setting the objective of exclusively using clean energies by 2030.

  • We reached a renewable energy consumption equivalent to 44% of our electricity consumption.
  • We have 4,201 remote base stations with renewable energy.
  • We have implemented 130 Energy Efficiency projects, achieving savings of €22M.
  • We have approved our Energy Management Corporate Policy whose main objectives are to reach energy efficiency, promote the use of renewable energies, and reduce GHG emissions.
Goal 8

Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent jobs for all

By improving the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment with our activity, we are one of the most relevant engines of economic development in the communities where we are present. In addition, we encourage digital learning to promote equality in education and to improve employability.

  • Our contribution to the GDP of the group of countries where we operate is estimated at more than 53 billion Euro, a figure which accounts for almost 0.6% of the total wealth generated as a whole within said group. For every Euro we generate, we contribute 3.5 Euro to the GDP.
  • The total impact of fixed + mobile broadband accounts for 2.2% of the GDP of the countries where we operate.
  • For every 100 Euro of the company’s volume of business, 21.8 Euro are allocated to paying taxes. Our total tax contribution (CTT for its Spanish original) totals nearly 11.4 billion Euro.
  • The impact we have on employment in those countries exceeded the million people. For every person we hire on our staff, we generate seven additional jobs.
  • 97.4% of all our employees have indefinite work contracts. The reputation among them continues to grow nearly reaching levels of excellence, especially among those younger than 30. The work climate index (ICL for its Spanish original) is 79/100.
  • We have nearly five million training hours per year, nearly one million more than in 2015. In 2016, the average number of training hours per employee increased more than 25%, reaching 38.61 hours.
  • Nearly 20% of all our employees are under 30, and we recruited a total of 9,917 young people in 2016 alone. 71% of all staff incorporations in the last four years in Spain are professionals younger than 34.
  • During 2016, 132 job launches were initiated in Spain (and will continue to be open during 2017), in which 3,326 unemployed people participated.
Goal 9

Building resilient infrastructures, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and encouraging innovation

At Telefónica we promote digital inclusion with network deployment, and an accessible and affordable offer, and the modernization of the industry with digital solutions that also seek to have a positive impact on society and the environment. In addition to being one of the world’s leading companies in terms of investments in technological innovation, we favour open innovation through Telefónica Open Future.

  • In 2016, investments in R+D reached 906 million and investments in R+D+i reached 6,568 million Euro. We are the world's fourth largest telco that invests in innovation and the second largest in Europe.
  • Telefónica Open Future: we have invested in more than 700 companies, 1,500 accelerated start-ups, and have committed investments with our partners in 17 countries for 445 million Euro.
  • The portfolio of patents totals 557, with a year-on-year increase of 32 new patents.
  • Investments for 38 billion Euro in the development of our fixed and mobile networks since 2012. Nine billion in investments in ultrafast networks during the last financial year.
  • Nearly 150 million annual mobile accesses corresponding to smartphones took place, representing a 17% increase with respect to 2015.
  • Our processes are already 49% digital, and 59% of our clients have already migrated to the on-line invoicing system (OCS), benefiting from accurate and real time information about their balances and consumptions.
  • 4G coverage continues to grow reaching 96% in Spain, 95% in the United Kingdom, 79% in Germany, 60% in Brazil, and 49% in Latin America.
  • LTE clients almost doubled in 2016 and are already more than 66 million with a 25% penetration.
  • We have a Global Continuity Plan which ensures the maximum possible resistance of the fundamental business activities when faced with any interruption of any of its systems.
Goal 11

Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

In Telefónica we offer cities digital solutions which converge in an integrated open platform to help them solve their greatest challenges as smart cities: the optimization of the consumption of resources, the reduction of CO2 emissions, and the improvement of the mobility and lives of people, making them more participative, promoting innovation, and making the economy more dynamic, thus leading to cities that are pleasant and habitable.

  • Through the Smart Waste solution, we saved 10% in fuel and improved the black spots where poor waste separation occurs by 85%.
  • We reduced water irrigation by 15% with our Smart Water service.
  • We reduced public lighting consumption by 30% with our Smart Lighting service.
  • Our Energy Efficiency in Buildings service has saved 41 KtCO2 (23%) and 103 GWh for our customers.
  • We have IoT services to improve our client’s mobility and energy efficiency. They have been able to cut 229,314 tCO2.
  • A 188 KtCO2 (15%) reduction thanks to our fleet management service.
Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

At Telefónica we are aware that nature’s resources are limited; their efficient use thus guides our activity. Furthermore, the concept of circular economy, based on reuse and recycling with the goal of generating zero waste, is well established in our company, seeking to give waste a second chance.

  • In 2016, we reduced our energy consumption by 2.17% despite an increase in traffic of more than 50%.
  • Water consumption was reduced by 4.4% in the last financial year, and is now at 3.7 Hm3.
  • In 2016, generated waste was reduced by 12% and is now down to 23,508 tons.
  • The rate of reused or recycled waste is currently at 97%.
  • During 2016, nearly 3,000 tons of unused mobile telephones were collected through buy-back programs; 41% of these telephones were reused and 59% were recycled.
  • 69% of the devices used in our operations and by our customers have been recycled, and more than 27% are reused.
  • 96% of all waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is recycled or reused.
  • We have created the Ecorating as a seal which evaluates the environmental impact of the entire process of mobile telephone production, use, and disposal.
Goal 13

Taking urgent action to combat the climatic change and its effects

Our Energy Efficiency Programme allows us to do more with less and reduce our CO2 emissions. Also, in Telefónica we commercialise -Green TIC services - to help other companies and cities to reduce their energy consumption and, thus, their carbon footprint. Similarly, we have systems like Vivo Clima, to help prevent natural disasters in areas of climatic risk.

  • We have established new Energy and Climate Change objectives for 2020 and 2030: the main objective is to reduce our greenhouse gases emissions 30% by 2020, and 50% by 2030, as well as to only use renewable energies by 2030.
  • In the previous financial year, we were able to reduce our carbon footprint by 26% (scopes 1+2), and by 22% if we include our entire value chain (scopes 1+2+3). With this we cut emissions equalling 938 KtCO2.
  • 74% of all our suppliers report their energy use or GHG emissions.
  • Telefónica United Kingdom obtained the “Carbon Trust Supply Chain Standard (Level 3)” certification.
  • We have generated more than 700 million electronic invoices, representing 3,500 fewer tons of paper.
  • 84% of the virgin fibre paper we use is FSC-certified.
Goal 16

Promoting pacific and inclusive societies for sustainable development, facilitating access to justice for all and creating efficient, responsible and inclusive institutions

The final objective of the Telefónica Open Government is to improve the quality of democracy and, above all else, make the lives of citizens easier by focusing on relationships with them. We consider transparency to be an elemental value for out long term strategy and for gaining society’s trust.

  • We have a Chief Data Officer leading the commitment strategy with the right to privacy and control over the client’s data. We also have a Chief Privacy Officer who ensures that the Privacy Policy is followed in every operation we are a part of.
  • We publish an annual Transparency Report. In this way, we inform society about the requests that we may receive on behalf of the authorities which are related to certain data.
Goal 17

Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

In order to cooperate in an agenda of effective sustainable development it’s important to collaborate with all of the agents that relate to our organization. Towards this end, we fully engage private companies, the public sector, and civilian society in our commitment with social and environmental well-being, and reach agreements with all the parties.

  • We have a Sustainability Advisory Panel that allows us to periodically interact with our main stakeholders, discover what the most important issues are, and create a map of aspects stemming from the impact of our activity that need to be controlled.
  • We have more than 225 critical suppliers evaluated through EcoVadis, accounting for 43% of purchases in 2016. Among them, 76% have an ethical code and 64% have ISO 14001 certification in environmental management.
  • We have renewed the Strategic Alliance with the Inter-American Development Bank for the digital and socio-economic development of Latin America.
  • We actively collaborate with the United Nations, especially digital education issues in underprivileged populations. César Alierta, Chief Executive of the Telefónica Foundation, has been named global consultant for Digital Education and Sustainable Development of the United Nations.
  • Telefónica is part of the “SMARTer2030 Action Coalition”, promoted by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), whose goal is the reduction of co2 emissions through digital solutions.
  • We are members of GSMA, the international association of telecommunications companies, actively collaborating in different subjects such as privacy and security.
  • We execute projects with UNICEF that make it possible to generate a positive social or environmental impact through our technological solutions. This is the case of the use of Big Data to minimize human damage in the event of health emergencies.
  • Other international organizations with which we collaborate are the European Commission, EcoVadis, the GNI, the Internet Watch Foundation, the OECD, or the World Bank, among others, as well as signing alliances with national organizations in our markets.


The impact of Telefónica on the SDG starts at 9 and extends to the others.



We travel 130,000 kilometers to show you the stories that are changing the world thanks to mobile technology.



We join the campaign #Companies4SDGs to tell you, month by month, what you can do to help meet the Objectives.


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