Telefónica’s Green ICT and Environmental strategy is designed to promote environmental sustainability of our operations, customers and cities. It can generate value to our company in terms of reducing costs and generating new revenues
In this area, we have three common objectives: promote domestic energy efficiency and reduce our emissions of CO2eq, developing competitive Green ICT to improve the eco-efficiency of our customers and to position Telefónica as a leader in Green ICT solutions.
Regarding the environment, we integrate it as another element of the business. To fulfill our commitments, we still following six global environmental management principles.
These principles are:
- The measurement of environmental performance indicators or KPIs
- The global risk management
- The compliance with legislation
- A responsible for network deployment
- The Environmental Management System
- The promotion of a circular economy
> Telefónica’s Global Environmental Policy:
At Telefónica, we measure our environmental performance through global KPIs applicable to all operators, in order to facilitate decision-making, identify potential environmental risks and measure the economic impact.
We manage our environmental risks following the global risk management model implemented in the company. Among the risks we have identified, we should mention those related to environmental liabilities, inadequate management of waste, the effect of climate change on operations, etc.
Compliance with the law
As a multinational, we work to comply with environmental legislation and we apply certain minimum standards and our best practices in the countries in which such legislation does not exist.
Roll-out of the network
The most significant environmental aspects of Telefónica’s activities are related to the infrastructure necessary to provide service to our customers.
In order to minimise the visual impact, and without reducing the quality of the service, we select the best location to roll out our network and we undertake camouflage actions.
In 2015, we invested 2.8 million euros in order to reduce the impact. In this regard, we should also highlight the sharing of 33.878 infrastructures with other operators.
At Telefónica, we monitor the fuel tanks which provide energy support to the telecommunications network, and not only in emergency situations, in order to avoid soil contamination.
When our network is located in a protected environment, we pay particular attention to the fauna, the flora and the landscape. Thus, before starting any construction, we carry out environmental impact studies.
Environmental Management System
Our global Environmental Management System, based on ISO 14001, enables us to ensure compliance with legislation and provides minimum standards in the countries where legislation is less developed.
Though the company’s environmental aspects are not intensive, they are very geographically disperse, which makes extremely important to have an environmental management based on standard processes. The objective: prevent and mitigate environmental impact.
Likewise, we extend environmental management to the entire value chain: suppliers, through clauses in the contracts, information activities and audits; employees, through training; and customers and other stakeholders, through programmes for consumers and awareness-raising initiatives.
Nowadays, the 88% of our company already has a system endorsed by an external certification. Our objective is to expand it to the 100% of the telecommunication companies before 2017.
For example, in countries like Mexico, 55 % of network deployment made along 2014 occurred through existing co-located sites. In addition, Telefónica has implemented, in many of its businesses, policies that impose the preferential use of recycled paper. Currently 50% of the paper consumption of the Group is reused.
At Telefónica, we integrate the circular economy concept in all our processes. We are looking for a more efficient resources management to reduce the environmental impact, to obtain new financial value and, as far as possible, to return the goods to the production cycle.
Our activity is not directly related to water and paper consumption. But in an indirect way, almost all our processes generate waste. Mainly those deriving from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) also called e-waste, which is generated in large quantities, both internally and at customers’ homes.
The waste generated during network construction and maintenance is handled by certified waste managers, in compliance with environmental legislation. Our main goal is to reduce waste and to contribute to circular economy, supporting the reutilization and the recycling process. To reach that goal, we support practices that promotes equipment reutilization either internal or external (from our clients´).
Almost 70% of our waste are cables originated during our network transformation process. It´s reutilization its impossible not as its recycling process, so the 97% of it is recycled by specialized enterprises.
In our Mobile operator and devices distributor´s role, we have made glass cases available in our stores around the world for our customers. Our programmes promote also a common work between the specialized recycling enterprises, logistics companies, and also with the mobile device manufacturers with the aim of guaranteeing an efficient management of the eWaste among our value chain. During 2015, it was applied to 2,484 tons of eWaste.
When reutilization is not an option, the recycling is the best choice for the waste treatment. That is why in 2015, we generate 25,896 tons of waste, of which 97.2% were recycled.
The main hazardous waste generated by Telefónica is that of batteries. Currently, 100% are recycled by means of approved entities, making sure that all hazardous components do not impact on the environment.
Likewise, in the Telefónica Group's Supply Chain Sustainability Policy for these products, we incorporate durability criteria in the batteries, so that their substitution and, therefore, the generation of waste, is performed less frequently, thus reducing the quantity of waste generated every year (in terms relative to the activity).
Moreover, in this Policy, we also require the quantity of dangerous substances included in the batteries to comply with the most demanding European regulations, thereby reducing the danger of the waste.
Electromagnetic fields have always been present in our surroundings: for example, birds and fish use them for orientation. Though some are visible, such as the rainbow, the majority are invisible to the human eye, such as the magnetic field which orientates compasses or sunlight. The waves which form these fields are what enable mobiles, radio and television to function.
At Telefónica, we are aware of society’s concern about this issue. We therefore maintain transparent communication about it.
Further information: Electromagnetic fields
Pioneers in recycling programmes
Telefónica has an integrated global policy for the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) based on the “3Rs”: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. And we are one of the pioneering companies in the implementation of e-waste management programmes, especially in the countries of Latin America. In fact, GSMA highlights some of our practices in its
“eWaste in Latin America”