How can a telecommunications company fight climate change?

Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, is acting on climate change: Carbon neutral from this year, enabling 100% renewable energy by 2025, and reducing absolute emissions 50% by 2030.

Connecting millions

Telstra is one of the largest consumers of power in Australia. Covering a continent as big as Australia and keeping millions of customers connected, requires 5.6 petajoules of energy each year. In FY20, that resulted in nearly 1.2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. As businesses, governments, communities across Australia increasingly adapt and adopt new digital technologies, the volume of data on Telstra’s network is growing significantly and is expected to triple by 2025.

Net-zero

To address these issues, in December 2019, Telstra announced their commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In March 2020, they took that one step further by setting three ambitious climate goals:

  1. Be carbon neutral in 2020
  2. Enable renewable energy generation equivalent to 100 per cent of their consumption by 2025.
  3. Reduce their absolute emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030

To enable renewable energy generation by 2025, Telstra plans to own or contract renewable energy generation equivalent to all of the energy they consume across their operations, including their networks and buildings. They also plan to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in absolute emissions by 2030 through a range of initiatives, including increasing investment in their energy efficiency program as well as new technologies.

Mission accomplished

In July 2020, Telstra met their goal of being certified carbon neutral in their operations, receiving Climate Active’s largest certification in Australia under the Commonwealth Government’s Climate Active program. Despite increasing demand for data, their network facility energy reduction program and decommissioning activities contributed a 3.4 per cent reduction towards achieving both their carbon neutrality and emissions reduction goals. The carbon balance was achieved in part by purchasing carbon offsets from a mix of Australian and international projects. One of the Australian projects they are supporting is the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor, a native reforestation project located in Southwest Australia – a known global biodiversity hotspot.

 

Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor from Carbon Positive Australia

This story shows how Telstra support supports Goal 13: Climate Action, specifically Target 13.3: “Improve education, awareness raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning.”

About Telstra

Telstra is an Australian telecommunications and technology company, offering a range of communications services. It is a member of the ASX100 and Australia’s largest telecommunications company by market share. In fact, Telstra has a long history in Australia, originating together with Australia Post as the Postmaster-General’s Department upon federation in 1901.

Find out more about how Telstra is supporting the goals.

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