The FINANCIAL — Following the successful, rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions within its operations, Telia Company is now ready to take the next step on its environmental journey by going climate neutral through offsetting remaining emissions in 2020 – two years ahead of set target date.
The move is part of the environmental agenda Telia Company launched last year, the aim of which is to achieve zero CO2 and zero waste by 2030, including a climate neutral value chain. The focus is on absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, with carbon offsets seen as a complement to limit the environmental impact.
“In parallel with the pandemic the world continues to experience a climate emergency. We need to match the urgency of the situation with action and responsibility. Connectivity and digitalization are part of the solution and can speed up the transition into a low-carbon and circular economy. All ICT companies can contribute positively to such a transition while taking responsibility for any negative environmental impacts,” says Telia Company’s President and CEO Allison Kirkby.
The offsetting will be made in the form of carbon removals, half of which are reserved for industrial removals, thereby supporting early stage technology and innovation for environmental protection.
“The scientific community highlights the need to remove carbon from the atmosphere. This can be achieved through industrial removals (technical solutions such as biochar) or biological removals (e.g. planting new or protecting existent forests). We have decided to go for a combination of the two, to support both innovation and reforestation,” says Sara Nordbrand, Head of Group Sustainability.
Telia Company’s core markets are in the Nordics and the Baltics, but with a global footprint. Today, Telia Company uses 100 percent renewable electricity, no matter where it operates. Last year, GHG emissions from own operations (scopes 1 and 2) decreased by 23 percent compared to 2018, representing reductions equivalent to 100,000 return flights Stockholm – Helsinki. Remaining GHG emissions that will be offset in 2020 come from fossil fuel used for e.g. back-up power, district heating, business travel and company cars.
From a value chain perspective, most GHG emissions are emitted in the supply chain. Working closely with suppliers to enable them to transition to a low-carbon economy will be key in achieving the 2030 goal of zero CO2.
“Our ongoing initiatives focus on using and increasing our leverage in the supply chain, while enabling those suppliers who are struggling to address their climate impact to get access to guidance and support. The recently launched SME Climate Hub, supported by Telia Company, is a good example of the latter. Collaboration and shared learning will be key to speed up progress,” says Sara Nordbrand.