Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing people, businesses and governments.
For Telenor, climate-related physical risks include potential damage to vital infrastructure and utilities due to more extreme weather events and rising sea levels. Climate-related regulatory risks include potential higher operational costs due to increasing carbon taxes and energy/fuel taxes, as well as the risk of higher capital costs due to a required transition to renewable energy solutions.
The mobile industry’s technology and smart services through Internet of Things (IoT) have the potential to cut global carbon emissions, reduce resource intensity, stimulate economic growth, and deliver substantial social benefits. A new GSMA industry study from 2019 demonstrates how mobile and smart technologies are powering sustainable economic growth while enabling the avoidance of emissions across multiple industry sectors. These emissions savings were almost ten times greater than the global carbon footprint of the mobile industry itself.
Energy consumption and CO2 emissions
In 2019, Telenor’s total energy consumption was approximately 3,340 GWh – an increase of 9 per cent compared to recalculated data from 2018 – despite a 51 per cent increase in data traffic on Telenor’s mobile network to approximately 5,500 petabytes in 2019.
In 2019, the associated emissions of greenhouse gases in 2019 for Telenor Group has been estimated to be a total of around 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 when using location-based electricity emission factors for the indirect scope 2 emissions, an increase of 9 per cent compared to recalculated data from 2018. The operations in Asia account for 96 per cent of the CO2 emissions, of which 80 per cent is related to grid electricity, while the remaining 16 per cent stems from diesel generators. Nordic operations account for 4 per cent of the Group’s CO2 emissions (including fuel from car fleet, electricity purchases and business flights). In 2019, Telenor’s carbon emissions were 5.9 kg CO2 per customer per year, an increase of 1 per cent from 2018.
Further, Telenor Group’s total GHG emissions in 2019 was close to 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 when using market-based electricity emission factors for indirect scope 2 emissions, an increase of 1 per cent compared to the recalculated data from 2018. The market-based method reflects the CO2 emissions from the electricity that a company is purchasing, which may be different from the electricity that is generated locally in the country.
Renewable energy solutions
By year-end 2019, Telenor installed solar energy solutions for nearly 3,000 of its base stations in Asia, an increase from 2,500 solar-based sites by year-end 2018. Telenor plans to double the number of solar base sites over the next 3-5 years.
Low carbon solutions: In 2019, Telenor Group passed more than 15.7 million SIM-connected devices globally on its IoT platforms, an increase from 13 million IoT SIMs in 2018. Telenor Connexion, Telenor’s dedicated IoT company, designs and operates IoT solutions for the global market that can enable smart services with potential to cut global carbon emissions.
Climate ambitions towards 2030
Telenor will continue to mitigate climate-related physical risks by ensuring robust infrastructure and safeguarding in its operations. Telenor will drive a climate agenda that contributes to its position as a trusted brand, with a key focus on responsible business conduct and value creation. Telenor’s climate ambitions aim to set a long-term direction towards group-wide carbon neutral business operations in 2050, and should contribute to low-carbon economies, in line with the Paris Agreement. In 2020, Telenor will disclose more climate-related risks information in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations.
Telenor’s climate targets towards 2030 are based on the new mobile sector-specific decarbonisation pathway approved by the Scientific Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The new climate ambitions towards 2030 will allow Telenor to support the ambitious Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, designed to substantially reduce the risks and effects of climate change.
- The Nordic operations: Telenor’s ambition for the Nordics is carbon-neutral business operations by 2030, focusing on energy efficiency measures in network operations, purchasing renewable electricity, enabling carbon neutral transport (including its supply chain), and offsetting business flights.
- The Asian operations: Telenor’s ambitions for the Asian operations is 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, focusing on substituting diesel generators with solar solutions at base stations and exploring other renewable electricity options in the region.