Climate impact

In order to reach the Paris climate agreement goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, the world will need to rapidly cut global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), and this decade will be critical. Telenor will do its part to support this effort. This means reducing our own emissions, whilst playing a vital part as facilitator for third parties to be able to reduce theirs.

Climate risks include damage to vital infrastructure and utilities through the impact of more extreme weather events. At the same time, the ICT industry’s technology and smart services through the IoT have the potential to cut global carbon emissions, reduce resource intensity, stimulate economic growth and deliver substantial social benefits. 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 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.

Telenor is committed to meet the expectations of our stakeholders. To this end, Telenor is working through GSMA and other fora to promote science-based targets, increased use of renewable energy and other cross-industry climate efforts.

Status 2020

Total scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions were 1.22 million tonnes of CO2e, approximately the same amount as in 2019. (Market based electricity emission factors, and DNA included). However, the total energy use was reduced by 6.9 percent to 3,257 GWh.

When using location-based electricity emission factors, the total scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions were 1.03 million tonnes of CO2e.

We took several actions to reduce the emissions and environmental impact from our operations. We continued to increase the use of renewable energy, replacing 798 diesel generators with solar power generators in 2020. This represents a 60 percent growth compared to 2019. The total number of solar sites installed is more than 3750.

Telenor and climate risk

We conducted our first TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) climate risk assessment in 2020. In Telenor’s climate risk assessment, the identified risks are looked at through three separate climate scenarios: 1) Strong mitigation scenario (below 2°C), 2) Delayed and disorderly mitigation scenario, 3) Business as usual, low mitigation scenario. In the climate risk assessment, all risks are assessed in three time horizons: short (2020-2025), medium (2025-2030) and long (2030-2050). This is different from how Telenor usually look at risks, as the different outcomes in the three scenarios in many cases will take decades to materialize.

The most material risks are as follows:

  • Increased pricing of GHG emissions, and consequent cost increases
  • Cost increase and/or limited availability of renewable electricity
  • Demographic shifts and conflict due to physical damage from climate change
  • Increased frequency and severity of storms and tropical typhoons

The most material opportunities are as follows:

  • Increased demand for new services connected to the low-carbon economy, IoT and new technology
  • Increased use of lower-emission sources of energy
  • Evaluation as a climate resilient and prepared company

Climate goals towards 2030

Telenor will continue to mitigate climate-related physical risks by ensuring robust infrastructure and safeguarding 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 targets towards 2030 are based on the mobile sector-specific decarbonization pathway approved by the Scientific Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The climate goals towards 2030 will allow Telenor to support the ambitious Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The SBTi has approved Telenor’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. The approval confirms that our climate targets are in line with what climate science deems necessary to meet the Paris Climate Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Telenor’s approved Climate Goals are to:

  • Reduce emissions of GHGs from our global operations by 57%, from a 2019 baseline, by 2030. For the two regions where we operate, this means:
    • 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, and enabling carbon neutral services.
    • The Asian operations: Telenor’s ambitions for the Asian operations is a 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 (from a 2019 baseline), focusing on substituting diesel generators with solar solutions at base stations and exploring other renewable electricity options in the region.
  • 68% of our suppliers, by spend, within the categories Purchased Goods, Services and Capital Goods, shall set science-based targets within 2025.


In 2021, we released our first Digital Outlook. In this report, industry experts, academics, and innovators present their take on how the digital shift will advance greener ways of living, learning, and working. We invite you into this 2030 vision to reflect on what it will take to fulfil our ambitions for a smarter future.