Climate change is the biggest threat we face in our world today and the defining challenge of the decade. We are already seeing the consequences of inaction and we all need to step up our response and ambition.

To play our part, today we are announcing a broadening of our greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to include a 50% reduction of our Scope 3 emissions by 2030 from a FY19 baseline year*.

Scope 3 emissions are the indirect emissions from the activities we rely on to operate our business and provide products and services. They are the emissions made by our suppliers when manufacturing equipment that is installed in our network or equipment used by our customers such as the energy modems use in our customers’ homes or businesses. These emissions are three times greater than our own Scope 1 and 2 emissions and, in many ways, far less within our control.

However, it is important we take responsibility for the emissions we can influence and to support our suppliers and customers to decarbonise too. Our Scope 3 emissions have already decreased by 11% since FY19 but we’ve now committed to a specific target as it’s the next big frontier in making significant and sustained progress.

The average consumer is unlikely to think about the amount of power it takes to make a FaceTime call, or how much energy their modem uses to connect the Wi-Fi, but collectively the emissions from the energy used by our customer modems, mobile phones and other devices are greater than the emissions to power our network.

A key focus area for us is to collaborate with our suppliers and partners. This includes providing training and support to reduce their carbon footprint, working with device manufacturers to reduce the emissions from manufacturing Telstra branded devices and improving their energy efficiency to reduce the Scope 3 emissions of our customers. Modem use makes up a large portion of our Scope 3 emissions so we will continue to improve future versions of our Smart Modem range.

This new Scope 3 commitment is in addition to our other climate targets:

  • We committed to being carbon neutral in our operations from 2020 and achieved this in July 2020.
  • We committed to enable 100% renewable energy generation compared to our consumption by 2025, and we recently signed our third power purchase agreement to help us achieve this.
  • And, we committed to reducing our absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2030 from an FY19 baseline. At end of FY21 we had achieved a 11% reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

We are looking at every inch of our business through a climate lens, from reducing the fuel emissions from our vehicles and generators (Scope 1 emissions), to the electricity to run our network, offices and stores (Scope 2 emissions) and our travel, operational waste, emissions from suppliers that provide the equipment to build our network, and the power used by our customers to run their devices (Scope 3 emissions).

Climate change is everybody’s business. There are no sidelines to sit on when it comes to taking meaningful action. Of all the risks we face from climate change – and there are many – the largest is believing that this is someone else’s problem to fix. It’s our problem, we need to get after it and there isn’t a minute to lose.

Things you need to know

*Target has been verified by the Science Based Targets Initiative