|photo credit: Telefonica
For Telefónica SA, fighting against climate change
goes beyond environmental or corporate responsibility
policies; rather, it is a challenge that we must meet
for reasons of finance and efficiency. It is also a new
source of business opportunities that may contribute
to reinforcing our competitive position in a global
In 2008, Telefónica created a Climate Change
Office that has five action lines led by the most senior
director in each area: operations, procurement,
human resources, customer relations, and social responsibility.
This functional structure makes project
implementation more agile, as well as naturally
bringing together the group’s institutional, operational
and business strategies.
The Climate Change Office has two converging
objectives. The first is to reduce the energy consumption
of Telefónica by increasing internal energy efficiency, and the second is development of new and
competitive products and services that lead other
sectors to be more efficient and reduce their carbon
Operations: Energy efficiency and green technology
This action line focuses on promoting energy efficiency and maximizing renewable energy use in
Telefónica’s own operations (networks, data centres
and information systems). Telefónica’s target is to cut
by 30 per cent its electricity consumption per equivalent
access in networks by 2015. This will reduce
considerably the CO2 emissions of the company.
In 2009, Telefónica created a best practice manual
for the group on energy-efficiency projects at various
levels of investment. In addition, there is a regional
and local approach for energy management.
Employees: Awareness-raising and commitment
Telefónica wants to foster climate-change awareness
among its workforce, and is pursuing the goal of
reducing energy consumption in its offices by 10 per
cent by 2015. To achieve this, Telefónica promotes
energy efficiency and new working methods, such as
teleworking, which allows employees greater flexibility
while also avoiding journeys to work.
Procurement: Sustainable purchases
Telefónica’s Purchasing and Shared Services
Management Team aims to implement procedures
that take into account energy efficiency and carbon
content in the company’s purchases of products and
services. In 2008, an energy factor was made a mandatory
part of purchasing processes, through the
development of energy information sheets on network
equipment, air-conditioning equipment, information
technology, and customer-targeted products.
Telefónica has global purchasing programmes which
make it easier to apply energy efficiency into procurement
policies across its whole group of companies.
Society: Responsibility and information
Led by the Corporate Reputation and Identity
Management team, this action line’s main objective
is to reinforce Telefónica’s position as a key player in
the fight against climate change.
Telefónica is part of the Climate Change Working
Group of the Global E-Sustainability Initiative and is
continuously communicating the benefits of information
and communication technologies (ICT) for mitigating
Customers: Towards a low-carbon economy
The action line relating to the group’s customers
is led by the Business Development and Corporate
Marketing team. Telefónica understands that the
greatest potential of ICT lies in increasing energy effi
ciency in other sectors — an opportunity that could
reduce 15 per cent of global greenhouse-gas emissions
There are many practical examples of the benefits
and opportunities for reducing carbon that ICT brings
to other sectors. One of the most common is the use
of sophisticated telecommunication services such as
videoconferencing to reduce travel requirements.
Other examples where ICT have been extensively
used for reducing energy consumption and CO2
emissions are in the use of intelligent transport systems,
and in the improvement of energy efficiency in
power transmission and distribution networks (smart
grids), buildings (smart buildings) and factories.
Telefónica’s goal, therefore, is to develop products
and services that can reduce energy consumption.
For example, Telefónica has installed several
telepresence rooms in its offices in Latin America
and Europe. As well as saving travel time and CO2
emissions, this technology promotes a collaborative
international culture among Telefónica employees
and serves as a demonstration of the service to other
Another service of Telefónica, called “inmotics”, is
a technology that allows energy consumption within
buildings to be automatically controlled and reduced.
The implementation of this service cut about 27 per
cent from the energy bills of several banking institutions
In conclusion, Telefónica believes that the ICT sector
itself must work to reduce its carbon footprint,
while also supporting other sectors and society as a
whole to reduce their impact on climate change by
providing products and services that can help them
to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions.
“Smart 2020 Report. Enabling a Low Carbon Economy”, The Climate Group, 2008.