Delving into Telia’s supply chain emissions

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How can telcos track their emissions and climate progress across multiple markets and products?

Connectivity and digitalisation are key pillars of the green transition. A rise in data storage, internet usage and telecommunications services users, if not managed sustainably, is intrinsically linked to a growth in emissions. Companies across the ICT sector, therefore, not only have an opportunity to build solutions for smarter, low carbon homes, businesses and networks, but they can – and should – start by tackling their own carbon impact.

Telcos have set the tone for climate action. Indeed, 62 mobile operators have set science-based targets, covering nearly half of all global connections.1 Among them is Swedish telecommunications company Telia, which serves 25 million people across the Nordics and the Baltics. For most telcos Scope 3 emissions comprise well over 70% of their carbon footprint. In the case of Telia, this share is 99%, and the company recognises that it cannot reach these targets alone.

Telia has been working closely with us to measure and improve the accuracy of its carbon footprint. Doing so will allow Telia to identify any decarbonisation blockers and pinpoint the reductions achieved by its suppliers and operational decisions.



Quantifying the carbon intensity of Telia’s supply chain 

Since helping Telia set its first short-term science-based reduction targets, we have continued to act as Telia’s long-term climate partner for the past five years. To help Telia meticulously measure the emissions from its supply chain, we:

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Built a Scope 3 calculation model tailored to the nature of Telia’s purchased goods and services and capital goods. We update the footprint each year to help Telia improve its calculation approach.

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Broke down Scope 3 emissions by supplier, country and product, so Telia can target emissions accordingly. It revealed the most carbon-intensive products and suppliers across Telia’s largest markets: Sweden, Finland and Norway.

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Created a carbon intensity tracker. With this, Telia can track yearly improvements and attribute any changes across its supply chain, including improvements in supplier data, increase in sales, or suppliers’ climate action.


Taking Telia’s climate reporting and ambition to the next level

As with most industries, telcos are under pressure from their investors and customers to curb emissions and go beyond targets. With this tracker, Telia can further drive emissions reductions across its supply chain and products, identify laggards and emissions hotspots and track progress. Telia can now:

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Obtain in-depth insights into its supply chain and focus its efforts accordingly. Telia is now creating an internal dashboard to visualise its supplier emissions. This enables all product and sourcing managers to see supplier-specific emissions in real time, improving emissions management and discussions with suppliers.

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Improve its annual reporting. The carbon intensity tracker helps Telia tell its sustainability story to auditors, investors, customers and the board, contextualising any changes in the footprint.

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Identify ways to reduce emissions from suppliers and products in support of Telia's transition planning.

ICT companies have both a responsibility to limit their own emissions and an opportunity to support customers’ efforts to do the same by building solutions for smarter homes, businesses and networks. Recognising its dual role, Telia has measured the avoided emissions of several solutions.



1 As of 2023. GSM Association, Mobile Net Zero State of the Industry on Climate Action, 2023