Telstra announces carbon neutral operations from 2020.

In March, the telecommunications giant took a leap towards net zero through a commitment to reduce its operational emissions, with scope to address absolute emissions.

We have assessed the Telstra commitment as ‘partially aligned’ when measured against the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Net Zero Momentum Tracker is a ClimateWorks and Monash Sustainable Development Institute joint initiative to assess organisational climate commitments against the global ambition to limit temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius.  

This assessment finds Telstra’s carbon neutrality and renewable energy targets are a significant step in addressing the organisation’s operational emissions.

Telstra has committed to reducing its absolute emissions by 50% by 2030. It is yet to define the exact scope of this absolute emissions reduction target – in particular whether this includes scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services and those from use of sold products. 

Similar telecommunications companies have estimated that scope 3 emissions account for over 90% of their overall emissions, and have included them in emissions targets. Telstra excluded these from the overall emissions estimate in its current (2019) sustainability report. Our rating of partially aligned is based on this exclusion.  

Ensuring the organisation’s targets address the full scope of its direct and indirect emissions will support the company in achieving a gold standard commitment towards net zero by 2050.  

Highlights:

  • Carbon neutral for all operational activities from 2020
  • Renewable energy generation by 2025 – equivalent to 100% of energy consumed for operations, including networks, buildings and data centres
  • Absolute emissions reduced by 50% by 2030.

How we assess momentum to net zero:

Fully aligned: Net zero by 2050 target for all emissions.

Closely aligned: Net zero by 2050 target for most, but not all emissions.

Aligned aspiration/pathway: Net zero by 2050 aspiration, or an aligned interim target for all or most emissions.

Partially aligned: Net zero by 2050 target or aligned interim target for a small proportion of emissions

Not aligned: Undertaking emissions reduction activities, but these are not sufficient to reach net zero by 2050

No target: No emissions targets or activities have been disclosed.

Learn more about our assessment methodology

Want to make a gold standard pledge? Contact our team