Telstra Commits To Cutting Its Emissions In Half By 2030

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The nation's biggest telco is on a huge drive to convince folks to sign up for 5G – but not at the cost of the environment.

In a post on Telstra's Exchange blog, Telstra CEO Andy Penn has outlined the company's ambitious plans to significantly curb its carbon emissions in the very near future.

Penn has committed the company to being carbon neutral within calendar year 2020, which it hopes to achieve through a mixture of efficiency gains in its network and also by purchasing a quantity of carbon offsets where it can't actually scale back its energy usage.

Penn isn't stopping there, however, stating that his plan is to see Telstra enabling energy generation "equivalent to 100 per cent of our consumption by 2025".

That's not quite the same thing as saying Telstra will be running on 100% renewable energy by 2025, mind you. While the likes of Apple can state that it's been running on 100% green power since 2018, Penn instead states that:

"By 2025 Telstra will own or contract renewable energy generation in Australia and our other business locations for output equivalent to 100 per cent of the energy we consume in all of our operations, including our networks, buildings and data centres."

Penn's pitch for this approach is that it's a net win not just for Telstra but for others.

"This will have the effect of helping to decarbonise the Australian electricity grid for Telstra and everyone else."

That still leaves Telstra in a position where it could be using a considerable quantity of less environmentally friendly power, but again, Penn has a target in mind, looking to reduce Telstra's absolute emissions by half by 2030.

"We will achieve this reduction through a range of initiatives including increasing investment in our energy efficiency program, advancements in new technology, building climate change considerations into long term business planning as well as the progressive decarbonisation of the electricity grid as the uptake of renewables grows" he writes, although he does also note that "we do not have all of the answers on how we will achieve this but our intent is clear, our ambition is set and we are committed to achieving it."

Telstra is undeniably a big user of power in Australia; Penn's estimates put the power usage of the network at an astonishing 5.9 petajoules of energy each year with a resultant 1.3m tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

[Telstra Exchange]

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