Environmental responsibility

ICT is a key factor in managing global environmental challenges related to climate change, resource and energy scarcity, and the circular economy. Telia Company’s services such as IoT, remote meetings and cloud hosting solutions all contribute positively.

Ambition 2018 goals
  • Minimize negative and maximize positive environmental impact throughout our value chain 


  • Large companies in the Nordics and Baltics ready for ISO 14001 certification

  • Buy-back programs for mobile devices established in the Nordics and Baltics

  • 10 percent lower energy consumption per subscription equivalent1

  • 33 percent lower CO2e emissions per subscription equivalent

1) Subscription equivalent is based on energy consumption for different subscriptions – from low consumption M2M subscriptions to high consumption 4G mobile or IPTV subscriptions. Targets are based on total energy consumption and scope 1+2 emissions. Baseline 2015. Figures exclude energy consumption and emissions from region Eurasia and Telia Carrier.


The largest share of our total environmental impact is in the value chain of delivering our services, particularly from the production and use phase of consumer electronics. We need to continue decoupling negative environmental impact from the exponential increase in data volumes and network capacity. Our customers increasingly expect us to be proactive in our work and in delivering solutions to help them reduce their own environmental impacts.

Our approach

This focus area is governed by the Group Policy – Environment.

Energy, GHG emissions and waste, particularly electronic waste, are the key environmental impacts to manage in our own operations. We adopt a structured management approach through ISO 14001 environmental management system certification. Telia in Estonia, Finland, Lithuania and Sweden are fully or partially ISO 14001 certified. Telia in Norway is certified according to the national “Eco-lighthouse” standard.

To reduce our carbon footprint we purchase electricity from renewable sources, either through a “green contract” or by purchasing Guarantees of Origin (GoO).  In contracts where we are the tenant or co-host, we strive to influence the electricity contract owner to use renewable electricity. We estimate that our greenhouse gas emissions abatement from renewable electricity is the equivalent of taking 30,000 cars off the road annually.2

Buy-back programs, also known as take-back or upgrade programs, reduce the amount of electronic waste by extending the product usage of mobile devices that are often in good working condition. All Telia companies in the Nordics and Baltics offer such buy-back programs. The devices are sold to local partners who either data wipe and resell them, or when unusable send them to recycling. Recycling partners in these markets (except Denmark) are ISO 14001 certified.

More information can be found in our Annual and Sustainability Report.

2)  87 percent renewable electricity consumed in the Nordics and Baltics in 2017. Using the Nord Pool residual mix factor, this represents an emissions abatement of 148,000 tons CO2e (market based, scope 2).

The environmental case for connectivity

In January 2018, researchers at Ericsson and Telia Company published the latest paper in a long-term research project on the environmental impact of ICT. The findings show that ever-increasing data volumes among operators globally is not a catalyst for a rise in energy consumption. While the industry’s total emissions and energy consumption increased from 2010 to 2015, the increase can be attributed to the large increase in the amount of people and things connected.

Read more here