ICT is a key factor in managing global environmental challenges related to climate change, resource and energy scarcity, and the circular economy. Telia Company is on a journey to zero CO2 and zero waste by 2030.

Ambitions 2022 goals

Zero CO2 in the value chain and zero waste from our own and network operations by 2030, through 100 percent action

A structured and science-based approach to assessing and managing the environmental impacts of our operations

Environmental management system implemented in all operations1

Environmental impact assessment integrated in project planning and investment evaluation

Climate neutrality in own operations (energy use and business travel)

100 percent renewable electricity use (by 2020)

5 percent lower energy consumption per subscription equivalent

Engage with all suppliers to havea plan in place by 2022 to reach zero CO2 by 2030, including their suppliers

Significant increase in re-use of customer and network equipment

Comprehensive green offerings on all markets

1) ISO 14001 or ISO 50001.

Daring goals

Science shows that climate change and excessive consumption will have devastating impact on the planet if we – states, businesses and individuals - do not do something unprecedented. Therefore, we have taken a stand by stepping up environmental efforts and minimizing negative impacts.

In 2019, Telia Company launched two ambitious and aspirational environmental goals with the intention of becoming the world’s greenest telco: zero CO2 and zero waste by 2030.

Reaching the goals of zero impact of own operations requires a broad agenda of actions. Some are already in place, such as using over 90% renewable electricity. When it comes to minimizing customers’ impact, focus will be where the effect is the biggest, and where it fits business strategy the best. Through digitalization, Telia Company has significant potential to impact the environment in a positive way and providing customers with eco-friendly solutions has a great potential of saving money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing resource efficiency. In 2020, we will set science-based targets covering our own and suppliers’ operations (scopes 1-3) well within the ambition of limiting global heating to 1,5°C.

Doing business with Telia Company will come with even stricter environmental requirements and expectations. In 2019, we began adding CO2 performance to supplier selection criteria. By 2022, suppliers should have a plan in place for reaching zero CO2 throughout their supply chains by 2030. Over time, this requires working closely with thousands of vendors and subcontractors to integrate the environmental agenda into their operations.

Our approach

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

Sustainable energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and hazardous and non-hazardous 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 separate 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. From 2020 and onwards, we use 100% renewable electricity to power our operations.

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.

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


Energy consumption within the organization
Direct energy consumption (scope 1), GWh 2019 2018
Continuing operations 28 27 27
Discontinued operations 2 56 79
Direct energy consumption, total 30 83
Indirect energy consumption (scope 2), GWh
2019 2018
Continuing operations 1,144 1,118
Discontinued operations 20 297 375
Indirect energy consumption, total 1,164 1,415 1,438


Direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions, ktons CO2e 2019 2018
Direct GHG emissions (scope 1)      
Continuing operations 7 7 7
Discontinued operations 0 13 19
Direct GHG emissions, total 7 20
Indirect emissions (scope 2, market-based)      
Continuing operations 28 37 75
Discontinued operations 10 138 168
Indirect GHG emissions, total 48 195


Other indirect greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions (scope 3), ktons CO2e

Purchased goods and services (category 1) 688
Capital goods (category 2) 140
Use of sold products; downstream leased assets (categories 11, 13) 198
Other material categories, total 102
Other indirect GHG emissions, total 1,128



The environmental case for connectivity

An increasing amount of research and real-life cases confirms that ICT solutions such as IoT, cloud and crowd insights services can have a substantial impact on reducing other industries’ GHG emissions. A global GSMA study showed that the mobile sector can help reduce GHG emissions by up to ten times its own emissions, through a combination of IoT services and behavior change. The Exponential Climate Action Roadmap, released in September and developed with the help of data from research by Telia Company, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and Ericsson highlights the role of digitalization in the transition to a low-carbon economy.