JAC: Call to action on telecom supply chain emissions

Leading telecom companies part of the Joint Alliance for CSR (JAC) seek to make supply chains more sustainable and aligning to combat climate change

A new report from the Joint Alliance for CSR (JAC) has outlined aspirational goals for its supply chains, including new best practices for decarbonisation and aligning the industry with the latest scientific climate evidence.

JAC is a large telecoms industry body consisting of 26 of the world’s largest telecom companies, such as BT, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica. Whilst 93% of JAC members have committed to net-zero or science-based commitments, its call to action highlights a recognition of issues concerning Scope 3 emissions spread out across the diverse global supply chains.

A global call to action on supply chain emissions

Individuals and companies across the sector are continually committing to tackle climate crisis contributions, whether that is by decommissioning old practices or forging ahead with innovative and modern sustainable solutions.

The 2023 epi survey of JAC members, ‘Achieving Net Zero in the Telecoms Industry’, has identified that 93% of JAC members have committed to these sustainability targets, compared to 43% of Forbes 2000 members.

It highlights how JAC is now asking suppliers to support Scope 3 ambitions, extending beyond directly controlled business emissions (Scope 1 and 2), as well as issuing a list of 10 best practices for decarbonisation of the global telecoms value chain.

Data from the Net Zero Tracker initiative highlights that nearly seven years on from the Paris Agreement, just 57% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies have made a commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 43% of those companies have committed to net zero or science-based targets, which are now viewed as necessary to keep global warming to within 1.5 degrees celsius (34.7 degrees fahrenheit) of pre-industrial levels.

Ambitious targets mitigate climate change

According to the report, just 31% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies have set a Scope 3 emissions target. To contrast, 88% of JAC members have Scope 3 reduction targets in place. 

Dr Carlo Drauth, Chair of JAC Climate Change Workstream and Head of Sustainability and Responsible Business at Telefónica, stated that “joining forces across the telecoms sector and value chain” was vital to bringing a net-zero future into being.

He added: “As an industry, we have already set ambitious targets and taken concrete measures to reduce our emissions and mitigate climate change.

“However, most of our carbon footprint lies beyond our direct operations. Our supply chain is a significant contributor to emissions, and to achieve our targets, we must work together to reduce our collective carbon footprint.

“We understand that this transformation will not be easy, but we are confident that with the right mindset and actions, it is achievable.”

Tackling Scope 3 requires companies to identify the main sources of emissions in their value chains in order to cut emissions in a way that can achieve maximum impact. Companies like Vodafone have already set out their climate change pledges, with Vodafone in particular having the ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

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