Top 10: Sustainable Telecommunications Companies

Mobile Magazine explores the telcos championing environmental sustainability through innovative ESG strategies and renewable energy initiatives

Telecommunication giants are not just connecting the world; they're also reshaping it with their commitment to sustainability. Mobile Magazine uncovers the top 10 telcos driving change through their environmental, social and corporate governance strategies.

10. StarHub

StarHub

In January this year, Singaporean multinational telecommunications conglomerate StarHub, was named the World’s Most Sustainable Wireless Telecom Provider in the Corporate Knights Global 100 rankings, announced at the World Economic Forum. In 2023, 12 per cent of StarHub’s energy use came from renewable electricity sources and the company continues to expand its sustainability portfolio with the goal of increasing renewable energy use to 30 per cent by 2030.

Revenue: US$1.9bn

Employees: 17,000

CEO: Nikhil Eapen

Founded: 1998

9. Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom

Since the 1990s, Deutsche Telekom has been steadfastly dedicated to climate protection, demonstrating a proactive stance towards mitigating global warming. Embracing ambitious climate targets, the company aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2025, striving to slash its worldwide emissions by up to an impressive 95%.

Revenue: US$123.5bn

Employees: 206,759

CEO: Timotheus Höttges

Founded: 1995

8. Nokia

Nokia

Nokia has made a resolute commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. In a demonstration of heightened ambition, the company is now poised to expedite its targets for Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions, along with its interim goals for Scopes 1 and 2 by 2030. This accelerated trajectory is bolstered by Nokia's concurrent objective to procure 100% renewable electricity by 2025 across all its facilities, aligning with the RE100 initiative.

Revenue: US$24.1bn

Employees: 86,900

CEO: Pekka Lundmark

Founded: 1865

7. Swisscom

Swisscom

Swisscom has structured its operations to empower its teams, partners and customers to collectively diminish emissions on a global scale. Recognised for its exceptional sustainability efforts, Swisscom earned the title of the world's most sustainable telecommunications company by World Finance Magazine in both 2020 and 2022. Swisscom has also set ambitious climate goals that resonate with its ongoing commitment by aspiring to achieve complete decarbonisation throughout the entire supply chain by 2025.

Revenue:  US$12.3bn

Employees: 19000

CEO: Christoph Aeschlimann

Founded: 1998

6. KPN

KPN

The Dutch telecommunications company KPN has maintained carbon neutrality since 2015. Going beyond its own operations, KPN collaborates closely with its suppliers to actively pursue the goal of reducing CO₂ emissions across the entire supply chain to net zero by 2040. KPN's dedication to environmental sustainability is highlighted by its decade-long practice of utilising 100 per cent green electricity since 2010.

Revenue: US$5.7bn

Employees: 22,000

CEO: Joost Farwerck

Founded: 1989

5. T-Mobile

T-Mobile

T-Mobile has reused, resold, or recycled 11.7 million of its customer devices, contributing to its circular economy practices. The company has also achieved a 20% reduction in total Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions since 2020, marking significant progress towards its net-zero emissions goal by 2040. Overall T-Mobile has demonstrated some impressive improvements in energy efficiency and, today, continues investing in its product circularity.

Revenue: US$78.6bn

Employees: 71,000

CEO: Mike Sievert

Founded: 1999

4. AT&T

AT&T

Smart Climate Solutions, fueled by AT&T Fiber, 5G, and IoT technology, offers transformative benefits to companies operating in high-emission sectors like energy, manufacturing, and transportation. These industries can achieve enhanced environmental sustainability by implementing initiatives such as emission reduction, efficiency enhancement, and waste minimisation. Notably, AT&T has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality throughout its worldwide operations by 2035, highlighting its dedication to combating climate change on a global scale.

Revenue: US$122.4bn

Employees: 149,900

CEO: John T. Stankey

Founded: 1885

3. Telefónica

Telefónica

Telefónica uses 100% renewable electricity in Europe, Brazil, Chile and Peru and promotes the circular economy through eco-design, recycling and reuse across its operation. In 2022, Telefónica reused over four million units of electronic equipment. Another impressive milestone is that 54% of the company's B2B services have been verified with the Eco Smart label. In the last seven years, Telefónica has reduced its Scope 1+2 carbon emissions by 80% and Scope 3 emissions by 32%.

Revenue: US$39.2bn

Employees: 104,142

CEO: José María Álvarez-Pallete López

Founded: 1924

2. Telstra

Telstra

Telstra has agreed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Global Power Generation (GPG) for the development of a solar farm near Bundaberg, Queensland. This agreement propels Telstra towards achieving its climate objectives, including sourcing renewable energy equivalent to 100 per cent of its consumption by 2025. The project entails securing up to 153 GWh per annum of renewable energy output to the grid, reflecting a significant investment worth $130 million. Telstra CEO Vicki Brady said partnering to help get more renewable energy projects off the ground is just one of the ways Telstra is working to help decarbonise Australia’s economy. 

Revenue: US$14.8bn 

Employees: 28,880

CEO: Vicki Brady

Founded: 1975

1. Huawei

Huawei

Huawei says it’s dedicated to environmental stewardship by prioritising the conservation of our planet's resources. Throughout its product lifecycle, the company emphasises ecological preservation by utilising renewable and eco-friendly materials, conducting analyses of carbon footprints and minimising plastic usage in packaging. Additionally, Huawei focuses on enhancing product energy efficiency, extending product lifespan and optimising electronic waste recycling and reuse initiatives. Notably, over 90% of the packaging materials utilised by the company are now sourced from recyclable or biodegradable materials. 

Revenue: US$99bn

Employees: 207,000

CEO: Ren Zhengfei

Founded: 1987​​​​​​​


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