• O2 UK flagged plans to become the UK’s first ‘net zero’ mobile operator, and work with its suppliers to reduce emissions across its supply chain by 30%, by 2025. 

O2 UK targets net zero mobile operator status

O2 UK targets net zero mobile operator status

Source: Jon Flobrant / Unsplash

Telefónica UK (O2 UK) flagged plans to become the UK’s first ‘net zero’ mobile operator, and work with its suppliers to reduce emissions across its supply chain by 30%, by 2025. In order to achieve a goal of creating net zero carbon emissions within five years, O2 UK plans to switch site landlords to renewable energy, while creating “technical and energy transition solutions across its whole business where needed”. O2 UK also said it will work with Telefónica Group to implement “more ambitious carbon reduction targets”, and encourage suppliers to follow suit. Progress against its commitments will be reported annually and independently audited by environmental impact monitoring and certification organisations Aenor and ERM. Telefónica is increasingly emphasising its credentials in supporting action on climate change, and Group Executive Chairman José María Álvarez‑Pallete can be seen as positioning sustainability as an over‑arching social purpose for the business transformation the Group is currently undertaking (Telefónicawatch, passim, and see separate report). Meanwhile, the GSM Association (GSMA) released a new sector-specific decarbonisation pathway to support the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The GSMA is collaborating with the International Telecommunication Union, Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative, and Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) to implement the new measures. The UN‑backed SBTi has already endorsed Telefónica’s energy and emission targets for 2020 and 2030 (Telefónicawatch, #121 and passim).