Australia faces a major challenge to achieve its target of net zero emissions by 2050. While many businesses, especially large businesses, have committed to reduce their emissions to net zero by 2050 or earlier, only a quarter of large businesses are on a trajectory to meet these targets. Digital technologies have a crucial role to play in helping businesses achieve a reduction in carbon emissions, and in this context, Telstra commissioned Deloitte to estimate how much could digital technologies supported by Telstra contribute to Australia’s 2030 carbon goals.
The net impact of Telstra and associated technologies can be analysed by looking at the ‘enablement factor’ – that is, comparing avoided emissions with own emissions, which mostly come from energy consumption from data centres and retail outlets (measured by Telstra's scope 1 and scope 2 emissions in Australia).
Avoided emissions were estimated according to six major industry sources of emissions across 11 use cases. These use cases were identified to reflect the broad sectors in which digital technologies are applied to reduce carbon emissions and represent a range of products and services aligned to Telstra’s core business.
The six key findings of the analysis are as follows:
- Over the next 10 years, the total cumulative avoided emissions that could be enabled by Telstra’s services and products are estimated at 41 MtCO2e. This could be even larger with greater uptake of Telstra’s existing technologies or the implementation of new technologies.
- By 2030, annual avoided carbon emissions enabled by Telstra could reach 4.2 MtCO2e, the equivalent of reducing the number of passenger vehicles on Australian road networks by 1.3 million passenger vehicles.
- Telstra’s potential contribution to avoiding emissions is nationally significant, the equivalent of about 1% of the average annual reduction in emissions required to meet Australia’s reduction target of 43% below 2005 levels by 2030. With the rapid adoption of emissions-avoiding digital technologies, Telstra, as Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, has a major role to play in achieving Australia’s environmental ambitions.
- Telstra’s own commitments to the climate change agenda include being carbon neutral from 2020, enabling renewable energy generation equivalent to its consumption by 2025 and reducing absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
- The net impact of Telstra and associated technologies can be analysed by looking at the ‘enablement’ factor’ – that is, comparing avoided emissions with own emissions. This report estimates that by 2030, Telstra’s enablement factor will be 6.9 – 6.9 tonnes are saved for every one tonne emitted.
- Already, in 2021, Telstra enabled its customers to avoid an estimated 2.7 MtCO2e, the equivalent of reducing the number of passenger vehicles on Australian road networks by 820,000 passenger vehicles. Telstra’s enablement factor in 2021 was 2.4.
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