1 Subscription equivalent is based on energy consumption for different subscriptions – from low consumption M2M subscriptions to high consumption 4G mobile or IPTV subscriptions. Targets are based on total energy consumption and scope 1 + 2 emissions.
Global challenges related to climate change, resource and energy scarcity and the circular economy rely on ICT to provide necessary tools for solving the challenges. The GeSI SMARTer2030 report (smarter2030.gesi.org) highlights that in 2030, ICT will have the potential to hold global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at 2015 levels while increasing resource efficiency in, for example, agriculture, transportation and electricity distribution. The ICT industry has a GHG emissions abatement potential of close to ten times its own emissions.
Our key environmental impacts
Energy, GHG emissions and electronic waste remain the main environmental impacts to manage in our own operations and in the value chain. Negative environmental impacts come from the production of consumer and network equipment, from construction, maintenance and running of the networks, and from waste generated.
Regional differences define our approach
Significant regional differences have defined our approach to environmental responsibility. The biggest challenges are found in region Eurasia – weak legislation, lack of waste management infrastructure and low interest from customers. In regions Sweden and Europe, customers expect us to be proactive in our work and the solutions we offer to help them reduce their own environmental impacts.
The group environmental policy states that we shall adopt a structured management approach to managing key environmental impacts. This means working towards reducing GHG emissions, increasing energy efficiency, working towards ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS) certification and establishing mobile device buy-back programs.
Group sustainability strategy has the overall responsibility for developing and implementing the environment strategy and policy. Companies implementing ISO 14001 must have a clearly appointed function responsible for managing the EMS. Country organizations and other group functions are responsible for activities such as network planning and buy-back programs that have an impact on our environmental work.
Activities during the year
ISO 14001 implementation in Finland
Sonera in Finland began implementing ISO 14001 with the aim to be certified in 2016. ISO 14001 has been already been implemented in Sweden and Estonia, with parts of the organizations certified.
GHG emissions reductions
During the year, we reduced our gross GHG emissions by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) and green electricity. Through these we reduced our scope 2 footprint by 56,500 tons of CO2. Over 500 solar power installations, mainly at Ncell in Nepal, Tcell in Tajikistan and Ucell in Uzbekistan contributed as well, although we cannot exactly quantify the emissions reductions from these.
56,500 tons reduction of CO2 emissions
Buy-back programs were established in most Nordic and Baltic countries. These programs enable customers to hand in old devices for a discount, regardless of their value on the market. The devices are collected by an ISO 14001 certified partner that wipes and refurbishes them for resale, or recycles them. In total, 125,000 devices, mainly phones, were collected. A large contribution came from NetCom in Norway which collected 55,000 devices, also donating 10 NOK per device to the national youth environmental organization Miljøagente (www.miljoagente.no). In addition, TeliaSonera Finance collected and refurbished 12,500 leased devices during the year through its life-cycle management program.
Life-cycle assessment of fiber digging
The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) conducted a lifecycle assessment of fiber digging methods together with Skanova, which manages our fiber rollout in Sweden. The findings showed that green-field plowing, micro- and narrow trenching has the smallest environmental impact. The findings were presented during follow-up of sustainability performance of sub-contractors and in planning dialog with municipalities.
Planned activities in 2016
Focus in 2016 will be on implementing the environmental policy and EMS to ensure that we establish a common ground for our future environmental work.
To ensure a common approach, the Sonera EMS assessment will be used as template for implementation in region Europe. The EMS will also take into account the requirements of the new EU energy efficiency directive.
Buy-back programs will be established in more countries, covering more types of devices and channels.
To better understand and be able to quantify how our services help customers reduce their environmental footprint, we aim to further support relevant industry studies together with organizations such as GeSI.