Telcos combat climate change
TPG Telecom have announced their move to reduce their carbon footprint. The third largest telco in Australia has pledged to rely on renewable energy for all of its electricity sources by 2025.
This is a huge step, and many companies around the globe are making similar commitments as the realities of climate change become more and more apparent.
Netflix, the world’s largest streaming platform, just declared that it would be “net zero” by 2022. And Telstra announced last year that it had been government-certified as carbon neutral.
These developments show that reducing carbon footprints is quickly becoming a trend. But this is actually a good thing – whenever corporations look beyond their bottom line to help sustain the environment, they should be applauded.
In this article, we’ll tell you about the different approaches companies can take to reduce their carbon footprints, and how TPG, Netflix, and Telstra are making Australia cleaner.
“Carbon neutral” vs. “Net zero”
Climate change awareness is growing. Consumers are becoming more conscious about the topic, and are more inclined to patronize companies that take steps towards green practices.
As a result, large corporations are doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint and gain the the approval of customers.
But with this increasing awareness comes a number of catch-phrases and trending terms to describe what is perceived as the same thing, but not necessarily.
In this case, companies can take different approaches to reduce their carbon footprint. The two trending terms to describe these approaches are “carbon neutral” and “net zero”. But in so many cases, these terms are used interchangeably – however, they are entirely different.
- Carbon neutral refers to an offsetting approach, where a company removes an amount of carbon from the atmosphere that is equal to the carbon the company produces, in an effort to balance Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. To do this, companies can purchase carbon credits, which is essentially permission from the government to emit GHG in an effort to offset its effects. The other option is to support renewable energy initiatives of other entities. Neither of these require the company to actually reduce its carbon emissions, but rather just offset its emissions by reducing GHG from entities outside of the company.
- Net zero refers to efforts to actually reduce the GHS emitted by the company, rather than just buying carbon credits and/or supporting renewable energy initiatives of other entities. For instance, if a company’s logistics involves transporting goods in large trailers 10 times a week, a net zero approach would require that company to cut those trips in half and perhaps invest in renewable energy initiatives to offset the 5 trips per week that they now use for transporting goods. After all, the company cannot stop transporting goods, as that would mean an end to their business.
TPG Telecom and Telstra are great examples of the net zero and carbon neutral approach, and Netflix is aiming for net zero carbon.
TPG Telecom could be net zero in a few years
TPG Telecom has announced that, by 2025, all of its electricity will be sourced from renewable energy. This would significantly reduce the telco’s carbon footprint, considering how large in size they are. Of course, the telco cannot completely rely on renewable energy – parts dealing with the NBN will not be included.
TPG Telecom and Vodafone seem to be pushing for a cleaner Australia. Just last year, the telco launched Felix – Australia’s first mobile service to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The telco is touted as carbon neutral, and could arguably pass for net zero if TPG pushes to offset the remaining GHG emissions Felix produces.
Telstra is carbon neutral
Last June, Telstra announced that they had be certified as carbon neutral by the government. To get to this, the telco entered power purchase agreements and purchased carbon credits. Telstra’s offsets include renewable energy projects in India, and programs burning Savannah here in Australia.
Final words – Netflix net zero carbon could also contribute to a Australia stay clean
The day before TPG announced their renewable energy goals, Netflix announced that it would be net zero by the end of next year, 2022. The streaming service is taking a number of steps to that end, including pledge to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 45% by 2030. The plan is vast, and a large part of it includes the preservation of natural habitats like forests.
And with Netflix contributing to a significant chunk of network traffic due to the large amounts of Australians that stream shows on the platform, GHG can be reduced on that end as well with the help of telcos like TPG and Telstra. However, no such partnership has been announced.
Both TPG and Telstra should be commended for their efforts. This is especially so when considering Optus’ silence on the topic. The second largest telco, Optus, has seemed noncommittal, hardly making any attempts to combat climate change. Perhaps with consumers’ awareness increasing, effects on their bottom line could eventually push the telco to join the trend of reducing or offsetting Australia’s carbon footprint.