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Energy and climate change

We are saving energy, reducing operating costs and avoiding emissions. We are working to become the most efficient Digital Telco in terms of energy and carbon.

We measure our energy consumption and we calculate our carbon footprint. We analyse and identify new opportunities to reduce energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and implement projects for energy efficiency and renewable energy in each of our operations. As such, we reduce the operational energy consumption and the environmental impact of our activities.




We measure our energy consumption and monitor our network through the installation of smart meters in our facilities. Thanks to these, we can have first-hand knowledge of our consumption, identify inefficiencies in the network and optimise the operational cost of energy.

Base station monitoring at Telefónica España

During 2014, 36 sites located throughout Spain were monitored. Measurement systems for the interior and exterior temperature were installed, together with meters to record the total energy and air conditioning consumption. Based on the information obtained, each station's operating conditions were optimised, thereby maximising savings through a reduction in energy consumption. The pilot project allowed a comparison of those stations where efficiency measures were applied with those stations operating as standard.




We calculate our total energy consumption and our greenhouse gas emissions for the three scopes, in accordance with a global model based on the GHG Protocol, the ISO 14064 standard and the ITU-T L.1420 recommendation.

Leaders in the Carbon Disclosure Project

Telefónica lies, for the fourth consecutive year, among the five leading telecommunications companies in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), with a rating of 98A. In addition, we were recognised in the CDP Supplier Climate Performance Leadership Index as one of the companies that best manages the risks and opportunities regarding energy and carbon on a global level and reports to customers on the impact on emissions of the services delivered.




We carry out an analysis of the operational cost of energy and of our carbon emissions, we evaluate compliance with our overall objectives for a reduction in energy consumption and GHG emissions and we work with the various groups and associations in the sector to identify risks and opportunities in matters of energy and climate change.

Overall objectives for a reduction of energy consumption and GHG emissions




Base year

Target year


% Achievement

1 Energy consumption in networks per customer 30% 2007 2015 ongoing 65
2 Energy consumption in offices per employee 10% 2007 2015 achieved 100*
3 Carbon emissions per customer 30% 2010 2020 ongoing 41
4 Energy OPEX 50 M€ 2013 2017 ongoing 9

* Pending evolution.

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During 2014 we carried out over 35 energy efficiency and GHG emissions reduction initiatives on our networks and in our offices. Thanks to these, we reduced our energy consumption by 60 GWh and we avoided the emission of 12,700 tonnes of CO2. Standing out among the global initiatives are the air conditioning and Free Cooling projects for base stations, the installation of energy-saving functionalities on the 2G network and the replacement of rectifiers with new, high-efficiency ones.

Energy-saving functionalities

During 2014 we continued with the installation of energy-saving functionalities on the 2G network which are capable of regulating the power of the base stations based on traffic, in order to reduce energy consumption. Their installation in Central American operations has been planned, and 15,000 and 8,000 locations have been activated in Brazil and Mexico, respectively. A saving of more than 12 GWh has been achieved and the emission of 3.7 kt CO2 eq has been avoided.




In addition, and on an annual basis, we carry out an independent specialised verification process for energy data and emissions which allows us to identify improvements to our processes and manage energy and carbon transparently.

Energy and emissions inventory (1) (2)





% Var.

Total energy consumption GWh 6,562 6,385 -2.7


GWh 6,049 5,971 -1.3


GWh 514 415 -19.1
Energy from renewable sources GWh 1,006 966 -4.0

GHG emissions

Total emissions t CO2 eq (3) 1,917,861 1,774,661 -7.5

Direct emissions (Scope I)

t CO2 eq 118,262 94,893 -19.8

Indirect emissions (Scope II)

t CO2 eq 1,763,642 1,641,614 -6.9

Other indirect emissions (Scope III) (4)

t CO2 eq 35,957 38,154 6.1
Emissions avoided (5) t CO2 eq 296,895 289,963 -2.3

(1) Inventory based on ISO 14.064, GHG Protocol & ITU-T L.1420.
(2) 2014 Energy and emissions data verification in progress.
(3) CO2 eq = CO2, CH4 & N2O.
(4) Scope 3 emissions relate to work journeys.
(5) Emissions avoided thanks to the generation and purchase of renewable energy.