Success Story

Telefónica accelerates its decarbonization efforts with science-based targets

Telefónica, a multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Madrid (Spain), is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world. The company offers fixed and mobile connectivity as well as a wide range of digital services for residential and business customers. With 345 million users, Telefónica operates in Europe and Latin America.

Why Scope 3 emissions are so important

Scope 3 emissions, also known as value chain emissions, are indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions both upstream and downstream of an organization’s main operations. Many organizations find that the largest part of their carbon footprint lands within Scope 3, and that these emissions fall outside of the organizations’ direct control. This makes them simultaneously the most important and the most challenging emissions to manage for many.

With a strong commitment to science-based targets (SBTs) for emissions reduction, Telefónica wanted to take specific action to reduce its Scope 3 emissions. Working side-by-side with Atos, Telefónica began to set up a strategic supplier engagement program in order to help suppliers set more ambitious emissions reduction targets.

Getting suppliers on-target to reduce carbon

Telefónica partnered with EcoAct to launch a new climate engagement program with its key suppliers. These suppliers were selected based on their contribution to Telefónica’s Scope 3 emissions, their degree of maturity in their climate change management, and their strategic importance for Telefónica.

This extensive project included:

  • Setting up interviews to better understand the processes of the selected suppliers and their initiatives, as well as to find potential areas for improvement
  • Facilitating a series of workshops for suppliers of different maturity levels to inspire them to take action
  • Providing a forum to foster innovation and enable suppliers to exchange best practices
    Preparing training materials and supporting documentation

Engaging suppliers to enable sustainable change

The program has proven to be very successful, enabling Telefónica’s suppliers to define concrete emissions reduction targets in areas such as carbon management, energy management, transport, product design and internal carbon pricing. It is also helping suppliers adhere to initiatives such as the RE100 for renewable energy and the EV100 electric vehicle initiative.

With this strong emissions reduction action plan in place, EcoAct helped Telefónica develop an SBTi compliant Scope 3 target. This was undertaken by completing an assessment of Telefonica’s objectives, formulating a Scope 3 target aligned to a 1.5˚C scenario, and supporting the company through the SBTi validation process.

At a glance

EcoAct, an Atos company, has been working with Telefónica to establish a strategic supplier engagement program and in setting ambitious Scope 3 emissions reduction targets aligned with the most recent climate science.


  • Successfully defined concrete targets for Telefónica suppliers to help reduce their carbon footprint
  • Developed a Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) compliant Scope 3 target aligned to a 1.5°C limit on global warming

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