What’s a carbon footprint?

Like most forms of economic activity, providing telecommunications services results in greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (sometimes referred to as carbon emissions) are made up of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other gases, which trap heat close to the surface of the Earth, and contribute to global warming (climate change).

For Telstra, a massive percentage of our emissions arise from the energy we use to power our networks because Australia’s energy grid supply is still predominantly driven by fossil fuels.

Another big source of emissions comes from building those networks, including emissions associated with the production of steel, concrete and other materials to build telecommunications equipment. 

It’s no surprise that these emissions add up, given that Telstra’s mobile network alone covers more than 2.5 million square kilometres – that’s 1 million more square kilometres than any other mobile network! 

What are we doing to reduce our carbon footprint?

We announced three climate change ambitions in 2020, all aimed at minimising our impact on climate change:

  1. Bring our operations to net zero emissions (carbon neutral) in 2020, certified by Climate Active.
  2. Reduce our absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
  3. Enable renewable energy generation equivalent to 100% of our consumption by 2025.

We achieved our first ambition in July 2020. Our operations are carbon neutral, achieving Climate Active’s largest certification in Australia.

We’ve put in place plans to reduce our absolute carbon emissions, and have invested in carbon offset credits to counteract the emissions that remain after our reductions.

Our carbon offset credits are sourced globally, from projects related to renewable energy, biodiversity and Savannah burning.

More on how we went carbon neutral

To help decarbonise the broader economy, we’re also using technology to unlock smarter and more efficient ways of working and living.

See Telstra Climate Change Position Statement [PDF - 24kB]


What does this mean for you?

In a nutshell - when you use our telecommunications services, you don’t have to worry about emissions from our networks and operations contributing to your carbon footprint, because we have neutralised these emissions - and at no extra cost to you.


We are building a connected future so everyone can thrive

 We know there’s more work to do - we’re continuing to look for new ways to have an impact, by:

We’ve answered some of your frequently asked questions