More climate action: getting serious about reducing supplier and customer emissions

Climate change is the biggest threat we face in our world today and the defining challenge of the decade. We are already seeing the consequences of inaction and we all need to step up our response and ambition.
Andrew Penn · 08 December 2021 · 3 minute read

A new Scope 3 emissions target

To play our part, today we are announcing a broadening of our greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to include a 50% reduction of our Scope 3 emissions by 2030 from a FY19 baseline year. This target has been verified by the Science Based Targets Initiative.

Scope 3 emissions are the indirect emissions from the activities we rely on to operate our business and provide products and services. They are the emissions made by our suppliers when manufacturing equipment that is installed in our network or equipment used by our customers such as the energy modems use in our customers’ homes or businesses. These emissions are three times greater than our own Scope 1 and 2 emissions and, in many ways, far less within our control.

However, it is important we take responsibility for the emissions we can influence and to support our suppliers and customers to decarbonise too. Our Scope 3 emissions have already decreased by 11% since FY19 but we’ve now committed to a specific target as it’s the next big frontier in making significant and sustained progress.

The average consumer is unlikely to think about the amount of power it takes to make a FaceTime call, or how much energy their modem uses to connect the Wi-Fi, but collectively the emissions from the energy used by our customer modems, mobile phones and other devices are greater than the emissions to power our network.

Collaborating with suppliers and partners

A key focus area for us is to collaborate with our suppliers and partners. This includes providing training and support to reduce their carbon footprint, working with device manufacturers to reduce the emissions from manufacturing Telstra branded devices and improving their energy efficiency to reduce the Scope 3 emissions of our customers. Modem use makes up a large portion of our Scope 3 emissions so we will continue to improve future versions of our Smart Modem range.

Our climate targets

This new Scope 3 commitment is in addition to our other climate targets:

  • We committed to being carbon neutral in our operations from 2020 and achieved this in July 2020.
  • We committed to enable 100% renewable energy generation compared to our consumption by 2025, and we recently signed our third power purchase agreement to help us achieve this.
  • And, we committed to reducing our absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2030 from an FY19 baseline. At end of FY21 we had achieved a 11% reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

We are looking at every inch of our business through a climate lens, from reducing the fuel emissions from our vehicles and generators (Scope 1 emissions), to the electricity to run our network, offices and stores (Scope 2 emissions) and our travel, operational waste, emissions from suppliers that provide the equipment to build our network, and the power used by our customers to run their devices (Scope 3 emissions).

Climate change is everybody’s business. There are no sidelines to sit on when it comes to taking meaningful action. Of all the risks we face from climate change – and there are many – the largest is believing that this is someone else’s problem to fix. It’s our problem, we need to get after it and there isn’t a minute to lose.


By Andrew Penn

Former Chief Executive Officer

Andy Penn became the CEO and Managing Director of Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, on 1 May 2015. At Telstra, Andy is leading an ambitious change program transforming the business to be positioned to compete in the radically changing technology world of the future with 5G at its core. Andy has had an extensive career spanning 40 years across 3 different industries - telecommunications, financial services and shipping. He joined Telstra in 2012 as Chief Financial Officer. In 2014 he took on the additional responsibilities as Group Executive International.

Prior to Telstra, Andy spent 23 years with the AXA Group, one of the world’s largest insurance and investment groups. His time at AXA included the roles of Chief Executive Officer 2006-2011 AXA Asia Pacific Holdings, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Asia and Chief Executive Australia and New Zealand.  At AXA, Andy was instrumental in building one of the most successful Asian businesses by an Australian company that was sold to its parent in 2011 for more than A$10bn.

Other directorships & appointments: Member of the Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria; Board Director of the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA); Chairman of the Australian Government’s Cyber Industry Advisory Panel, created to guide development of Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy; Patron, on behalf of Telstra, of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Awards (NATSIAA); Life Governor of Very Special Kids and an Ambassador for the Amy Gillett Foundation. He serves on the advisory boards of both The Big Issue Home for Homes and JDRF.

Recognition and qualifications: MBA (Kingston), AMP (Harvard), FCCA, HFAIPM. Andy has a national diploma in business studies (with distinction), is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, holds an MBA from Kingston University and is a graduate of Harvard’s Advanced Management Program. In 2008 Andy was recognised as Insurance Executive of the year in the Australian Banking and Finance Awards and in 2016 he was made an honorary fellow of the Australian Institute of Project Management. In 2018 Andy was named by the Financial Times among the top 10 male leaders globally HERoes list supporting women in business. In 2019 he was named by the Australian Financial Review as among the top 10 most powerful people in business.

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