Helping reduce our supply chain’s carbon emissions

We’re working with our suppliers to help lower the carbon emissions created while providing the products and services we purchase.

Our relationship with the CDP

As a major telecommunications and technology company Telstra relies on a large and complex supply chain to support our customers.  Our suppliers range from small businesses in remote Australia, to some of the world’s biggest companies. 

To help better gauge our holistic environmental impacts we’ve partnered with the CDP, a not-for-profit global organisation who run the global environmental disclosure system.

Through the disclosure system the CDP supports thousands of companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their climate change, water security and deforestation risks and opportunities.

How we’re helping suppliers lower their carbon emissions

Through our 3-year partnership with the CDP (launched in April 2020), we’ve become their first Supply Chain Program member in Australia, and have joined 150+ leading companies with combined annual procurement spend of over four trillion $US.

This partnership enables us to deliver training, tools and support to our top-100 suppliers (approximately 80% of our spend), to help them disclose their environmental impacts to Telstra via the CDP.

In June 2020, Telstra’s Chief Procurement Officer, Andrew McPherson, hosted a forum with some of our top-100 suppliers to discuss how we can work together towards a low carbon future.

Since then, 89% of our top-100 suppliers have disclosed their environmental impacts to Telstra via CDP, which is well above the global average rate of disclosure.

We’re now using this information to help us further understand the volume of emissions being released, and to develop strategies with our suppliers to further reduce these emissions.

The benefits of setting reduction targets

CDP Hong Kong’s Regional Director Pratima Divgi said, “CDP’s data shows supply chain emissions average 5.5 times more than a corporate’s direct emissions. Corporate environmental leaders such as Telstra demonstrate how companies can leverage their purchasing power to identify potential climate-related disruptions and develop resilient supply chains that are prepared to mitigate risks and capitalise on business opportunities that will come in our transition to a low carbon future.

CDP Hong Kong’s Regional Director Pratima Divgi

Currently 67% of our disclosing suppliers have set targets to reduce their emissions. When choosing our suppliers, we tend to take into consideration their ability to meet or exceed emission and energy standards (these decisions can also impact our customers by providing energy efficient products in their homes and businesses).

Through our suppliers we’ve been seeing an increasing sense of responsibility and urgency to act across industries and businesses, irrespective of size.   

Although our suppliers vary in how advanced they are with their decarbonisation plans; the momentum is building rapidly.

Decarbonising a supply chain has important domino effects

Businesses and customers who operate ‘downstream’ in our decarbonised supply chain tend to become more likely to shop for carbon neutral alternatives.

While suppliers who operate ‘upstream’ in our supply chain are more likely to talk about their investments, and (once they make the necessary investments) supply carbon neutral products and services to businesses and customers outside our supply chain.

We thank all our suppliers who are making a difference - not just in terms of helping to decarbonise our business, but for influencing others across the globe to make similar changes.

Although we still have a long way to go, we are grateful for the momentum to date, and encouraged by what is a much clearer picture of the path forward.