We are committed to minimising our environmental impacts and working with our customers and suppliers to achieve better environmental outcomes.
Our long term vision is to become an Australian environmental leader. The extent of our network coverage and depth of our technical expertise provide an opportunity for Telstra to support government, businesses and consumers to reduce their energy consumption, leading to considerable cost savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Our Environment Strategy is aimed at addressing our most material environmental impacts across three strategic focus areas:
- Environmental customer value proposition: quantifying and communicating how our products and services can enable our customers to reduce their environmental impacts, particularly energy use and carbon emissions
- Operational excellence: actively identifying and minimising material environmental impacts and operating costs
- Sustainable supply chain: working with and influencing suppliers to manage and reduce the environmental and social impacts of their operations and of the products and services they provide to Telstra.
Energy efficiency and carbon emissions
Energy use in our networks is our most material environmental impact, accounting for around 87 per cent of our total carbon emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) in FY15. Large amounts of energy are required to power our network equipment and keep it at an optimum operating temperature.
In FY14 we set a long term target to reduce our carbon emissions per terabyte of data used (emissions intensity) by 55 per cent over the three year period from FY15 to FY17, from a baseline year of FY14. This year there has been a 27 per cent decrease in our emissions intensity, putting us on track to meet our FY17 target.
While data loads carried over our network increased by 36 per cent in FY15, total carbon emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) decreased by 1.3 per cent, as a result both of our energy efficiency initiatives and a reduction in the emission factors published by the Australian Federal Government for the reporting period.
In FY15 we completed the fourth year of our $41.3 million capital investment program, aimed at making our facilities more energy and carbon efficient. As part of this program we invested $6 million and implemented more than 540 energy and carbon reduction projects. We also invested a further $3.5 million in capital expenditure to improve the operating efficiency of our rectifiers, which convert AC mains power to the DC power required to run our telecommunications equipment and battery backup systems. Collectively, these initiatives, along with a program of work to decommission redundant equipment across our network sites, have reduced carbon emissions by 35,180 t CO2e and saved more than 33,239 MWh of electricity in FY15.
Total carbon emissions and emissions intensity
|Total carbon emissions(i) (Scope 1, 2 & 3)
Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e)
|Carbon emissions intensity (i)
Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per terabyte (tCO2e/TB)
(i) Australian operations for Telstra Corporation Limited. This includes relevant Australian subsidiaries, joint ventures and partnerships.
Australia is one of the highest per capita producers of electronic waste (e-waste) in the world, generating more than 25 kilograms of e-waste per person each year. E-waste is an important element of Telstra’s Environment Strategy. We collected 3,940 tonnes of e-waste this year, including 21 tonnes from an internal e-waste collection campaign across 29 corporate offices and 38 exchange buildings. We also help our customers deal more effectively with e-waste. Throughout FY15 we collected 15.6 tonnes of mobile phones and accessories from Telstra retail stores, offices and repair centres through the MobileMuster program, a two per cent increase in collections for the year.
 Global e-waste system, insights for Australia from other developed countries, The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2014, page 4