Although often hailed as an enabler for a smarter, more sustainable future, the environmental impact of the telecoms sector is also seen as problematic.

In this report, we try to better understand the environmental footprint of telecoms, why global warming is impacting on telecoms and the different ways they can act to reduce this impact.

Most importantly, we analyse the strategies of the largest telecoms companies and provide a benchmark, at the end of 2020, of who is leading and who is following in the race to decarbonise their network.

Table of contents

1. Executive Summary

2. The environmental impact of Telcos
2.1. Definition of environmental impact
2.2. Characterization of telcos environmental impact
2.3. Why is this impact set to last?

3. Solutions to mitigate telcos impact
3.1. Electricity procurement
3.2. Energy savings solutions
3.3. The Cooling equation
3.4. The Recycling equation

4. Benchmark of telcos approaches to their environmental strategies
4.1. Case studies
• Telefónica
• AT&T
• Vodafone
• China Mobile
4.2. Benchmarking of main operators in the race to greener (telco) activities
• The race to carbon neutrality
• Overview of approaches to reducing energy consumption
• The scope 3 question
• Other environmental considerations

5. Annexes
5.1. Environmental frameworks
5.2. Acronyms

Geographic area



  • AT&T
  • China Mobile
  • China Unicom
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • NTT Docomo
  • Orange
  • SK Telecom
  • Telefónica
  • Verizon
  • Vodafone

Other details

  • Reference: M00024MRA
  • Delivery: on the DigiWorld Interactive platform
  • Languages available: English
  • Tags: carbon neutrality, climate change, cooling, electricity, energy, energy consumption, environmental strategies, green, recycling, telcos environmental footprint, telcos environmental impact

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