Environmental responsibility

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  • Minimize negative and maximize positive environmental impact throughout our value chain
2017 progress
  • Operations in Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania were ISO 14001 certified
  • Buy-back programs implemented in all core markets
  • 99,000 devices collected through buy-back programs
  • 29.9 kWh per subscription equivalent (28.8)
  • 1.8 kg CO²e emissions per subscription equivalent (1.9)
  • EU Energy Efficiency Directive assessments carried out in five core markets
2018 goals
  • All major operations in core markets ready for ISO 14001 certification
  • Buy-back programs for mobile devices established in core markets
  • 10 percent lower energy consumption per subscription equivalent1
  • 33 percent lower CO²e emissions per subscription equivalent
2018 planned activities
  • Telia in Denmark and Norway to achieve ISO14001 certification, Telia in Sweden and Estonia work on widening the scope of the existing certificate
  • Implement waste reporting in all core markets
  • Increase the share of renewable electricity used 

1) Subscription equivalent is based on energy consumption for different subscriptions. Targets are based on total energy consumption and scope 1+2 emissions. Baseline 2015. Figures exclude energy consumption and emissions from region Eurasia and Telia Carrier.

Our approach

This focus area is governed by the Group policy – Environment.

Energy, GHG emissions and waste, particularly electronic waste, are the key environmental impacts that we need to manage in our own operations. The largest share of our total environmental impact is in the value chain of delivering an ICT service, particularly from the production and use phase of consumer electronics.

Significant regional differences define our approach. The biggest challenges are found in region Eurasia, mainly because of a lack of waste management infrastructure. In core markets, customers expect us to be proactive in our work and the solutions we offer, to show how we act responsibly and to help them understand how our services reduce their own environmental impacts.

All core markets are required to implement an environmental management system (EMS) according to the ISO 14001 standard. Implementation work is coordinated by the group environmental manager. EMS coordinators in core markets meet regularly to share best practices. Because of the regional challenges, companies in region Eurasia are exempt from the requirement to implement ISO 14001.

Work during the year

ISO 14001 certification in Lithuania

In October, Telia Lithuania received ISO 14001 certification. The EMS covers all of Telia Lithuania’s operations and focuses on two of the group’s key environmental aspects: energy and emissions. The greatest positive opportunities were identified in increasing energy efficiency and improving the car fleet. Telia in Sweden and Finland are ISO 14001 certified since earlier. Telia in Norway is certified according to the national “Eco-lighthouse” standard.

Buy-back programs

Buy-back programs, also known as take-back or upgrade programs, extend the product usage of mobile devices that are often in good working condition. In October, Telia Finland launched its buy-back program meaning that all core markets now have buy-back programs in place. During the year, 68,000 mobile devices were bought back through customer channels. Through its leasing agreements, Telia Finance took back another 31,000 mobile devices, computers and other hardware.

The devices are sold to local partners who either data wipe and resell them, or send them to recycling. Recycling partners in all core markets except Denmark are ISO 14001 certified.

Using renewable electricity

As part of the electricity procurement guidelines, core markets shall purchase electricity from renewable sources, either through a renewable contract or by purchasing Guarantees of Origin (GoO). In contracts where we are the tenant or co-host, we strive to influence the electricity contract owner to use renewable electricity. We purchased a total of 822 GWh of renewable electricity during the year, 87 percent (85) of total electricity consumption in core markets. This represents a reduction of 148 ktons CO2e scope 2 emissions.

Telia Company in Sweden does not conduct any operations subject to environmental permits from authorities according to the Swedish Environmental Code, Chapter 9.



IT capacity consolidation and virtualization

From 2011 to 2017, Telia Company completely transformed its Nordic data center infrastructure. When the project started, 44 Nordic data centers needed to be reduced to just four. The transformation relied on consolidation and virtualization.

At the start of the project, many IT resources delivering Telia Company’s services were located in smaller sites. This meant not only poor utilization of supporting infrastructure such as back-up power and cooling, but also unnecessary costs related to maintenance. These resources were consolidated at Telia Company’s larger data
centers, such as the one in Haninge outside Stockholm with world-class cooling efficiency.

Through consolidation and virtualization, where physical servers are replaced with cloud-based servers, Telia Company now has both improved IT capacity and significantly higher energy efficiency. During the period, data volume in the network as well as storage volume has increased sevenfold and the amount of servers has increased by 30 percent. Despite this, we estimate that annual energy consumption in the data centers has decreased by 7 GWh, roughly equating to SEK 7 million in cost savings.