Significantly increased power efficiency:O2 will reach net-zero emissions by 2025 at the latest

Read page

Credits: Karsten Pawlik
Telefónica Germany / O2 has set itself the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2025 at the latest.
Telefónica Germany / O2 has set itself the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2025 at the latest. For the company, this means that all products or services provided, as well as its business activities as a whole, should no longer increase greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. To this end, concrete measures and interim targets will now be defined every year until 2025, with the aim in particular of improving electricity efficiency, reducing unavoidable CO2 emissions and increasing the quality of the green electricity used. One focus will be on energy management and network technology. "We want to reach net-zero by 2025 at the latest. With this objective, we are setting an exclamation mark for sustainability and becoming an example in the German telecommunications industry. We want to avoid CO2 emissions as far as possible, or at least reduce them and only compensate for absolutely unavoidable ones. We want to transport the significantly increasing data volumes associated with digitization with less and less electricity per byte," explains Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Germany / O2. "Taking responsibility is the foundation for success. I am therefore proud that we have decided to adopt this ambitious climate strategy. Every year we will define concrete measures for all divisions and thus approach the big goal in small steps. These include clearly defined energy targets, for example," explains Valentina Daiber, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Legal Affairs and Corporate Affairs at Telefónica Deutschland.

  • Electricity efficiency to increase by around 82 percent by 2025
  • Total power consumption will be covered by 100 percent green electricity from 2021
  • Higher green power quality through power purchase agreements and self-generated electricity

Power efficiency increases with 3G shutdown, 4G expansion and 5G rollout

Markus Haas and Valentina Daiber
Telefónica Deutschland / O2 plans to significantly increase the power efficiency of its network with the latest mobile phone standard and technical modernizations. The aim is to consume 82 percent less electricity per byte by 2025 compared to 2015. The planned 3G switch-off, 4G expansion, 5G rollout and data center upgrades are key to increasing power efficiency. Because with every new generation of mobile communications, power efficiency increases. 5G consumes up to 90 percent less power per byte than 4G. Telefónica Germany/ O2 has been purchasing electricity from 100 percent renewable energies since 2016. Where the company does not manage its own purchasing - for example in rented 02 stores - the green power supply is currently not yet guaranteed. The share is decreasing from year to year, it accounted for 16 percent of total electricity consumption at the end of 2019. Telefónica Germany / O2 now wants to close this gap as well. From 2021, the company wants to purchase guarantees of origin for the amount of green electricity that corresponds to consumption outside its own purchasing jurisdiction. This means that electricity from renewable energies will account for 100 percent of the total power consumption of all the company's operating units - from office buildings to stores and mobile phone masts. In addition, Telefónica Germany / O2 plans to increase the quality of the green electricity used. To this end, the company wants to invest in renewable energy plants with so-called Power Purchase Agreements. These long-term power purchase agreements with energy producers allow them to operate wind turbines or other alternative energy sources for Telefónica Deutschland / O2, for example. In addition, the company is also examining possibilities for producing its own electricity from renewable energies. From 2021, the first suitable mobile communications sites are to be equipped with photovoltaic systems in order to leverage further potential for electricity savings.

CO2 emissions to be further reduced - residual emissions to be compensated

Telefónica Germany / O2 has already set itself the goal of reducing its CO2 emissions by more than 90 percent by 2030 compared to 2019. In 2019, the company's CO2 emissions amounted to around 93,000 tons. This corresponds to the annual per capita CO2 emissions of almost 12,000 people in Germany. To further reduce CO2 emissions, the company intends to cut business travel by 70 percent, for example. Where CO2 emissions cannot yet be avoided, such as on necessary business trips or through building heating systems in rented premises, they are to be offset by the same amount. The compensation will be in the form of certificates, which will be used to finance climate protection projects. The company intends to define requirements for such compensation projects that are significantly above the minimum standard customary in the market. With its new climate strategy, Telefónica Germany / O2 supports the Paris Climate Agreement and contributes to the action alliance "Business Ambition for 1.5°C". The CO2 reduction targets adopted by Telefónica Germany / O2 were calculated for the telecommunications sector using the method of the "Science-Based Targets" initiative. The emission reduction targets are thus in line with the scientific requirements for limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The company has been pursuing ambitious environmental goals in the areas of energy efficiency and recycling management for over 15 years. Telefónica Deutschland / O2 had already exceeded the climate targets set for the years 2015 to 2020 by the end of 2019. The goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 11 percent compared to 2015 was clearly exceeded with a 28.5 percent reduction by the end of 2019. While the data volume rose by 106 percent by the end of 2019 compared to 2015, energy consumption fell by 15 percent. Overall, this means a reduction in energy consumption per data volume of 56.1 percent.

More information on the climate strategy and the complete CR Report for the 2019 fiscal year can be found at