Corporate Responsibility Report 2023:O2 Telefónica improves energy efficiency in the network

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O2 Telefónica issued its Corporate Responsibility Report 2023
In 2023, O2 Telefónica improved its sustainability performance in all three dimensions (environment - social - governance) and achieved the best ESG rating in the telecommunications industry worldwide from Sustainalytics.
  • Efficient network technology: O2 Telefónica increases data volume by 40 percent with stable electricity consumption.
  • Energy consumption per data volume falls further to 0.07 GWh/PB in 2023 and is reduced by 83 percent compared to the base year 2015.
  • CO2 emissions: O2 Telefónica reduces CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 97 percent compared to the reference year 2015.
  • ESG rating agency Sustainalytics: O2 Telefónica achieves the best ESG risk score out of 233 companies in the telecommunications services category worldwide.
  • Society programs: O2 Telefónica reaches over 2.5 million people.
Markus Haas
2023 was another record year for mobile data usage. Around 4.8 billion gigabytes flowed through the O2 Telefónica network alone. This means we not only bear responsibility for the millions of people we connect, but also for sustainable digitalization. Germany must become the digital leader in mobile communications in Europe. We want to contribute to this by expanding our fast, green and stable network. We already reach around 95 percent of households in Germany with our high-performance 5G network,” says Markus Haas, CEO of O2 Telefónica.
Net-zero emission by 20240
With around 45 million mobile connections, O2 Telefónica will continue to connect the most people in Germany in 2023. While the data volume in the mobile network increased by 40 percent to 4.8 billion gigabytes in the reporting period, energy consumption in the network remained almost constant at 760 GWh after 757 GWh thanks to extensive cost-saving measures. Efficient network technology reduced energy consumption per data volume in 2023 to 0.07 GWh/PB from 0.08 in the previous year. O2 Telefónica was thus able to reduce its consumption by around 83 percent compared to 2015 and by 2 percentage points compared to the previous year. This was made possible by the use of artificial intelligence (AI), for example: AI plans grid capacities and makes dynamic adjustments to changing demand. This made it possible to save around ten percent of electricity - for example by temporarily putting frequencies on standby at night. The expansion of the 5G network is also a decisive factor in energy efficiency. This is because the fast mobile communications standard consumes up to 90 percent less power per byte transported than previous generations. In the reporting period, O2 Telefónica reduced its CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 97 percent compared to the reference year 2015. The company is aiming for net-zero emissions along the value chain (i.e. including Scope 3) by 2040. By 2025, the company's own direct and indirect emissions are to be fully offset.

Responsible corporate governance with an award

O2 Telefónica was awarded the “ESG Industry Top Rated” seal for the second time in a row
The consistent and transparent pursuit of sustainability goals led to top ratings in 2023: Among other things, the company achieved the best ESG risk score out of 233 companies in the telecommunications services category worldwide and was awarded the “ESG Industry Top Rated” seal by ESG rating agency Sustainalytics for the second time in a row.
Valentina Daiber
Valentina Daiber, Chief Officer Legal and Corporate Affairs O2 Telefónica, says: Exemplary ESG management is very important to us at O2 Telefonica. Particulary in times of geopolitical and overall economic turbulence, this aids us in boosting our company’s resilience and demonstrating that sustainability and business success go hand in hand.”

Considering products over their entire life cycle

A sustainable mobile life with O2 Telefónica
With its circular economy strategy, the company is setting the framework for resource-conserving business practices. With the sale of used cell phones under the Blau brand and, from March 2024, at O2, the range of sustainable products and services is expanding. O2 Telefónica relies on digital solutions to sustainably optimize its own supply chain. The company uses a self-developed AI-based tool that scans more than 150 million websites and social media platforms to identify potential risks in the supply chain at an early stage, such as possible violations of human rights or environmental protection requirements.

O2 Telefónica drives inclusion and diversity

The Responsible Business Plan 2025 of O2 Telefónica
O2 Telefónica stands for dialog and against exclusion. This applies both to its own workforce and to society as a whole. The company stands up for diversity, freedom of expression and tolerance and takes a clear stance against hatred and agitation, anti-Semitism, anti-democracy and racism. People from 77 nations work at O2 Telefónica, young talents as well as members of older generations. The company has been cooperating with 2hearts, a community of people with a migrant background who work in the tech industry, since 2023. And two women have been part of the Management Board for several years. O2 Telefónica connects people and bears social responsibility, especially in geopolitically and macroeconomically challenging times. In 2023, for example, the company supported the victims of war and natural disasters with free telecommunications services. With its social programs “Digital Mobil im Alter” or “Wake Up Jetzt”, especially for younger people and senior citizens, the company reached a total of over 2.5 million people last year. The main topic was “Artificial intelligence”. As an employer, O2 Telefónica is driving the digital working world of tomorrow. An important measurement is the Employee Net Promoter Score. This provides information on how likely employees are to recommend Telefónica Deutschland as an employer. In 2023, this rose by 12 points compared to the previous year to 78 points.
The full Corporate Responsibility Report 2023 entitled “Connecting people reliably.sustainably.inclusively” can be downloaded here in German and English. Further information: ESG data and indices (GRI, TCFD, SASB) - English ESG-Daten und Indizes (GRI, TCFD, SASB) - German