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Telefónica sets out to align business aims with UN development goals

Elena Valderrábano Telefónica.jpg

Telefónica has put its weight behind international development goals, saying it wants to deploy sustainable, resilient and quality infrastructures.

This is goal 9 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which covers industry, innovation and infrastructures.

But the company also said in a policy statement that it wants to look at how its activities align with all the SDGs.

“The SDGs are not isolated goals, but are interlinked between their corresponding targets, forming a system or network,” said Elena Valderrábano (pictured), global head of sustainability at Telefónica.

“There is therefore the possibility of achieving a direct impact on some SDGs and an indirect impact on others at the same time,” she said. “This interconnection allows us to design our contribution strategy with greater precision and adapt it over time, defining the actions to be carried out or the products or services that fulfil our purpose of maximising our contribution to the socio-economic development of the regions.”

Telefónica, which operates in Spain, Germany and much of Latin America, has set out its position in a white paper, A connected world, a sustainable world, in which it analyses the direct and indirect impacts of its activities.

The company says that the report shows the indicators revolve around three pillars:

  • Helping society to prosper, favouring socio-economic progress through digitalisation;

  • Going beyond responsibility by generating trust; and

  • Building a digital and greener future.

The company acknowledges the importance of its activities as they affect climate change, saying to wants “to take advantage of the opportunities of decarbonisation, be more competitive and offer our customers low-emission connectivity, decoupling business growth and the incorporation of new technologies such as 5G or fibre deployment from the increase in greenhouse gas emissions”.

Telefónica says its energy and climate change objectives “include being net zero” and says they are aligned with the 1.5°C scenario of the Paris Agreement.