Monday, January 19, 2009

Telstra now-we-are-acting on greenhouse?

In "Innovate, don’t compensate", Tesltra's green guru, Dr Turlough Guerin argues that there should be strong leadership on climate change from the Australian government. However, Tesltra might like to lead by example and provide some concrete measures on reduction of their own greenhouse gas emissions. I suggest Tesltra commit to a 5% annual cut in emissions, starting in 2009, up until 2020. To acheive this, Telstra could commit to have 10% of its senior IT staff compete a Green ICT course , such as the one the Australian Computer Society is running, by the end of 2009.


Turlough said...

Thanks for challenge - I am always up for that!

We are making progress and we are not far off your recommendation. Since we have been measuring our carbon footprint, we have been reducing our emissions by about 2% year on year and will continue to do so.

Specific initiatives we have committed to this financial year include:

• Calculate the carbon footprints of all business units and corporate groups.
• Determine the carbon intensity (tonnes of CO2e/unit of service) of Telstra’s Enterprise and Government service offerings.
• Increase the 2009 employee engagement survey score for the ‘environment responsibility’ question.
• Complete a study on the hydrogen fuel cell facility and solar panels installed at our Melbourne headquarters to assess their potential use in Telstra’s network and buildings.
• Enhance Telstra’s driver education program with an awareness program to encourage our fleet drivers to adopt green driving techniques to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

We will report progress against these in our next Corporate Responsibility report due out in the last quarter of this year.

In terms of leadership, our CEO cast a compelling vision for the telco industry and how it can transform the way in which society can make best use of scarce fossil fuels LINK ( And we are pursuing this through several of our businesses with support of the corporate environmental team to measure the actual emissions avoided for our customers.

I think your proposed target is strong and would build upon the leadership we have already demonstrated. Thanks again for your comments on training targets and keep challenging us - I recognise we can improve and the views of our stakeholders are important and greatly appreciated.

Tom Worthington said...

Turlough said January 20, 2009 12:54 PM:

"... we have been reducing our emissions by about 2% year on year..."

Good to hear you are reducing emissions, but the "about" worries me. Are Telstra's calculations and the reporting of them consistent with the "Draft National Carbon Offset Standard"? Have they been externally audited, as envisaged in the draft standard?

Telstra's CEO might like to show leadership by providing these details even before the standard is finalised. Also Tesltra's CO2 emissions may effect the share price and so Telstra may be legally required to disclose this information to the market, ahead of any specific legislation requiring it to do so.