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Carbon footprint calculation in telecommunications companies – The importance and relevance of scope 3 greenhouse gases emissions

Gregor Radonjič and Saša Tompa

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2018, vol. 98, issue C, 361-375

Abstract: Energy efficiency measures and climate policies are closely related to strategic concerns of companies, and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has become an important indicator of energy efficiency measures. This paper discusses the application aspects of organizational carbon footprint (CF) for telecommunications companies. In order to better understand the structure of overall (direct and indirect) GHG emission, the model for calculating the organizational CF was established for the case of a telecom operator in its initial stages of carbon policy. In order to understand the importance of scope 3 categories in the overall CF, calculated results were compared to CF results reported by three other European telecommunications operators. The results for a particular case based on Slovenian operator revealed that the largest contributor to GHG emissions is the consumption of purchased electricity. The employees’ commute to and from work, the use of company-owned vehicles, and heating represent the next major sources of GHG emissions. It was shown that the most contributive upstream scope 3 aspects are similar for various European telecommunication operators and that exclusion of some categories along the supply chain may give a distorted image of organizational CF. However, the comparative analysis revealed that using only the company's own-recorded in-house data can be far from sufficient to make conclusions which GHG emissions scope contributes the highest share to the overall organizational CF of telecommunications companies. In this context, this paper reveals new findings on the relevance of CF determination for telecommunications companies as a guideline for reconsidering their energy efficiency and sustainability plans.

Keywords: Carbon footprint; GHG emissions; ICT sector; Telecommunications; Energy efficiency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:98:y:2018:i:c:p:361-375