Telstra dials up its renewable ambition: 100% renewable electricity by 2025

Telstra has become the first Australian telecommunications company to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2025, also pledging to become carbon neutral in 2020 and reduce absolute emissions 50% by 2030. 

Telstra is one of the largest consumers of power in the country – ranking at #13 in 2018-19. As digital consumption grows this will only continue to rise, making commitment to zero emissions sources of power all the more important.

Telstra’s commitment sees it set a goal to:

own or contract renewable energy generation in Australia and our other business locations for output equivalent to 100 per cent of the energy we consume in all of our operations, including our networks, buildings and data centres by 2025. This will have the effect of helping to decarbonise the Australian electricity grid for Telstra and everyone else. It builds on our work to date in underwriting Australian renewable energy generation via Power Purchase Agreements including solar and wind projects. We will continue to invest in Australia and also tap into offshore certificate markets.

Telstra, March 2020

Telstra has already signed 2 power purchase agreements with the Murra Warra wind farm in Victoria and Emerald Solar Farm in Queensland.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn has said, “I said climate change would be the defining challenge of the 2020s… Events including Australia’s Black Summer of bushfires have raised urgent questions in the community about what climate change means and, more importantly, what must be done. The science is clear. Climate change, driven by greenhouse gas emissions, is creating risks that impact our economy, our environment, our communities and each of us individually.” 

Telstra is the first major telco in Australia to commit to 100% renewable energy. 

Greenpeace Australia Pacific welcomed the commitment:

“As one of the top fifteen electricity users in Australia, Telstra is showing what it looks like for corporates to step up on climate change,” said Lindsay Soutar, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

“Telecommunications companies like Telstra use enormous amounts of energy to power their operations, so it’s important to see them starting to clean up their act and lead the transition to 100% renewable energy.”

“Today’s announcement is of particular impact because it’s not just about what is happening 30 years down the track, but what big energy users like Telstra are doing right now and over the next five years.”