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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

Australian telecommunications company Telstra made a bold move last week by announcing they are “re-prioritising our climate change investments to take more direct action, moving funds away from the purchase of carbon credits in favour of decarbonisation projects that will reduce our footprint overall.”  The company claims to be one of Australia’s largest electricity users, and the move to direct reductions will “deliver additional cost savings over time as we reduce our energy bills.”

A few ways the company plans on doing this:

“… achieving further energy efficiency from our operations, decommissioning technology that isn’t as energy-efficient in favour of new equipment that is, and even sourcing electric vehicles for our field teams. We’ll also explore more technology-related opportunities to reduce our carbon emissions. This includes:

  • Piloting green hydrogen cells;

  • Installing more solar and battery solutions; and

  • Using data analytics and AI to improve the efficiency of our network equipment.”

In explaining the change in direction, the company said they “are aware of the increased public and industry interest in how corporates are using carbon credits in recent years, and that consumers are increasingly expecting organisations to take more direct and transparent climate action.”  What may not be immediately apparent is that by reducing reliance on offsets, they concurrently reduce their regulatory, reputational, political and financial risk profile at a cost differential the company has deemed acceptable. Will other companies follow suit and prioritize emissions reductions over offsetting? We can only hope…

Our members can find more information about carbon offsets here.

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Photo credit: Rafael Henrique –

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The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile