Telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom announced a significant acceleration of its climate targets today, including bringing forward its goal to be a net zero company by 10 years to 2040.

The company’s new climate goals include achieving net zero direct and indirect Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025. To achieve this target, the company anticipates reducing CO2 emissions by up to 95% compared to 2017 and offsetting remaining emissions, marking a major increase over its prior commitment, set in 2019, to reduce emissions by 90% by 2030.

Deutsche Telekom also plans to completely eliminate its carbon footprint by 2040, achieving net zero in Scope 3 emissions (including “value chain” categories such as goods and services acquired, capital goods, use of sold products, rented or leased equipment), where over 80% of emissions originate.

Birgit Klesper, Senior Vice President of Group Corporate Responsibility, said:

“The Scope 3 emissions are certainly the most difficult part of our journey to net zero. These difficulties can’t be used as an excuse, however. We need to use them as motivation.  As a large corporation, we work purposefully together with our suppliers as partners to systematically reduce the emissions which impact on the climate. In this respect we also have achieving net zero by 2040 as a clear goal ahead of us.”

The company stated that in order to achieve net zero, reductions in emissions need to be combined with a strategy to neutralize the CO2 emissions which cannot yet be avoided. Deutsche Telekom is focusing on carbon removal measures in which CO2 is actively captured from the atmosphere, including planting trees to capture CO2 or even rewilding projects for bogs.

Other initiatives include increasing use of renewable energy, with the company having a target to source 100% of the electricity used from renewables by the end of this year.

Tim Höttges, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom, said:

“The systematic efforts we have made for climate protection in the past two years have paid off. . This is not the time to be smug and give ourselves a pat on the back, however. The data is clear: this is a decisive decade for the global climate. We at Deutsche Telekom are actively leading by example: by 2025, we want to reduce our in-house emissions by up to 95 percent compared to 2017. We will neutralize the last five or so percent of our carbon footprint through high-value carbon capture projects. In a future-proof economy the goal must be to achieve net zero.”