World Environment Day: Green digital transformation as a lever for change

Nacho Palou    5 June, 2022
Photo: Mert Guller / Unsplash

The UN has been celebrating World Environment Day on 5 June every year for 50 years. It is an initiative that seeks to raise awareness among the world’s population of the need to respect, care and protect nature.

For this year’s edition, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has revived the slogan “One Earth”. It is the same slogan it used for the first edition, in 1972, and it is a message that in 2022 is more powerful than ever: it invites us to live sustainably and reminds us that this planet is our only home and that we are responsible for safeguarding its resources.

In this context, the technologies that underpin the digital transformation of companies —connectivity, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, etc.— have proven their potential as a lever for change and their ability to resolve many of the environmental challenges we face.

Among other examples,

  • They allow us to improve the efficiency and sustainability of production processes, reduce energy and water consumption and reduce emissions of polluting and greenhouse gases, such as CO2.
  • They help us to improve the management of natural resources and waste, to optimise transport logistics and mobility, to promote renewable energies and to encourage teleworking and the circular economy.

However, these same challenges also force us to analyse the environmental impact of adopting these technologies in our businesses and processes, and to identify possible improvements to achieve a green digital transformation with a genuine positive impact on our environment and society.

Technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence or Blockchain, among others, can help reduce CO2 emissions by 15% by 2030.

Source: European Commission,

Sustainable technologies for (real) green digitalisation

With the aim of developing technologies that promote green digitisation, most of the technological solutions offered by Telefónica Tech for the digital transformation of companies generate direct, significant and measurable environmental benefits for our customers or for the customer’s users.

These products are identified by the Eco Smart seal, certified by AENOR, an independent entity. This is a distinctive sign that visually shows, with an icon and a colour code, whether the product or service is associated with:

  • Energy savings​
  • Water consumption reduction​
  • CO2 ​emission reduction
  • Circular economy promotion

Therefore, customers of Telefónica Tech products and services with the Eco Smart seal generate significant environmental benefits in their production process or daily activity, and also obtain a financial return from the digital transformation by developing their business in a more efficient and sustainable way.

How Eco Smart solutions help the environment

Eco Smart services are already being used by companies of different sizes in key sectors – such as tourism, industry, logistics and distribution, retail and banking – to reduce resource consumption and CO2 emissions.

Here are some examples of technological solutions that bring direct, significant and quantifiable environmental benefits:

  • Smart corporate spaces and workplace and teleworking solutions for companies and public administrations that reduce commuting: workplace digitalisation avoids millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • The sensorisation of a building with IoT devices that take into account the context and the environment (occupancy of people, weather conditions, date and time…) to reduce lighting and air conditioning consumption.
  • Smart and connected meters, reduces leakage and water losses in the public network, in irrigation communities or in households.
  • A medical remote care service that saves patients from having to travel to the medical centre. It saves fuel (energy) and reduces pollutant and greenhouse emissions.
  • Monitoring and predictive maintenance, in order to know the state of equipment at all times, makes it possible to anticipate incidents and predict machinery repairs, extending its useful life and contributing to the circular economy.

Our customers avoided more than 8.7 million tonnes of CO₂ with Eco Smart solutions last year

Solutions for aligning financial, social and environmental sustainability

It is essential for companies and public administrations to opt for digital transformation solutions that have a certified environmental benefit, such as the Eco Smart label, to ensure their financial resilience and sustainability and to reduce their environmental impact.

It is also to set an example by achieving your ESG goals such as decarbonisation, emission reductions or meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed for your sector.

Our Eco Smart solutions saved our customers 8.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2021, equivalent to planting 158 million trees. Our goal is to avoid 12 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions by 2025.

One thing that remains unchanged is our purpose: that the Eco Smart technologies that underpin the digital transformation bring our customers an economic benefit that is aligned with social and environmental sustainability.

Featured impage: Photo: Mert Guller / Unsplash

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