Technology advances in an unstoppable way and, sometimes, it does so at such a speed that it can forget its main reason for being: to improve the quality of life of people. Aware that we are in the epicenter of a digital revolution which is clearly influencing society, Telefónica has set itself two challenges for the economic and social recovery that we must undertake in the coming years: that the digitization is inclusive –That is to say, that it does not leave anyone behind– and that it serves build a more sustainable society, to stop climate change.
“At Telefónica we believe in the enormous potential of technology to generate change and we cannot forget that the most important connections are human, since people’s quality of life depends, to a great extent, on that connection “, they explain from the company, which is about to celebrate its centenary. These are the main actions they have taken to achieve a more just, prosperous and respectful future with the environment.
Reducing the so-called digital divide is key to achieving a more inclusive society, but also to ensure safety, integrity and dignity. And this is something that Telefónica is taking very seriously, as evidenced by its recognition as a leading European company, and the second in the world, in the Digital Inclusion Benchmark (DIB), an international ‘ranking’ that analyzes the behavior of the 100 largest global companies in the ICT sector in promoting a fairer and more inclusive digital economy.
The first objective to achieve to achieve a digitally just society is that the network reaches everywhere, and that all people and companies can take advantage of the benefits that new technologies can offer them. For this reason, Telefónica has continued to bring the new high-speed communications networks closer to the majority of people so that they can enjoy new digital services. In Spain, 4G coverage already reaches more than 98% of the population and progress has been made in fiber deployment not only in urban areas, but especially in rural populations, to exceed 25 million homes with fiber coverage at the end of 2020.
Likewise, and in less than a year, the new 5G mobile networks have been deployed to serve more than 78.5% of the population, with the aim of keeping people connected in a healthcare context that makes connectivity more necessary than ever. However, for the necessary transformation to take place, not only access to technology is key, but also that other relevant aspects are promoted, such as the following:
- Digitized companies.
Telefónica contributes to and promotes industrial digitization and especially that of small and medium-sized companies, since the new services can increase their productivity by between 15 and 25%. Teleworking also helps reduce polluting emissions.
- Digital skills.
50% of employees will need to retrain by 2025, as adoption of the technology increases, according to the World Economic Forum. For this reason, both Telefónica and Fundación Telefónica develop training programs with the aim of facilitating training in new digital skills, such as Connect Employment, code.org or the Campus 42 of Fundación Telefónica.
- Access for all.
Anyone should be able to make use of the new digital solutions, regardless of age or physical abilities. Telefónica promotes accessibility, for example through Movistar + 5S, a free feature that allows access to content both in sign language and with subtitles for deaf people or audio description.
Digitization for a greener future
Digital technology has enormous potential to offer innovative and sustainable solutions. Based on this, Telefónica revolves all its actions on the principles of the Global Compact and with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) And, as if that were not enough, it has advanced its goal of zero net emissions to 2025.
“Our digital solutions also seek to contribute to decarbonize the economy”, they assure from the company, that it is consolidated, for the seventh consecutive year, as leading company against climate change at world ranking prepared by CDP, the non-profit organization specialized in environmental impact. These are its main achievements in environmental matters:
- Clean energy.
100% of Telefónica’s electricity consumption already comes from renewable sources in Europe and Brazil.
- More efficiency.
The substitution of copper cables for fiber optics is 85% more efficient. And the 5G network is up to 90% more efficient than 4G in terms of power consumption per unit of traffic (W / Mbps).
- Environmental solutions.
The stamp Eco Smart allows companies of any size and sector to choose services from ‘cloud’, internet of things, ‘big data’ and artificial intelligence that reduce your energy and water consumption, reducing your CO emissionstwo and promoting the circular economy. With this type of solution, the companies that make use of it have avoided 9.5 million tons of COtwo to the atmosphere.
- Green financing.
The recent issuance of a sustainable hybrid bond, the first of its kind in the ICT sector, guarantees that the company will continue to invest in renewable and social projects to insist on the commitment to fight against climate change and promote inclusive digitization, available to all.