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Telecom industry can help solve climate crisis by cutting emissions

As global economies race to curb climate change, the telecommunications industry is positioned to make a substantial difference. The first step is “really understanding where their emissions are coming from,” said Tim Weiss, Co-Founder and CEO at Optera. The International Telecommunication Union has said that to reach a critical goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°c above pre-industrial levels, the Information and Communications Technology industry would have to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% from 2020 to 2030.

If we don’t reach that goal, scientists believe that the globe will reach “tipping points”—irreversible and major shifts in the climate system. But Optera is mostly focused on helping companies cut their Scope 3 emissions: the indirect emissions from activities outside the company’s operational boundaries, such as supply chains, transportation and product usage and disposal. What many companies—especially those in the telecom industry—find, is that most of their GHG emissions stem from activities external to their operations, from the actual manufacturing of products (upstream Scope 3 emissions) to the use of those products over their life and their disposal or recycling (downstream Scope 3 emissions).

Weiss said for actionable steps toward reducing Scope 3 emissions, companies must pinpoint their most impactful suppliers and products and stack rank them. Benton

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