Australia’s greenest telco

Which Australian telcos are really doing their bit for the environment? Find out with the Finder Green Awards.

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Finder research has revealed that nearly half (47%) of Australians are actively looking for "greener" products or services.

Bur for many Aussies, this is easier said than done. Our research also found that 76% of Australian consumers have trouble actually determining what the green option is.

This is a problem we wanted to solve and as a result the Finder Green Awards were born. If you would like to learn more about our other award winners, please visit our Finder Green Awards hub.

Our winner is: Belong

Green Telco of the Year 2020

As Australia's first carbon-neutral telco, Belong showed why it deserved to be Finder's 2020 Green Telco of the Year. Since its inception in 2013, Belong has established itself as a sustainability leader in its industry. In addition to its carbon-neutral status, Belong has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce its own environmental impact, as well as that of its customers.

As part of the wider Telstra group, we were pleased to see the telco has set public targets to reduce its carbon emissions intensity, reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill and to increase its use of renewable energy.

Belong is also committed to minimising the waste created by its customers by collecting and recycling its old equipment.

We'd also like to acknowledge our finalists...

As a product that most Australians engage with, being able to go green with your telco is a huge step towards a more sustainable future. Here are two more brands that impressed us with their commitment to sustainability.

Moose Mobile demonstrated its desire for a greener future through a number of public targets designed to reduce its emissions and waste, as well as increase its use of renewable energy.

Currently, 95% of the waste produced by Moose Mobile avoids landfill with a goal of increasing this to 98% by 2025. The telco also sources most of its electronics, office equipment and furniture from environmentally friendly sources.

As our second finalist, Start Broadband impressed with its dedication to minimising waste through repurposing a number of its modems. It has also set a number of internal targets in the areas of reducing its emissions and waste output, as well as increasing renewable energy usage.

In addition to this, Start Broadband has also achieved B-Corp certification illustrating its ongoing commitment to sustainable and ethical practices.

What makes a telco green?

  • Current environmental impacts

In order to make our assessment we focused on two areas where brands could show us their commitment to going green. The first area we looked at was the telco's current green performance, as well as how it intends to grow its sustainability in the future. At a weighting of 80% overall, this section made up a bulk of the scoring in this category.

We assessed current performance by looking at the brand's emissions intensity, its use of renewable energy and its waste output, as well as any relevant accreditations or benchmarks it has met. Looking to its potential future performance we considered both internal and public targets, as well as action plans regarding climate change.

  • Environmental impact of the telco's products

The remaining 20% of the scoring was specific to the telco industry looking at factors such as the availability of a customer equipment program and its offering of climate-friendly products.

A customer equipment program would involve the brand recycling or refurbishing old equipment from customers to minimise waste. Similarly, a climate-friendly product offering would include options like providing refurbished products, incentives or discounts for customers engaging in sustainable behaviour, or carbon-neutral products to name a few.

Methodology for Green Telco of the Year award

The table below shows a more detailed breakdown of the scoring – if you're interested in more details on the methodology you can view the Finder Green Awards 2020 methodology document.

Eligibility criteria: Company must have offered telecommunication products (e.g. mobile, broadband etc) to customers in Australia in the 12 months prior to 31 December 2019

General environmental criteria:Sector-specific environmental criteria:

Current performance: 64%

  • Emissions intensity
  • Emissions intensity (inc. offsets)
  • Energy from renewable sources
  • Waste avoiding landfill

Environmental targets: 11%

  • Emissions target
  • Renewable energy target
  • Waste target

Reporting and accreditation: 5%

  • Public climate change plan
  • External benchmarks/accreditation

Customer equipment program 10%

  • Recycled equipment
  • Refurbished equipment

Climate-friendly products: 10%

  • Refurbished products
  • Incentives/discounts for sustainable purchases or behaviour
  • Carbon-neutral products
  • Other (specify)

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