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Reducing scope 3 emissions

Scope 3 emissions are indirect GHG emissions that we cannot control but can influence.

As part of our Science-Based Target, we have committed to halve our Scope 3 carbon emissions by 2030 (against a 2020 baseline) and fully abate them entirely by 2040, as part of our net zero target. The main sources of Scope 3 emissions are investments (joint ventures and associates), purchased goods and services, and the use of sold products.

Our goal

To reduce our own carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2030 and across the full value chain by 2040.

Our scope 3 emissions

This year, our estimated Scope 3 emissions were 9.4 million tonnes of CO2e. We worked with the Carbon Trust to analyse our Scope 3 emissions and prioritise reduction opportunities, mostly by working with our suppliers.

The most significant scope 3 emission sources are joint ventures and purchased goods and services. Read more about our progress on these emission sources below. The third most significant source of our Scope 3 emissions is the use of sold products (e.g. charging devices). As countries de-carbonise their electricity grids, these associated emissions will also reduce.

Embedding our commitments in our supply chain

Last year, our suppliers’ emissions in producing the goods and services that we procure from them, particularly in our networks, IT equipment, handsets and other devices, were estimated to be 3.9 million tonnes CO2e.

From October 2020, we introduced a 20% weighting for environmental and social criteria in our supplier evaluation criteria in ‘Request For Quotation’ (‘RFQ’) processes. The updated process examines whether suppliers have environmental policies to address carbon reduction, renewable energy, plastic reduction, circular economy and product life-cycle (in addition to diversity and health and safety).

The assessment awards positive scoring for suppliers that have set (or are willing to set) a Science-Based Target. In addition, suppliers who offer product-specific CO2 data and pathways for reduction over the contract period are positively scored.

Our supplier performance management programme also covers environmental factors, and suppliers’ GHG performance is one of the factors evaluated in our annual assessment process. We ask selected suppliers to provide details of their GHG emissions and management programmes through CDP. Last year, 90% of those suppliers responded, with 88% reporting that they had set a target for GHG emissions. This work was recently acknowledged by CDP, with Vodafone joining its Supplier Engagement Rating Leaderboard, which recognises companies that engage with their suppliers to tackle climate change.

Our joint ventures and associates

In addition to suppliers, we also work with our joint ventures and associates, which represent the most significant proportion of our Scope 3 emissions.


In India, Vodafone Idea has developed an Energy and Carbon Management Policy, with actions to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.


In Kenya, Safaricom has committed to becoming a zero carbon-emitting company by 2050.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, VodafoneZiggo issued its first sustainability bonds worth €2.1 billion and had its Science-Based Target approved by SBTi.


In Australia, TPG Telecom launched a new sustainability strategy, which includes a commitment to set a Science-Based Target.

Our strategy in action

Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

We aim to build a inclusive and sustainable digital society. Through our connectivity and digital innovations (SDG 9) and through our partnerships (SDG 17) we can accelerate and scale delivery across multiple SDGs.

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

We drive energy efficiency in our networks. Vodafone is also committed to reusing, reselling or recycling 100% of our redundant network equipment.

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