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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). We are also committed to achieving net zero across our full value chain by 2040. The main sources of Scope 3 emissions are investments (joint ventures and associates), purchased goods and services, and the use of sold products.

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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

Our near-term and long-term targets to reduce Scope 3 emissions are ambitious but incentivise us to seek out innovative ways to collaborate with our value chain partners to drive the significant emission reductions needed. This year, our estimated Scope 3 emissions were 10.1 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 contributors to our Scope 3 emissions are our upstream supply chain (particularly goods and services that we purchase to operate our business, and capital goods) and our investments (including joint ventures and associate companies whose activities we help to finance). Read more about how we are working to reduce these emissions below.

The next most significant source of our Scope 3 emissions is from the use of the products that we sell - namely devices that use electricity. We're helping to drive down these emissions by supporting our customers to make greener choices about the technology they buy from us, for example by providing simpler and better information about the environmental impact of smartphones using information from the cross-industry EcoRating initiative, of which we are a founding member.

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Embedding our commitments in our supply chain

The emissions from our upstream supply chain (the goods and services that we purchase) are estimated to be 4.9 million tonnes CO2e. We continue to drive improvements in the way we calculate these emissions, as more detailed data and methodologies become available. Last year, alongside an increase in our procurement spend, these improvements were one of the key causes for our estimated Scope 3 emissions increasing. We will continue to keep pace as data and methodologies evolve, whilst also taking action to drive down emissions from our upstream supply chain.

As part of our supplier evaluation and selection process, we have a 20% weighting for environmental and social criteria, which is integrated into our 'Request for Quotation' (RFQ). Our evaluation 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.

In addition, CDP and Vodafone have jointly developed a framework consisting of 12 criteria - relating specifically to greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain - as the basis for a new environmentally-linked supply chain finance programme. Vodafone suppliers will be invited to share their environmental performance score with their supply chain financing provider, and in doing so will have the opportunity to receive preferential financing rates based on their ranking.

vodafone man with clipboard warehouse

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. Our work has recently been 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.

Read about our planet focus areas