Telia puts sustainability at management board level

Telia Company has announced changes to its top management that include putting the sustainability agenda front and centre.

The Swedish telecoms operator revealed that former Ericsson executive Ola Rembe will join the company in March with a series of responsibilities, including sustainability.

Rembe will serve as Senior Vice President, Head of Communications, Brand and Sustainability, a new role that brings together those various functions for the first time. Per Carleö, currently on the telco’s executive management team as Senior Vice President, Head of Brand, will report to Rembe. Meanwhile, Rachel Samrén, Senior Vice President, Chief External Affairs and Trust Officer, whose role includes communications, will leave the company.

Rembe is currently a partner at business consultancy Kekst CNC, a company he has been with for the past three years. Prior to that he spent the best part of two decades at Ericsson in various media relations, brand and communications roles, latterly serving as VP Brand and Communications.

Telia Company is pretty excited about the experience he will bring to his new role.

“Due to his knowledge of our sector and track record at Ericsson and most recently as partner at Kekst CNC, he will play a critical role in communicating the full breadth and potential of Telia’s leading networks and services, while leading our contribution to a climate-neutral future,” said Telia Company CEO Allison Kirkby.

If you were feeling cynical, you could suggest that given Rembe’s comms and brand experience, a large part of his role will be in shouting about Telia’s green credentials, rather than driving them.

But it’s only fair to point out that Telia is among the more forward-thinking telcos when it comes to sustainability. It has set out clear targets to create a climate-neutral value chain by 2030 by at least halving greenhouse gas emissions and offsetting the rest. It has set the requirement that its suppliers set science-based targets and last year revealed that suppliers responsible for 29% of its supply chain emissions have done so, with a further 21% in the process of getting approval for their targets.

We have also seen a number of related green announcements from Telia in recent years, including – just to give an example – its latest renewable energy commitment, when in June it inked a pair of Power Purchase Agreements designed to boost its support and usage of renewable energy in Denmark and Estonia back in June.

The operator is doubtless making progress with its green agenda and its perfectly understandable that it would want to publicise that.

There’s also a broader implication here. It’s interesting to see a major international telecoms operator giving greater prominence to sustainability. The vast majority of telcos are flying the green flag, with pledges on emissions reductions, the use of renewable energy, sustainability in the supply chain and so forth. The inclusion of sustainability in management-level job functions is the next logical step.


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