Our carbon footprint is bigger and better than ever

2012 marks our fourth year of reporting global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project. We have good news to share:

  • We reduced our overall emissions by 20% since 2008.
  • We achieved our target to reduce emissions 20% by employee, too.

Making sustainable choices is good for our business and the environment. For example we cut both costs and emissions when we consolidated facilities. Moving to hydropower in our Finland location also improved our results.

To see how the years stack up, check out charts of our progress over the last 4 years.

Adding new pieces

Tellabs is sharing more information than ever before in our 2012 Carbon Disclosure Response.

Tellabs improved emissions and expanded the scope of our measurementFirst, a little background: There are 3 types of GHG emissions, known as Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol offers a helpful visual overview of them.

Most companies measure Scope 1 (direct emissions from fuel consumption) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions from purchased electricity/heat). Measuring indirect emissions known as Scope 3 is harder to do, because it often involves data from suppliers and customers.

Scope 3 is vast. It comprises as much as 85% - 90% of a company’s total carbon footprint. But given its complexity, very few companies tabulate the 15 types of Scope 3 emissions. A recent GreenBiz article stated that only 38 of 800 large companies report on at least 4 of the 15 Scope 3 categories.

In previous years, Tellabs could only include employee travel in our Scope 3 data. Starting in 2012, we’re reporting on 6 types of Scope 3 emissions, including: energy-related activities, business travel, employee commuting, end-of-life treatment, owned/leased assets and capital goods.

Adding more data makes our footprint appear much larger. Tellabs’ emissions totaled 14,498,752 tCO2e* in 2011 – about 400 times the amount we reported in 2010. It shows how much we’ve improved our measurement.

We’re not done yet

We expect to continue to improve in 2 areas in 2012:

1) Reduce emissions.

We’re always looking for ways to make our business more sustainable. For example, we recently changed our packaging for the products in the Tellabs® 8800 Multiservice Router Series. While maintaining safety during shipment, the new design uses less material and reduces the weight of each shipment, which also lowers emissions. We expect it will shrink our carbon footprint by about 21,180 tCO2e -- the equivalent of removing the annual emissions from 3,767 cars.

2) Improve measurement.

We will continue to improve our reporting of Scope 3 emissions. By measuring more aspects of our total emissions, we’ll be better able to manage them. We’re waiting until we have this information to set a new target to reduce emissions.

For more detail about Tellabs’ GHG emissions, read our 2012 Carbon Disclosure Project response.

*  tCO2e = greenhouse gas emissions in metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalents