Orange Charts a Bold Course to 2030 and Beyond
The digital giant has put environmental and social goals at the heart of its new strategy.
As Paris-based telco Orange developed a new strategic plan, dubbed “Lead the Future,” it turned to us for help with a critical component: ensuring that key ESG themes are deeply embedded in the company’s business strategy.
We worked closely with business unit leaders and subject matter experts to define what the company’s new normal could look like by 2030, including a careful analysis of the risks and opportunities across a range of sustainability and ESG goals.
One key focus was Orange’s ongoing commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing related energy considerations on its journey to achieving net zero by 2040 (and a 45% reduction in all emissions by 2030 vs. 2020). We provided insights on energy access and cost, including the impacts of increased competition to secure renewable energy and the supply/demand imbalance affecting access to key metals, as well as smart energy management. In addition, we looked at regulatory and other factors driving the acceleration of mobile device recycling efforts, targeting a 30% collection rate in Europe by 2025.
Digital inclusion was also a priority. As digital is increasingly woven into the fabric of everyday life, it’s clear that many people are at risk of falling behind or being excluded altogether. To address that, Orange’s Lead the Future effort includes a commitment to provide more training, greater ease of use, and increased access to critical digital capabilities, targeting 6 million beneficiaries of digital training by 2030. We helped the company assess the impacts of an aging European population, the challenges posed by a digital divide in the Middle East and Africa, and the need for additional digital training and skills development within its workforce and enhanced digital awareness among its customer base.
Orange is also committed to becoming a trusted guardian of customer data. Given the skyrocketing rate of data consumption—and the centrality of digital data to business operations and consumers’ lives—protecting mobile data from cyberattacks, data theft, and other crimes is of paramount importance. In our collaboration, we mapped out effective approaches to further enhance personal data management, network resilience, and cybersecurity.
To ensure that Orange successfully addresses these three key themes, we delineated 16 distinct actions. Within the sustainability component, for example, we defined five critical levers to enhance circularity—a major focus for Orange—including collection and refurbishment of older phones, mobile infrastructure sharing, and network equipment lifetime extension, each mapped to an ambitious KPI.
This work helped Orange develop a climate strategy that it presented at its Annual General Meeting, underscoring that it is firmly on track to reach its 2030 ambition. The ESG goals embedded in its Lead the Future initiative are designed to produce an impressive list of positive outcomes for the environment and all Orange stakeholders, while also enhancing its competitive position.