Own Telstra shares? Here’s how the telecom operator plans to use drones to create carbon credits

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Telstra Company Ltd. (ASX:TLS) is taking a new approach to achieving its carbon reduction emissions. One that includes plans for a fleet of tree care drones.

If you own Telstra shares, you will own part of this fleet.

So what exactly is the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) Planning a telecommunications giant?

How does the telecom operator plan to create carbon credits?

As reported by The Australian Financial ReviewTelstra intends to plant 158,000 native trees and shrubs on 240,000 hectares of land in northern New South Wales.

The project will use drones to plant the seeds and monitor the health of the trees. It is estimated that trees will pull some 160,000 tonnes of CO2 from the air over the next 25 years.

The land in question, according to Telstra, is not agricultural. Rather, it is land that needs repair and will be returned to its natural state.

As to the reasoning behind the company’s plans, Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said the price of carbon credits “is quite volatile” and they are “increasingly difficult to come by”.

According to Penn:

Rather than just shop around, what I said to the team was, “Well, why is that? ” Why is it a problem?’ And, of course, part of the problem is that we don’t have enough carbon production projects to basically create those carbon credits.

And the telecom operator’s futuristic project is not limited to seed planting drones.

“Other technologies we intend to explore include the use of robotics and artificial intelligence to improve pest and weed management,” Penn said. “And drones and sensors to monitor tree health and calculate the carbon stored in trees.”

Penn said Telstra’s networks, which support Australia’s booming digital economy, require a lot of electricity to operate.

According to Penn (quoted by the FRG):

This leads to more and more consumption, which then requires energy to operate. So that’s part of this overall combination of how we support the development of carbon credits, but also reduce our absolute value [emissions] exit at the same time.

How have Telstra’s actions been tracked?

Shares of Telstra, up 0.1% in early trade today, lag the benchmark in 2022.

Year-to-date, Telstra shares are down 7.5%, compared to a 3% loss posted by the ASX 200.

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