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Geoff Pegg
Head of Sustainability & Environment

08 November 2022

TELUS does more than just telecommunications, and now operates within various industries. What is the strategy behind this?

TELUS is leveraging its core capabilities as we grow, which is why we are innovating in healthcare and agriculture. We have evolved from being a Canadian telecommunications company to a global technology company where we continue to build upon our wireline and wireless services. This vision has been fuelled by our social and environmental purpose. We always keep customers at the core of our operations, and this includes 24/7 connectivity, reliability, speed, and access. 

We are revolutionizing the flow of health information across the continuum of care between doctors, patients and pharmacists. Similarly, we are helping ease the flow of information across global supply chains and connecting its participants, from producers to end consumers, to improve processes and ultimately the safety, quality and sustainability of food and consumer goods. We are doing that by offering data insights and innovative digital solutions for farm, traceability, supply chain and trade promotion management as well as precision agronomy, to customers in the agriculture, food and consumer goods industries.                                                                    . 

Given the breadth of the market our agriculture business unit serves, we recently rebranded to TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods. TELUS International had an IPO a year and a half ago, where we remain majority shareholders. This area of TELUS focuses on designing, building and delivering next-generation solutions for improved customer experiences, including processes with AI and content moderation. TELUS and TELUS International operate in 28 countries around the world and we see this as a solid growth engine.

How is Industry 5.0, ‘digitization with purpose’, re-structuring the way in which TELUS’ technologies are implemented to support circular and sustainable value chains?

When it comes to technology, I would like to highlight the work that we are doing within healthcare. We detected a shared-value opportunity to use our core digital tools and systems to better equip health professionals to deliver more efficient patient care. We are reimagining the way health care is delivered and have been serving the industry for more than 15 years. 

We have made significant investments to build our health capabilities and offer services to healthcare professionals, employers, governments and individuals. In the same way that virtual healthcare visits exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are innovating in many areas, such as virtual care and virtual pharmacy to improve how people get diagnoses and the treatment they need. For example, several years ago, nearly half of all prescriptions that were written by physicians were not fulfilled, whereas today, with our technology we are eliminating the risk of human error so medication adherence is improved, which ultimately reduces the burden on the overall healthcare system.

To what extent does TELUS work in tandem with the government when it comes to sustainability and ESG?

We work within our regulatory environment and various levels of government. I am happy that the Canadian federal government has set ESG targets supporting the Sustainable Development Goals through the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS). This is updated every few years and well reported on, so we have a strong foundation to work with. We are collaborating with the federal government to help them understand how digitization can have a positive impact on climate itself, and have contributed to the newest rounds of consultations for the latest FSDS. 

How does TELUS select the companies and projects it invests in when it comes to sustainability? 

TELUS is a large, publicly traded company, but the backbone of many economies are SMEs. They do not necessarily have the tools or resources to access data, and to scale and grow. An example of how we address this is the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, a $100 million social impact investment for companies committed to driving innovation and transformative solutions within ESG. We are looking for new ideas, value alignment, investing in entrepreneurs focusing on health, education, agriculture, and the environment, and providing them with the resources that they need to scale, grow and thrive. 

With climate being such a global risk, the ‘E’ in ESG tends to come to mind first. However, social is critical, and governance also, to ensure companies are doing their part. With this in mind, we have looked inwards and have more than two decades of commitment to give where we live, supporting communities.


We are now focused on our 5G technology, which beyond lightning-fast speeds, offer a leap in capabilities over 4G networks, including increased capacity, ultra-low latency, network slicing, and edge computing.


These advancements are the foundation to powerful new applications that will touch virtually every aspect of our lives — from business, education, and community building to healthcare, food production, and communications. 

Do you have a final message for our Newsweek readership?

We set our first climate targets in 2011, which we hit ahead of schedule. We have implemented science-based GHG emission reduction targets and are optimizing our real estate footprint. Our mantra has become ‘better space, but less of it’, given that 80% of our GHG emission footprint comes from the energy required to power our networks and buildings. We are looking forward to making further inroads in health, agriculture, security, and other technology solutions for consumers and companies as we bring to life our social purpose. 

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