Telefonica highlighted the potential for the metaverse to boost the energy sector through improved customer service, while tipping technologies including digital twins to provide benefits in overall sustainability efforts.

In a release, Telefonica stated the metaverse environment presents a space where energy suppliers could boost customer interactions by using virtual avatars, while also highlighting potential to improve industrial safety by employing virtual environments to train staff.

Telefonica pointed to South Korea as the first to experiment with a metaverse-based factory, where staff use VR tools to examine manufacturing processes.

Additionally, Telefonica believes virtual replicas in the metaverse can cut costs and accelerate sustainability goals by using an approach akin to digital twins.

Citing data from Ernest & Young, Telefonica stated the metaverse could contribute to a 50 per cent reduction in emissions, and increase operational efficiency by 35 per cent and productivity by 20 per cent by helping energy companies identify areas for improvement.

Telefonica also noted the metaverse could provide energy savings in the transport sector by cutting the need for commutes.

However, the operator noted a split in opinion on whether the metaverse can efficiently improve sustainable development goals.