BT cuts emissions by a quarter

BT says 'being a responsible and sustainable business leader remains at the heart of what we do' as the telecommunications giant reveals it has slashed operational carbon emissions from its global business by 25.5% over the past year.

In its 2014 ‘Better Future’ report released earlier this week, BT announced it had cut overall energy usage by 2.8% compared with last year – with all UK energy now coming from renewable sources – taking its total UK emissions to 82% below a 1996/97 baseline.

It is also on track to hit its 2020 target of helping customers reduce carbon emissions by at least three times the end-to-end carbon impact of BT’s own business, with the current multiple at 1.3 times.

“For BT, being a responsible and sustainable business leader is not a stand-alone strategic priority, but is part of who we are and how we do things,” said the company. “We believe that people want to work with a company that supports their ability to grow and is a positive force in the communities where it operates.

“Our Better Future programme helps us achieve this – through our people, products and operations. We demonstrate good business practice and maintain high ethical standards in our supply chain.”

Carbon-cutting initiatives over the past year included reducing packaging and energy consumption in products such as BT’s Home Hub wireless routers, and significant material reductions in printed circuit boards used in phone bases and handsets. The 25.5% reduction in operational carbon emissions delivered a total saving of £25 for the firm.

Net Positive Movement

BT joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in 2013/14 and also worked with a consortium including WWF-UK, Forum for the Future, The Climate Group and leading UK and multinational companies to launch the ‘Net Positive Movement’.

“Working together with this diverse group, we will continue to promote the Net Positive approach and encourage other businesses to do more than simply reduce their environmental impact,” the company added.

“We will continue to actively encourage policy-makers to create clearer incentives for companies to purchase renewable energy and stimulate demand. We will extend our efforts to improve energy efficiency, as well as shifting our energy use away from peak times to help ease pressure on national supplies.

“In 2014/15 and beyond, we hope to turn the research and pilot projects we are involved in into commercial propositions that will help customers further reduce their emissions.”

This latest report confirms that BT has reduced its global energy consumption every year for the past five years. Last year, the firm’s director of energy and carbon Richard Tarboton told edie that its recipe for success boiled down to one main ingredient – getting the business case agreed.

Luke Nicholls

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