BT generates £5.3bn in revenue through carbon-combative products, again

BT's range of consumer operations and products which contribute to carbon savings were worth more than £5.3bn last year for the second year running, while the company also increased the amount of carbon it helped customers avoid by 1.3 million tonnes year-on-year.

The figures, outlined in BT’s latest Delivering Our Purpose sustainability report, show that the revenue the company generated through carbon-combative products last year was almost identical to 2016 figures and continued to represent around 22% of the firm’s annual returns.

The report claims that BT products helped customers cut their carbon emissions by 11.3 million tonnes in 2017, up from 10 million tonnes in the previous year, through energy efficiency improvements and a greater dependence on renewable energy.

BT’s sustainability reporting director, Richard Marsh, said: “This report shows that weʼre making good progress on our 2020 goals and that weʼre contributing to solving some of the bigger challenges we as a society will face over the coming years, from climate change to access to an inclusive approach to connectivity and growth.” 

One of BT’s flagship sustainability commitments is to help its customers cut carbon emissions by three times their own end-to-end emissions by 2020. The 3:1 ambition currently sits at a ratio of 2.2:1, up from 1.8:1 last year. BT’s head of environmental sustainability Gabrielle Giner previously told edie that the 3:1 ambition had been influenced by a flexible and highly innovative supply chain.

The ICT crowd

BT research suggests that investment in ICT could result in a 24% annual reduction in the UK’s carbon emissions by 2030 and help cut the European Union’s carbon emissions by more than 1.5Gt annually as corporates within the sector move to decarbonise.

Despite an increase in data traffic globally between 2010-2015, the firm’s latest report notes that emissions per user have dropped from 21.5kg CO2e to 19kg CO2e over the five-year period as more big ICT firms invest in energy efficiency measures, renewable power and greener technology.

In terms of its own operations, BT maintained its share of electricity generated from renewable sources at 82% last year – contributing a 5.4% year-on-year fall in its overall operational emissions – as it strives to source 100% renewables through its RE100 membership.

Meanwhile, its supply chain emissions fell 6.3% year-on-year as the firm moves towards its science-based emissions target of cutting its carbon intensity by 87% by 2030 against a 2016-2017 baseline. BT is one of only three companies to have set a science-based target in line with the 1.5C trajectory outlined in the Paris Agreement, along with Tesco and Carlsberg.

Sarah George

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