BT secures world's biggest green energy deal
The world's largest green energy contract has been announced by BT in a move that was welcomed by Government and described by non-profit organisation the Climate Group as "globally significant".
Negotiated with npower and British Gas, the three-year contract, worth several hundred million pounds, will see almost all BT's electricity needs supplied by environmentally friendly energy.
BT's 6,500 telephone exchanges, satellite earth stations, offices and depots will be supplied with power from sustainable sources, such as wind, solar, wave and hydroelectric, as well as low carbon fuel-efficient energy from combined heat and power (CHP) sources.
In total, the initiative will save the equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide produced by almost 50,000 homes or 100,000 cars.
Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "The actions of leading companies such as BT are living proof that significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions need not come at the cost of economic growth."
Chief executive officer for the Climate Group, Dr Steve Howard, praised BT's track record of already achieving an 80% reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions, which is nearly 1.5 million tonnes a year, calling it "phenomenal" and "remarkable".
"BT's initiative is globally significant and sends out a message that the purchase of green electricity is no longer a niche market - it has now gone mainstream," Dr Howard said. "BT is leading the way in showing that good business, cost savings and protecting the climate all go hand in hand."
Customers that chose to "go green" could reap a host of benefits and savings, as well as offsetting the Climate Change Levy, according to Gordon Parsons, head of sales and marketing at npower Business.
"The fact that a leading company and household name like BT has taken the lead on renewable energy and energy efficiency is a very positive signal to the business world. A sustainable energy policy is increasingly seen by a range of stakeholders, and society as a whole, as an imperative for responsible companies," he said.
Senior energy manager at BT, Angus Berry, added that, as one of the UK's largest companies, BT recognised their responsibility to promote sustainability and ensure their policies had a positive impact on the environment.
He confirmed that the company planned to continue its investment in energy efficiency within its 21st Century Network, power systems and equipment, as well as fitting renewable technology in its buildings.
"Green energy supply definitely forms the backbone of BT's environmental strategy," he said.
By Jane Kettle