BT 'within touching distance' of 100% renewables target

Telecoms giant BT has posted an update on its progress towards sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020, after signing two new clean power deals.

BT's mobile network, EE, is now powered by 100% renewable electricity

BT's mobile network, EE, is now powered by 100% renewable electricity

The company is now sourcing 96% of the energy it uses for its direct operations from renewable sources, up from 81% in 2017, it said in a statement. 

The rise in renewable sourcing comes after BT signed a deal to source 100% clean electricity for its mobile network operations, EE, late last year.

Since then, the firm has also struck a deal with energy supplier nPower to supply renewable power to all of its EE stores and offices, which collectively represent 680GWh of demand annually.

BT claims that the two deals will reduce its overall carbon footprint by 100,000 tonnes per year – the equivalent to taking 40,000 petrol cars off UK roads.

The company’s chief digital impact and sustainability officer Andy Wales highlighted that BT’s progress was made particularly pertinent by the recent landmark report on global warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which concluded that “unprecedented change in all aspects of society” would be needed to limit warming to 1.5C.

In the wake of the IPCC report, BT pledged to become a net-zero-carbon business by 2045 – a move which received praise from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

"We recently announced our pledge to become a net-zero carbon emission business by 2045, and today's renewable energy deals mark another important step in reaching our ambitious sustainability goals," Wales said.

"We hope that by leading by example, we can inspire others to take action and drive the transition to a low carbon economy."

Past leadership

BT notably purchases 1% of the UK’s electricity demand each year – but its efforts to reduce emissions and combat climate change span more than 20 years.

The technology company has reduced emissions by more than 80% since 1996, and set a science-based target in line with a 1.5C trajectory in 2017 after reaching its previous emissions goal four years early.

Outside of its own operations, BT is also attempting to reduce customer emissions by at least three times its own end-to-end carbon impact.

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. The company also increased the amount of carbon it helped customers avoid by 1.3 million tonnes year-on-year.


BT at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum

BT's head of sustainable business policy Gabrielle Giner will appear at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum to discuss how the company is aligning itself with a 1.5C trajectory through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), along with speakers from Carlsberg and Tesco. 

Taking place 5 & 6 February 2019 at the Building Design Centre, London, the two-day event will also include discussions surrounding the best way to reduce your organisation's supply chain emissions. 

For more information and to register for the Forum, click here.

Sarah George


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| renewables | technology | low-carbon

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Energy efficiency & low-carbon | Renewables
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