BT joins calls to accelerate climate action through 1.5C Business Playbook

BT has joined the likes of Ikea and Ericsson in supporting the 1.5C Business Playbook, calling for renewed efforts from corporates and policymakers to halve emissions by 2030 as part of a "race to zero".

BT has a net-zero emissions goal set for 2045

BT has a net-zero emissions goal set for 2045

BT joins more than 50 organisations including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), WWF and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in supporting the Playbook, which is a spin-off of the Exponential Roadmap Initiative (ERI). The ERI highlights the 36 solutions that can “scale exponentially” to halve global emissions by 2030, putting the economy on track for net-zero emissions by the 2050s.

The Playbook is based on four pillars and outlines how companies should reduce operational and value chain emissions, while transforming products and services to low-carbon alternatives or those that can remove carbon from the atmosphere. The fourth pillar is to work with other actors in society to accelerate climate action. 

BT had set itself on the path to help limit global warming to 1.5C through a science-based target to reduce emissions by 87% by 2030 against a 2016/17 baseline, which was set back in September 2017. However, the company raised its ambitions again in 2018, when it committed to becoming a net-zero-carbon business by 2045.

The company is also adhering to the Playbook by launching services to help accelerate green innovation in the UK and drive the adoption of electric vehicle (EV) fleets.

“We’re encouraging all companies to join us in setting their own science-based net-zero targets, thereby driving themselves, industry, and policymakers to develop the right conditions for quicker, more impactful climate action.” Gabrielle Ginér, head of environmental sustainability at BT said.

The ERI is an official partner of TED Countdown and the recently launched COP26 Race To Zero campaign.

According to the UN, the world is “way off-track” to deliver the aims of the Paris Agreement. Preliminary data for 2019 suggests that greenhouse gas emissions increased globally in 2019 and carbon emissions from fossil fuels grew by more than 0.5% last year. The Race to Zero campaign will encourage renewed commitments to reaching the 1.5C target of the Paris Agreement.

At a corporate level, around 1,000 businesses with revenues totalling more than $4.7trn are backing the commitment. The UNFCC claims around a quarter of these businesses have targets aligned to net-zero. They will add to the 458 cities, 505 universities and 24 regions committed to the campaign.

BT’s chief digital impact and sustainability officer Andy Wales recently discussed how low-carbon and technological innovation can "reboot" Britain to help deliver a green economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Read Andy’s views here.


BT on edie's green recovery sessions

The first raft of speakers has been confirmed for edie's series of free green recovery-themed webinars and masterclasses taking place on Wednesday 23 September, with sustainable business experts from Aldersgate Group, BT, Bank of England, Ella's Kitchen, UKGBC all among the line-up. 

Penelope Guarnay, Carbon Programme Manager, BT has agreed to appear on the "Practical case studies of building back better through sustainable business" online session. The session will explore the role of compliance in building back better and cutting carbon, what green buildings and sustainable transport looks like and how to accelerate climate action through effective collaboration.

Click here to find out more information and to register for the sessions.

Matt Mace



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