We are directly responsible for three significant impacts on the environment.
This is mainly electricity, though we use a little gas also. Most of it is used in our network, in our datacentres and in the 2,000+ BT telephone exchanges that we have equipment in. The remainder is used in our offices.
Our strategy to reduce our CO2 emissions from energy use has two elements.
Firstly, to reduce energy consumption, recognising that the best energy is that which you don’t consume. We’re evaluating the latest in cooling systems and LED lighting technology, measurement & targeting systems and behavioural change. Already, our London office has achieved a four star rating (“Excellent”) under the BREEAM standard, the world’s leading assessment method for sustainable buildings.
Secondly, to reduce the CO2 impact of the remaining energy by sourcing only renewable electricity (i.e. not from fossil or nuclear fuels) for our Next Generation Network, offices and call centres in the UK. We do not believe in participating in carbon offset schemes.
There is also an impact in the electricity consumed by the equipment that we give our customers, that allows them to connect to the internet, or our TV services. Whilst each unit has low power consumption, relative to other electrical items in the house, we acknowledge that we have over four million customers and set the specifications for the equipment that we send them. We work closely with our suppliers, and challenge them to improve the efficiency of their designs.
What else have we been doing to reduce these impacts? Learn more
Whilst we do not directly manufacture goods, our network, offices and customers still generate waste. This comprises of the obvious: copier paper, drinks cans, tea bags etc, but also the less so: faulty network electronics and computers, and the equipment that we send our customers.
Our major sites allow our people to recycle batteries, cans, plastic, paper and cardboard. We are also introducing bins for sending food waste to composting facilities.
In 2012 we ran an initiative to reward customers who return to us routers that have been diagnosed as end-of-life. We pay for the postage, refurbish or safely recycle the equipment and then donate £1 to charity on their behalf.
What else have we been doing to reduce this impact? Learn more
We have several thousand employees in the UK, as well as some operations overseas. We have to travel between sites so that we can deliver a great service to our customers.
What have we been doing to reduce this impact?
Some travel can’t be totally avoided, like when our engineers have to visit customers’ telephone exchanges to physically maintain our network. One way we can reduce travel, though, is to act like our customers, who use the internet that our Next Generation Network provides them with. We’ve installed the latest HD-grade video conferencing in dedicated rooms at our biggest offices, to minimise the CO2 from travel. Also powered by our own Next Generation Network are the audio and video conferencing systems available to all our people. Not only does this reduce CO2, but it gives our people more time to focus on customers.