Climate change is the defining issue of our age. It’s something that impacts every one of us and the time to act on it is now. So that’s why we at TalkTalk are launching a brand-new company-wide environmental policy that will guide us as we look to significantly reduce the impact that our business has on the environment in the coming years.
We believe that every business has a role to play, and we’ve been working hard to make a difference for several years. In fact, between 2015-20, we reduced our carbon footprint in our offices and data centres by over 60%.
We’re proud of what we’ve already achieved, but for us, this is just the beginning and as the need for urgent action rises, we need to do more.
Our new Environmental Policy
Over the last 12 months, all of us have migrated so much of our lives into the digital space, but the pandemic only accelerated what was already an established trend. We’re all online more than ever and while that delivers huge benefits in so many different areas, it’s not without an environmental impact, with estimate revealing that in the next five years, the ICT sector could amount for as much as 20% of global electricity consumption.
As a communications provider and contributor to this figure, we need to do everything possible to reduce our own emissions. And as a business, we need to lead by example and help others reduce theirs. Our new environmental policy will help us do this by focusing on four crucial areas.
Our ultimate goal is to achieve ‘net zero’ and become a carbon neutral business. How will we do this? By measuring our ‘end-to-end’ carbon footprint throughout our supply chain all the way to customers using our products, and then taking steps to reduce it.
Reduce, re-use, recycle. We’re going to explore how we can use as few materials as possible in our routers and set top boxes. Supporting the re-use of our devices also offers a big opportunity.
We’re going to encourage our people to drive the innovation needed to tackle environmental challenges, as well as reducing our environmental impact within our own lives and how we travel to work.
We also need to look outside our organisation and engage with the communities we serve. We’ll look at how we can enable our customers and wider stakeholders to minimise their environmental impact. We’ll also make the case for the powerful potential of our services to support decarbonisation efforts across society, whether that’s through reducing commuting or enabling cutting-edge, smarter energy solutions.
Reducing our impact on the environment is a cause close to my heart. This isn’t simply about putting TalkTalk in a favourable light – we want to make a real positive difference, which is why we’re setting ourselves ambitious goals that are rooted in science.
A key milestone I’m looking forward to will be the announcement of our carbon emission reduction targets. These are currently being validated and finalised by our partners at the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). They will set out the reductions we’ll be working towards over the next decade and demonstrate our commitment to this critical cause. We’ll be sure to tell you more about our targets when we have further updates.
Alongside supporting positive change within TalkTalk, I’m also chair of the net zero taskforce at Business in the Community (BiTC), a fantastic opportunity that allows me get more immersed in the wider issues at play. We’re collaborating with companies such as Sky, Lloyds Bank and EDF, exchanging ideas on how to decarbonise, and creating the all-important tools for other businesses to follow suit. You can follow me on LinkedIn for updates on my work with the BiTC here or follow BiTC directly here.
In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about our environmental policy you can access this page here to find out more.
Jonathan Kini is Managing Director of Direct, Consumer & Business at TalkTalk and chair of Business in the Community's Net Zero Carbon Taskforce.