BT pledges to cut three times the carbon it emits

Telecoms giant BT pledged today to help cut three times the carbon it emits in a project it dubs “Net Good”. At a launch in London this morning  group chief […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

Telecoms giant BT pledged today to help cut three times the carbon it emits in a project it dubs “Net Good”.

At a launch in London this morning  group chief executive Ian Livingston declared, “carbon neutral isn’t enough. We have got to aim for more.”

He told an audience of stakeholders: “The world is consuming something like one and a half times the resources we’re putting back into the planet. It can’t continue… Business has to recognise the challenges of consumption, that the past is not going to be good enough. We have to do more.”

Mr Livingston (pictured) went on: “We’ve reduced our carbon emissions since 1997 by 80%, all the energy we purchase in the UK is green energy… We are broadly carbon neutral. There are many companies who would say, that’s their goal, carbon neutral. We are. But it’s not good enough.”

He stated: “Our goal is that by 2020, we will help reduce our carbon emissions by at least three times the ‘end to end’ carbon impact of our business. So for every one bit of carbon for our business, we will save three times that. That is our three to one goal.”

Earlier at a press briefing BT’s Kevin Moss who is head of the Net Good programme explained how the company researched how they could fall in line with this ambitious target, using external data where possible.

Mr Moss said: “We’ve identified a list of products and services which help our customers cut their energy and or their carbon emissions. For each of those products, and there are nine in that list, we have a case study, or a report, or in one or two cases we have a methodology… which equates that product to a carbon saving.”

In one example touted by Mr Moss, BT is cutting the carbon footprint of its customers by offering teleconferences which cuts out the emissions of their transportation. It is as well as encouraging firms in its supply chain to become more sustainable.

Along similar lines to the ‘net positive’ commitments of other corporates such as Kingfisher and Puma, there is a crucial difference to BT’s plans says Andie Stephens of the Carbon Trust, which helped put together the research behind Net Good.

The “challenge”, said Mr Stephens is that there are no international standards but this is where he says BT’s efforts to “quantify” carbon use and savings stand out.

BT is one of the top ten biggest energy users in the UK and the largest user of renewable electricity in the country, according to Richard Tarboton, head of energy and carbon at the firm.