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How BT is helping households to cut carbon emissions
19 August 2021
I’m proud to say that BT has been a climate leader for almost 30 years and we’ve pledged to be a net zero emissions business by 2045.
In 2016/17 we set out plans to reduce the carbon emissions intensity of our business by 87% by March 2031 and we were one of the first companies in the world to set a 1.5 degree, Paris-aligned science-based target.
In the last five years, we’ve:
• Reduced our carbon emissions by 57%
• Cut supplier emissions by 19%, against a target of 42% by March 2031
• Linked 10% of our annual bonus to goals on digital skills and carbon reduction
• Completed the switch to 100% renewable electricity worldwide
• Outlined plans to transition most of our fleet to electric or zero emissions vehicles by 2030
In 2021, we’ll be ramping up our efforts to help consumers.
A new study, commissioned by BT found that climate change is the third most important issue for people after mental and physical health, but despite this almost half of those surveyed believed that they were incapable of tackling climate change.
With a customer base of 30 million households and over a million SME customers, BT is well placed to help them, and others cut their carbon footprint.
Working with environmental charity Hubbub, we carried out a Smarter Living Challenge — a three-month pilot which saw consumers and BT colleagues from 61 diverse households make small but sustainable lifestyle change, supported by technology to help them reduce their own emissions.
55 households completed the challenge, taking a total of 448 actions to reduce their environmental impact, including switching to new renewable energy providers, turning the thermostat down one degree and repairing old technology items. Based on the progress made, seven high-impact actions were identified:
Switching to a renewable energy provider/tariff
Turning thermostat down one degree
Turning appliances you don’t use from ‘standby’ to ‘off’
Cycling or walking for shorter journeys
Reducing food waste
Repairing old tech items
Having shorter showers
If these seven actions were adopted on a sustained basis, an average household could save £938 on their bills and up to 1.7 tonnes of CO2e per year, helping to support the carbon reduction required of households in line with the UK Government’s commitment for the country to become net-zero on carbon emissions by 2050.
In the run up to climate talks later this year, we’re calling on other companies to meaningfully engage with their customers, colleagues and suppliers about climate change. We’ll be stepping up our efforts to help support, educate and empower our customers and we’ve developed a seven-step guide to help steer the conversation.
Practice what you preach to motivate and inspire employees and customers
Support while selling and make it easy for customers to take actions
Spell out the benefits, making clear the environmental and financial gains
Use the power of peer to peer because meaningful change happens when people support one another
Offer structure and guidance to help turn actions into behaviours and habits
Make it fun so that participants enjoy meeting a challenge and making a difference
Be inclusive and make change achievable, so that people can take action no matter their circumstances