A better future with BT?

28th May 2014

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Peter Longworth

The telecoms giant has published its Better Future sustainability report outlining the company's social and environmental performance for last year and its continued commitment to deliver value for investors, customers and society.

Highlights from the latest report include a 25.5% reduction in operational carbon emissions, saving BT £25 million in the process. Ongoing support for customers has further helped to reduce emissions by 1.3 times the “end-to-end” carbon impact of its business, says BT. Overall, £3 billion was generated by products and services the company has identified as having a carbon abatement benefit for its customers.

BT’s vision is to make a better world through the power of communications, which is underpinned by its Better Future programme. Last year, the programme focused on the following three key areas:

Net good – helping society live within the constraints of the planet’s resources, with an emphasis on supporting customer efforts to reduce carbon emissions by at least three times the end-to-end carbon impacts of its business by 2020.

Connected society – improving society by accelerating investment to ensure 90% of BT customers have access to high-speed fibre optics products and services by 2020. Working in partnership with UNCEF, BT is also extending its global reach to support over 600 schools on internet safety.

Improving lives – BT’s 2020 goal is to extend the use of BT skills and technology to help generate more than £1 billion for good causes – results so far indicate the company generated more than £85 mliion last year.

Sustainability is one of BT’s six strategic priorities and is managed at board level through its committee for sustainability and responsible business. As part of the Better Future programme, the company has reduced carbon emissions in the UK by 81% since 1997 and recently signed an agreement to purchase 100% renewable energy from npower. Supply chain and procurement are managed through lifecycle agreements to ensure products and services are made, delivered and disposed of in a socially and environmentally responsible way. The company also invested over £27 million in society projects in 2012/13, including over 43,000 volunteering days by BT staff.

BT’s Better Future programme is ongoing and in July, the company is hosting its second Better Future forum, an online stakeholder platform designed to share new thinking on the role of digital technology in tackling the big issues facing modern society. Those interested can register at: www.betterfutureforum.bt.com

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