ADVERTORIAL: BT steps up its work on climate change and is urging others to do the same

Covid-19 has led to unprecedented shutdowns for large parts of the global economy, with severe consequences for all countries.

The global pandemic has inflicted devastating consequences internationally, and the economic and human costs of the pandemic have been tragically high.

As the work to rebuild the economy gets underway, BT is committed to forging a truly green recovery and believes that a joint effort will be key to laying the foundations for sound, sustainable and inclusive growth.

As well as trailblazing a green recovery, BT is also urging other businesses to do the same and is offering support in developing the digital skills needed by businesses as they adapt to new home-working conditions.

So what can businesses do to contribute to a green recovery? We found out all about BT’s own efforts.

Introducing electrical vehicles

BT is trialling electric vehicles
BT is trialling electric vehicles
(Image: Getty Images – Khatawut Chaemchamras / EyeEm)

With the second largest commercial fleet in the UK with almost 34,000 vehicles, including more than 28,000 used by Openreach engineers, BT is already trialling electric vehicles on a small scale.

BT has joined forces with The Climate Group to launch a new partnership – The UK Electric Fleets Alliance.

The Alliance will undertake a vital leadership role in the run up to the COP26 climate summit in 2021, highlighting the need to progress towards fleet decarbonisation and helping to develop policy measures that support corporate electric vehicle uptake, such as stimulating electric vehicle supply and investing in charging infrastructure.

Reducing carbon emissions

BT is the joint-largest purchaser of electricity in the UK
BT is the joint-largest purchaser of electricity in the UK
(Image: Getty Images – Charday Penn)

The joint-largest purchaser of electricity in the UK, BT uses almost one per cent of the UK’s electricity and has long been a pioneer in renewable electricity.

Globally, 92% of the electricity we consume is now renewably sourced, and where markets allow, BT plans to achieve 100% for the electricity it purchases directly in the UK by December 2020.

In Wales, BT buys all the electricity generated by the nine-turbine Mynydd Bwllfa wind farm near Hirwaun in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Last year, BT helped its customers save 13 million tonnes of carbon – three times as much carbon as its own end-to-end carbon emissions – achieving its 3:1 carbon abatement target one year early.

For every tonne of CO2 emitted by BT – three tonnes of customer emissions were saved.

For the first time ever, BT has included progress on carbon reduction and on digital skills training in the calculation of bonuses for eligible employees.

As part of the company’s new remuneration policy set to be introduced this year, these two components will make up 10% of the group’s bonus calculation, incentivising employees to contribute towards the targets.

Getting other businesses on board

Not only working on its own green efforts, BT is also urging others to set their own science-based, net-zero targets so to work on climate action collectively.

As the UK and the rest of the world recover from the pandemic, the decisions government, businesses and society makes today could either blaze the way towards a sustainable future, or lock-in polluting emissions for decades, making society and the planet more vulnerable.

As the economy recovers, it provides the opportunity to protect and restore nature and reduce climate impacts.

One of the first companies in the world to commit to limiting global warming to 1.5 °C, BT has a longstanding commitment to reducing the carbon emissions intensity of its business.

BT’s low carbon commitment complements the Welsh Government’s target to cut emissions by 95% and reach ‘net zero’ by 2050.

What does BT say?

Philip Jansen, BT Group Chief Executive, said: “The economic set back and immense hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are severe and could be long lasting.

“However, despite the temporary reprieve on carbon emissions and air quality in towns and cities during the lockdown, the global climate emergency hasn’t gone away.

“As we emerge from the crisis, the recovery presents a huge opportunity for governments, businesses and individuals to put action on climate at the heart of their efforts.

“We will be playing our part with a once-in-a-generation investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure: full fibre broadband to 20 million premises, as well as our continued investment in 5G mobile.

“We will also be backing new green technologies through our Green Tech Innovation Platform.

“BT is stepping up on climate action and we want to encourage and help others to do the same.”

Skills for Tomorrow

Many people have had to adapt to working from home
Many people have had to adapt to working from home
(Image: Getty Images – Justin Paget)

As well as supporting a green recovery, BT has also put support and resources in place for people to develop their digital skills.

BT is dedicated to ensuring that individuals and businesses have the skills they need to flourish in the digital world.

Now, more than ever, digital literacy is vital.

As large numbers of people continue to stay at home because of the pandemic, it’s crucial that everyone is able to keep in touch with family and friends and access vital health services.

Businesses are faced with new challenges as their employees work remotely, and families who are home-schooling need to get the best out of technology to allow their children to learn and play.

Working in partnership with leading digital skills organisations, BT has collated a host of free resources and information to support people with each of these challenges.

For more information on BT’s plans for sustainable recovery and support available during this difficult time, visit