BT gets the nation talking about climate change with the BT Big Sofa Summit

  • The BT Big Sofa Summit is encouraging people across the UK to get talking about climate change, providing expert-led tools and resources for renters, homeowners, those still living at home and small businesses
  • BT has teamed up with presenter, actress and singer Kimberley Walsh and Diversity duo Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely to get the nation talking about how smart tech can be used to help the environment at home: www.bt.com/BigSofaSummit
  • The launch comes as consumer research reveals half of parents admit that their children care more about climate change than they do
  • BT has led on climate action for three decades and recently announced a new 2030 net zero target for its own operations, and a 2040 net zero target for its supply chain and customer emissions

BT has today launched The BT Big Sofa Summit in a bid to get the UK talking about the environment and to demonstrate how small lifestyle changes and smart tech can be used to help aid the fight against climate change at home.

The BT Big Sofa Summit will provide the nation with free, practical advice, tips and resources on the small steps everyone can take to cut household emissions, showing that you don’t need to be a world leader to play your part in the fight against climate change. The campaign invites people from across the county to host their own Big Sofa Summit and spark the conversation about how they and their home could be greener with the help of technology, while encouraging households to make small climate change resolutions that will make a big difference.

To launch The BT Big Sofa Summit, BT has teamed up with presenter, actress and singer Kimberley Walsh and Diversity duo Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely, who have held their own summits to talk about what they can do to be greener at home, from saving energy through shorter showers to installing LED smart lighting. This content will sit alongside other expert-led tools and resources suitable for renters, homeowners and even those still living at home. Furthermore, Walsh, as owner of clothing brand Kimba Kids, will also offer advice to small businesses on how they can be greener and more sustainable.

Check out the celebrities’ Big Sofa Summits, and find out more about The BT Big Sofa Summit, here: www.bt.com/BigSofaSummit.

Research of UK parents conducted by BT has shown that it is their children taking the lead in the fight against climate change, with 52% admitting that their children care more about climate change than they do. Furthermore, more than half (55%) of parents have been taught something about sustainability by their children while a similar number (51%) has been called out by their children for doing something harmful to the environment, such as leaving appliances on standby or leaving lights turned on.

This is, in no small part, thanks to the recent rise-to-fame of young environmentalists like Greta Thunberg: 64% of those surveyed would like their children to follow in the footsteps of Thunberg and be passionate about the environment, with 70% seeing her as a positive role model.

Presenter, actress and singer, Kimberley Walsh, said: “Every time you turn on the news, there’s always a story about the doom and gloom of climate change so it can be very easy to get overwhelmed by it all. That’s why it’s great BT has given us an easy way to start talking about the problem and is showing us how helpful tech can be for the environment. The BT Big Sofa Summit is a simple, positive way of figuring out the small steps you can take as a family to make your home greener. My kids absolutely loved it: they want us to install a smart thermostat so that they can turn the heating down when I have it too high!”

Diversity dancer, TV presenter and Kiss FM Breakfast presenter, Jordan Banjo, added: It can be very easy to forget that the small things add up to make a big difference when fighting climate change and that we all have a part to play. The BT Big Sofa Summit will get the country talking about the small steps we can all take to help the environment. It really makes you re-evaluate what you do on a daily basis and helps you come up with new ways of addressing the problem that you’d probably never thought about before, all from the comfort of your living room.

Diversity Dancer and Kiss FM Breakfast presenter, Perri Kiley, said: We’re past the point of sitting back and hoping someone else will fight climate change for us: it’s not all up to world leaders and politicians! That’s why The BT Big Sofa Summit is so important – talking to each other and encouraging those around us to do the same and look at the small things you can do is a big first step towards being greener. For me, it’s making sure I turn the lights off!”

BT has led on climate action for three decades and recently announced plans to bring forward its net zero target from 2045 to 2030 for its own operational emissions and 2040 for its supply chain and customer emissions.

In 2020, BT completed the switch to 100% renewable electricity worldwide, which means that anyone who buys mobile or broadband from EE, BT or Plusnet are now supplied by networks that are powered by 100% clean power. The company also pledged to move the majority of its 33,000 vehicles over to electric or zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Andy Wales, Chief Digital Impact & Sustainability Officer at BT Group, said: “BT is committed to fighting climate change, that’s why we’re upping our game and setting more ambitious net zero targets. We want to go further though, by showing people up and down the country that it’s not just world leaders and large corporations who can make a difference in the fight against Climate Change: everyone has a part to play.

“With a customer base of 30 million households and over a million small businesses, BT is well placed to get the nation talking about climate change. We want to use our reach and expertise through the BT Big Sofa Summit to inspire everyone to make those small sustainable steps and to embrace those technologies available to help them become greener at home.”

BT’s commitment to reducing emissions will help the UK Government meet its target of net zero emissions by 2050. The company is calling on other businesses to take similar steps by setting their own net zero targets and by engaging with their customers, colleagues and supply chains about climate change, what it means for them and what they can do to make a difference.

To find out more about the BT Big Sofa Summit and to see how you can host your own visit: www.bt.com/BigSofaSummit

You can share your Big Sofa Summit resolutions on social media using #BTBigSofaSummit.


Notes to Editors

Hero PR edit - https://youtu.be/ib7U9JxuwYU

Jordan and Perri - https://youtu.be/t1krZG6flDI

Jordan and Perri short - https://youtu.be/uq589hLhN48

Kimberley Walsh - https://youtu.be/V6Sgp2c34z4

Kimberley Walsh short - https://youtu.be/i2LDee4-hVo

Jordan and Perri – Tech Tips - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T73VJ4P_C-w

The BT Big Sofa Summit for SMEs with Kimberley Walsh - https://youtu.be/sxUwm_2X4vA

The research was commissioned by BT and carried out online by OnePoll. All surveys were conducted between 27th August and 6th September 2021. The sample comprised 2000 UK parents of children aged 5-16. OnePoll are members of ESOMAR and employ members of the MRS.

About BT

BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.

For the year ended 31 March 2021, BT Group’s reported revenue was £21,331m with reported profit before taxation of £1,804m.

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/about