BT shares open source approach to CO2 abatement

New framework will help BT and others achieve growth through Net Good practices

BT’s Chief Executive Ian Livingston today launched BT’s Net Good programme, unveiling the company’s new carbon abatement methodology. The new  methodology,  reviewed, refined and endorsed by The Carbon Trust and Camanoe Associates (researchers from MIT), will help BT to achieve its 2020 goal to help customers reduce carbon emissions by at least three times the end to end carbon impact of BT’s business.

The 3:1 goal is based on the premise that BT is directly responsible for emissions resulting from its own operations (for example network, offices, commercial fleet and company cars) but also bears responsibility for emissions at both ends of its value chain: in its supply chain (producing the products and services it buys) and from its products and services when used by BT customers. 

To measure progress towards the goal, BT has created a transparent methodology to help measure the two components of the goal: BT’s end-to-end carbon impact and the potential of BT’s products and services to reduce its customers’ carbon footprints. BT now wants to share the methodology with other businesses and industries to help them move forward with their carbon abatement efforts and use their feedback to shape further evolution of the methodology. 

Ian Livingston said: “Proud as we are of our own record, doing less environmental damage is no longer enough. We are moving beyond simply making our own business more resource-efficient to using products and services to help our customers do the same. Communication technology has a significant role in helping create a better future by enabling businesses and individuals to use resources efficiently.”

A range of experts collaborated with BT on the development of the methodology, including BT employees with specialisms in sustainability, energy and innovation and external stakeholders such as industry peers, analysts, government and customers. BT asked the Carbon Trust and MIT researchers Camanoe Associates to review and refine the methodology, its assumptions and the projections made for future products and services. The findings have been documented in a report submitted to BT along with challenges and recommendations. Following this, BT worked with The Climate Group and The Carbon Trust on a stakeholder consultation to gather formal feedback from Industry experts. 

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of The Carbon Trust commented: “The Carbon Trust welcomes BT’s pioneering approach in setting this ambitious goal, and the detailed approach that has been followed in analysing and calculating the carbon abatement potential of its products and services.  This builds on BT’s 20 year history of measuring its carbon impact and putting sustainability at the core of its business strategy. Making the framework widely available to the business community further demonstrates BT’s commitment to making this approach work.”

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said: “Net Good is not another form of corporate responsibility; it’s a new way of doing business. The Climate Group is delighted to be working with BT and other businesses at the forefront of innovation to help them adopt Net Good practices, engage stakeholders and achieve tangible, measurable change in the communities they operate in. This is the way forward – and BT’s leadership will hopefully inspire other businesses to follow”.

The Net Good methodology and framework form part of BT’s Better Future programme, which encapsulates the company’s commitment to be a responsible and sustainable business leader, a pledge set as one of BT’s six strategic priorities. Net Good, which is led by Programme Director Kevin Moss, combines BT’s work on reducing emissions of its own and its suppliers operations with a new focus of using BT’s technology and expertise to have an overall net positive effect. 

In the UK, BT recently agreed with energy supplier npower to source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources. Together with year on year energy reduction BT has reduced its absolute carbon emissions for the UK by 80 per cent from 1996/97, three years ahead of target.

More information about BT’s Net Good programme is available at www.bt.com/netgood. 


About BT’s Better Future programme

Better Future is BT’s commitment to use the power of communication to improve lives and ways of doing business – without it costing the earth.  BT has set itself three goals to achieve by 2020 which will help it to grow sustainably, especially in new emerging markets. The goals focus on connecting people digitally (‘Connected Society’), using our skills and technology to help society support good causes (‘Improving Lives’), and ensuring BT makes a net positive contribution to the environment (‘Net Good’).  They are rooted in what BT does best – bringing together our networks and technology with the expertise of our people to make a better world.  Being a responsible and sustainable business leader is one of BT’s six strategic priorities for growth.  For further information, visit www.bt.com/betterfuture.