BT’s Better Future commitment takes shape

£27.2m invested, 46,000 volunteering days completed and a 25.5 per cent reduction in our carbon emissions from global business 

£3.1 billion generated by products and services BT found to have carbon abatement benefits for customers 
BT today revealed the progress of its Better Future programme in its annual Better Future sustainability report, which promises to use the power of communications to improve lives, ways of doing business and to make its overall impact on society a positive one. 

The company outlined three focus areas last year – Connected Society, Net Good and Improving Lives – each encompassing their own vision and ambitious goal to achieve by the end of 2020. 

Now BT, which invested £27.2m in 2013/2014 to support its commitment to being a responsible and sustainable business, can outline how this pledge is delivering and the real impact it is having on BT, its people and its customers. 
Niall Dunne, BT’s chief sustainability officer, said: “BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world and this report demonstrates how we are bringing this to life.
“It shows the progress we are making and also importantly outlines where our stakeholders tell us we have more work to do. Our Better Future programme underpins the purpose of the company and seeks to enable sustainable, profitable revenue growth by delivering value for our customers, society and our investors. 

“We know communications technology has a significant role to play in helping individuals, businesses and communities flourish, and also to be more resource efficient. It has the power to make a real and lasting difference to people’s lives.” 

Net Good is focused on helping society live within the constraints of our planet’s resources through BT’s products and services. BT’s 2020 goal is to help customers reduce carbon emissions by at least three times the end to end carbon impact of its business. 

This year BT: 

  • helped its customers avoid carbon emissions by 1.3 times the end-to-end carbon impact of its business.
  • reduced operational carbon emissions from its global business by 25.5 per cent, delivering a saving of £25 million
  • £3.1 billion was generated by products and services the company has identified as having a carbon abatement benefit for its customers.

In the coming year BT is extending its own efforts to improve energy efficiency and move its energy use away from peak times to help ease pressure. BT hopes to turn research into commercial and emission reducing propositions. 

Connected Society is about improving society globally through the power of digital connections. BT’s 2020 goal is that more than nine out of ten people in the UK will have access to fibre-based products and services. Our commercial investment alongside partnership projects has accelerated UK fibre broadband rollout to more than 19 million premises. Today that means the network is already reaching two-thirds of the UK. 

BT’s regional Get IT Together projects have helped more than 10,000 people develop confidence and competence when using the internet and BT, through its partnership with UNICEF, aims to be running internet safety workshops in 600 schools potentially reaching up to 35,000 teachers, parents and pupils by 2017. 

Improving Lives is focused on improving hundreds of millions of lives globally with the help of BT products and people. BT’s 2020 goal is to use BT’s skills and technology to help generate more than £1bn for good causes. Last year we generated more than £85m. 

BT’s free MyDonate fundraising platforms helped to raise £57m for good causes, which included enabling DEC to raise more than £24m for its Typhoon Haiyan and Syria crisis appeals. This year BT will be enhancing its MyDonate for Telethons and Appeals platform and continue to develop services for charities to help them operate more efficiently and effectively. 

BT’s own employees have continued to show their commitment to society as a whole by volunteering their time in a variety of ways from supporting charities and local clubs to mentoring and becoming school governors. In fact 13,600 employees volunteered last year and this equated to more than 46,000 days. 

In July, BT will host its second Better Future Forum, an online stakeholder platform designed to share and co-create new thinking of experts around the globe on the role of digital technology in tackling the big issues facing modern society. 

The BT Better Future Report 2014 is available to view at www.bt.com/betterfuturereport

Notes to editors

Better Future is BT’s commitment to use the power of communications to improve lives and ways of doing business – without it costing the earth. Better Future embeds responsible and sustainable business practice to build real growth and is rooted in what BT does best – bringing together our networks and technology with the expertise of our people to make a better world. Our Better Future programme focuses on three areas, 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). For more information see www.bt.com/betterfuture

Better Future Forum Making Waves: the rising tide of data for social good, takes place on 1 July 2014. Register now at www.betterfutureforum.bt.com