How BT is playing its part in a sustainable future. Not Tomorrow. Today


By Marc Allera, CEO, BT Group's Consumer division

We are living in a time of climate emergency. We can’t wait. We can’t do things in a year, a month, a week. That's the thinking behind our new campaign: Not Tomorrow. Today.

BT, EE and Plusnet are working towards a more sustainable future today. Together, we can act today to make tomorrow better.

It's a hot topic right now with COP26 happening in Glasgow – 196 countries who agreed back in 1992 that they will meet as a 'Conference of the Parties' to discuss a collective approach to tackling climate change. This is the 26th time they are meeting, bringing together national leaders, media, NGOs and companies like BT.

We also set our first targets to reduce emissions as a business in 1992. And we were one of the first big companies to set science-based climate targets, in 2008. That meant by 2016 we had reduced our emissions by 80 per cent. What we've been doing recently has shifted the dial, too.

Today, our whole business is powered using 100 per cent renewable electricity, from our mobile and broadband networks to our 575+ stores on the high street. Alongside becoming a net zero carbon emissions business, supporting a more circular economy is also important. We help our customers to extend the life of their phone with a free annual device MOT, as well as offering same-or next-day repairs in many of our stores. It's better for our customers' wallets, and for the planet. We're saving phones from landfill. Our customers can trade in their old devices for us to securely refurbish or recycle. And they can choose a new one in a planet-friendly way if they wish, with our range of good-as-new phones.

We've also refurbished more than 400,000 broadband hubs and TV boxes – and recycled 500,000 more. This has saved 11,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions (the equivalent to 6,000 flights from London to Tokyo).

We're engaging customers in the sustainability journey, too, with our BT Big Sofa Summit. It's designed to get people talking about how they can be greener at home – from actions as simple as shorter showers to turning the heating down – because we can all make a difference from the comfort of your own sofa. We're also providing top tips for using smart tech and see how it can make a positive difference to the environment.

It can make a big difference. BT’s Smarter Living Challenge with environmental charity Hubbub and 61 households found that when homeowners were given the tools and techniques to tackle their own emissions, they could make a huge difference – in some cases saving up to £938 and up to 1.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) if actions were sustained over a year.

With BT Sport, our mission is to become a leader in sustainable production and one of the greenest broadcasters in the UK. 'Green Routine' is our effort as a responsible broadcaster to inform, educate and inspire viewers about the climate emergency. You can take steps with us to reduce your carbon footprint by making changes that matter here.

Plus, we’ll be broadcasting a series of sustainability programming across November that aims to inform, educate and inspire viewers.

The bigger picture for BT looks like this: by 2030, we aim to reach net-zero carbon emissions from our own operations. And by 2040 we aim to reach net-zero carbon emissions from our supply chain and customers. As a national champion and a sustainable business, BT has a responsibility to show the rest of the UK what we're doing with our technology and influence to help the continuing shift to a low-carbon economy.

We must all continue to do all we can to make the change needed. Not Tomorrow. Today.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @marcallera