Business Climate Guidance Case Study: BT

How BT is leading the charge for a green recovery

BT has pledged to become a net zero carbon emissions business by 2045 and is encouraging others to follow its lead by setting its own science-based targets to become net zero by 2050. BT is using its profile to call for greater investment in the necessary infrastructure and jobs to deliver a green recovery.

BT

BT has a long-standing track record on corporate climate action, leading the way for over 28 years. BT was one of the first companies in the world to set a carbon reduction target and in 2008, went a step further by setting its first science-based target. It achieved this four years early, cutting the carbon intensity of their operations by 80% in 2016. Now it aims to be a net zero carbon emissions business by 2045. Since November 2020, all networks, offices and shops globally have been powered by 100% renewable electricity.

BT Group including Openreach has the second largest commercial fleet in the UK. Its 33,000 vehicles account for approximately two thirds of BT’s direct operational emissions. In a bid to drive those emissions down, Openreach has made a commitment to upgrade all of its 27,000 vehicles to electric by 2030[1].

In 2020 BT joined forces with the Climate Group to launch the UK Electric Fleets Coalition. The coalition of 29 companies has taken a leading role in highlighting the benefits of switching to electric vehicles (EVs) and is calling for ambitious, supportive UK wide policies.

Key drivers

  • Company ethos: BT wants to be a responsible and sustainable business leader
  • Financial: BT saved £343m in energy costs after rolling out energy saving projects
  • Employees: Taking climate action helps retain employees and foster workforce pride.

Challenges

  • Logistics: The range and availability of suitable vehicles has been a challenge.
  • Buy-in: Securing senior management buy-in and resourcing to rollout climate actions can be initially challenging. Demand from investors and other external stakeholders can support the business case.

Benefits

  • Collaboration: Driving change through the UK Electric Vehicle Coalition with other companies forms strong links. It also enhances BT’s reputation as a leader in addressing climate issues.
  • Market benefits: BT’s support for the renewable electricity and electric vehicle markets has helped to stimulate supply for other organisations.

[1] Excluding specialist vehicles, MDV and HDV

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