BT puts sustainability at the heart of its business in line with the company’s purpose to use the power of communications to make a better world.
The 2020 ambition means reducing its worldwide carbon emission intensity by 80% compared to 1996/97 levels by December 2020. A priority to achieving this goal is sourcing energy from renewable sources and reducing customer carbon emissions by at least three times the end-to-end carbon impact of BT’s business.
BT has explored a number of options for increasing renewable power use within its operations and also across its suppliers and partners.
In the UK, which represents approximately 85% of BT’s total power use, the company has had a contract with energy company npower to supply 100% of its electricity from renewable sources since 2012.
In 2015 BT announced its ambition to expand this further by reaching similar deals with energy providers outside the UK for worldwide operations by 2020 (where markets allow).
BT has power purchase agreements (PPAs) in three wind farm sites in Lancashire, Scotland and Wales. At the Fallago Rig wind farm in Scotland, BT buys 50% of the electricity generated, matching the company’s needs in Scotland.
In 2014 a new power purchase agreement was signed by BT with UK Sustainable Energy to take 100% of electricity from its new solar farm near Ipswich for BT’s Adastral research park.
BT is also supporting a new wind farm project with RES. This aligns with continuing action to encourage policymakers to create clearer incentives for companies to purchase renewable energy and stimulate demand.
On-site renewable energy projects including biomass and natural water heating and cooling at three UK sites generate around 12,000 megawatt hours of energy a year, and solar energy generation is used at three sites outside the UK.
As part of the BT-npower renewable energy contract, npower has initiated carbon labeling of electricity to provide assurance of its carbon status. Electricity is rated from A–G with A having the lowest carbon content. BT purchases 100% A-certified electricity. BT hopes this labeling system will increase demand for renewable energy and help increase investment in renewable energy infrastructure.
BT has invested £440 million via power purchase agreements in three wind farm sites in Lancashire, Scotland and Wales – contracts that help provide long term stability for renewable energy generation in the UK.
In 2014 BT signed a new power purchase agreement with UK Sustainable Energy worth £26 million to take 100% of electricity from their new solar farm in near Ipswich. This agreement will provide power for BT’s Adastral research park for the next 20 years and provide economic stability for UK Sustainable Energy, allowing the solar park to be built.
- 100% renewable purchased electricity in UK since 2012 – representing 85% of their total worldwide purchase
- 94% renewable purchase electricity worldwide in 2014/15
- 80% reduction in absolute carbon emissions, three years ahead of their 2016 target, and continues to decrease (83% 2014/15)
- Total worldwide carbon savings from renewable electricity purchase exceeding 1 million tons of CO2e.
- 83% carbon emissions reduction in the UK since 1996/97 -- beating the 80% reduction by 2016 target and representing a sixth consecutive year of net emissions reductions
- In 2014/15 BT reduced customer carbon emissions by 1.5 times (7.1MtCO2e) the total carbon impact of our business (4.6MtCO2e), putting it on track to meet their 3:1 ambition in 2020.
- Energy reduction at data centers in 2014/15 lead to £2.147 million savings.
- By pursuing a 100% renewable energy contract BT can demonstrate substantial thought leadership and enjoy reputational benefits, in addition to protecting the company from potentially increasing carbon taxes.
- Helping customers - both domestic and business - live within the constraints of the planet.
- Setting an example for other companies to follow.
- Supports BT’s goal to deliver sustainable, profitable revenue growth, while ensuring we maximize the contribution made to society and the environment.