Ian Caveney, head of Tech for Good at BT, offers insight into the Green Tech Innovation platform and BT’s net-zero climate strategy.

    Leading the charge

    BT’s forward-thinking attitude to carbon reduction has, for some time, been its best kept secret. In fact, it’s been over 28 years since we began leading on climate action, and as one of the first companies in the world to adopt science-based targets, we are trailblazing a green recovery, and urging other businesses to do the same.

    Driving our climate strategy are five key areas:

    • Becoming a net zero emissions business by 2045. We’re reducing the carbon emissions intensity of our business by 87% and the emissions associated with our supply chain by 42% by 2030/31
    • Leading the public debate and inspiring others – as one of the largest consumers of electricity in the UK, in November we announced that we’re now sourcing 100% renewable electricity worldwide where markets allow
    • Helping customers to reduce their footprint – last year alone, we helped our customers save 13 million tonnes of carbon achieving our 3:1 carbon abatement target one year early
    • Promoting a circular economy through our products and partnerships – our plastics policy means by 2025, 100% of our plastic packaging sent to customers will be reused, recycled or composted
    • Reporting and transparency – our goals and progress, as well as our methodologies and achievements, are presented in our digital impact and sustainability report

    The Green Recovery

    Technology and sustainability have become irrevocably linked in the 21st century. And this is reflected in our organisational strategy where sustainability and environmental action forms a key pillar of it, steering our organisation towards a brighter and more sustainable future. This has also come into stark focus as the coronavirus pandemic has left the global economy in need of rebuilding. A joint effort between government and public and private sectors will be key to laying new, sustainable foundations.

    The UK is on the cusp of revolution in mobility, smart cities and 5G that can help tackle climate change, improve air quality and support better health. We know that as we connect millions of people, homes, businesses, towns and cities - at BT we shape and enable how we all live, work and move. Our ambition is to use that unique position to be a catalyst to a smarter, greener future.

    So tackling the climate crisis remains at the forefront of our ambitions, and while we are already one of the leaders of the green revolution, our Green Tech Innovation platform seeks to go further: by commercialising break-through ‘green tech’ and facilitating a viable transition towards a greener future.

    Innovating and reducing

    Alongside Plug and Play, our new international scouting and innovation partner – and the world’s leading innovation platform – we’ve been identifying partners that we can collaborate with, with the aim of helping our public sector customers to reduce their omissions through various innovative new technologies. These include:

    Smart Streets

    Smart Streets will see the installation of environmental monitoring sensors which can easily integrate into ‘street furniture’ such as our next generation of BT Street Hub Units or CCTV cameras. These sensors can provide actionable insights which can assist local authorities and councils to take action on air quality or CO2 levels.

    Smart Buildings

    Here we will be looking to harness IOT capable solutions which can support social housing providers to reduce preventative maintenance costs and support tenants whilst greatly reducing the need for wasted travel to buildings that don’t need checking.

    Remote Diagnostics

    Products and solutions that will reduce travel e.g. enabling remote diagnostics by health care professionals or repairs by other public sector workers.

    The success of our Green Tech platform can, moving forward, offer a blueprint for the rest of the business – and indeed other businesses – to use and follow in their utilisation of technology as a part of their green transition.

    Want to learn more about how we can grow back stronger and fairer, together? Sign up for our Towards Net Zero event, taking place on 26 January 2021, and discover technology that will help drive the UK’s green recovery: BT: Towards Net Zero (splashthat.com)

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