BT launches green COVID-19 recovery initiatives

These initiatives spell an aim on the part of BT to help drive the UK’s transition to net zero carbon emissions, while aiding the recovery of businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is looking to build on its work to leverage electricity in order to reduce carbon emissions; 100% of the electricity BT purchases from UK energy suppliers comes from renewable sources, as does 92% of electricity used worldwide, with the company aiming for the global figure to hit 100% by the end of the year.

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Additionally, BT has reduced carbon emission intensity by 42% since 2016/17, and the company succeeded in meeting its 3:1 carbon abatement a year earlier than planned by helping customers save 13 million tonnes of carbon last year.

Philip Jansen, chief executive of BT Group, said: “The economic set back and immense hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are severe and could be long lasting. However, despite the temporary reprieve on carbon emissions and air quality in towns and cities during the lockdown, the global climate emergency hasn’t gone away.

“As we emerge from the crisis, the recovery presents a huge opportunity for governments, businesses and individuals to put action on climate at the heart of their efforts. We will be playing our part with a once-in-a-generation investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure: full fibre broadband to 20 million premises, as well as our continued investment in 5G mobile.

“BT is stepping up on climate action and we want to encourage and help others to do the same.”

Green Tech Innovation Platform

Firstly, BT’s Green Tech Innovation Platform has been established to enable collaboration between UK tech scale-ups to get BT and its public sector customers operating on net zero following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scaleups that will work alongside BT and its customers are set to be chosen through the platform in the Autumn.

Delivered in partnership with Plug and Play, the platform will focus on three areas:

  • Smart Streets, including street sensors that can be used to monitor the environment.
  • Smart Buildings, which will leverage IoT in order to support energy and water management within public sector buildings.
  • Remote Working, which will include exploring ways in which 5G can help reduce travel for workers during and following the pandemic, included augmented and virtual reality.

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UK Electric Fleets Alliance

Alongside the Green Tech Innovation Platform, BT has announced a partnership with The Climate Group to launch the UK Electric Fleets Alliance, which aims to drive fleet de-carbonisation.

Established in a move to lead the electric vehicle (EV) space in the run-up to the COP26 climate summit in 2021, operations on the part of the alliance are set to include stimulating EV supply, and investing in EV infrastructure.

BT Group currently has the second largest commercial fleet in the UK, with almost 34,000 vehicles, including over 28,000 Outreach engineer vehicles.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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