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Network tech helps BT customers cut carbon emissions

Telco claims it is now making 22% of its total group revenues from products contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions

BT has booked revenues of £5.3bn from products contributing to easing the amount of carbon (CO₂) emissions entering the planet’s atmosphere in the past 12 months – equivalent to 22% of its groupwide revenue last year and up £1.7bn from the year-ago figure.

By BT’s calculations, the telco has saved its customers 8.1m tonnes of CO₂ emissions in the past year through reduced need for travel, 1.5m tonnes through reduced energy use, and 0.4m tonnes through cutting back on materials used in manufacturing and packaging. It claimed this was equivalent to taking four million vehicles off the roads.

The savings were delivered through, for example, increased use of improved broadband services for conferencing and collaboration via applications to bring down energy use, while IP-enabled communications and cloud-based voice over IP (VoIP) phones cut energy consumption.

BT also revealed it has now refurbished 500,000 of its consumer Home Hub Wi-Fi routers. Customers are encouraged to return old Hubs to BT when they come up for replacement, but instead of being junked, these units now receive software upgrades, have worn parts replaced, and are sent out to replace units that are returned as faulty.

BT released these statistics in its annual Delivering Our Purpose report, which details the firm’s progress and performance against a number of strategic ambitions and corporate social responsibility (CSR) criteria, not just climate change, set out in its ambitions for the year 2020.

“BT is continuing to make a positive impact in the world and help tackle a diverse range of global challenges in the process,” said Niall Dunne, BT chief sustainability officer. “We are on track to meet our 2020 ambitions, and the combination of our people, products and services will mean we are able to play our part in solving society’s greatest challenges for years to come.”

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Besides helping to cut CO₂ emissions, BT has provided free wireless hotspots and wireless equipment around the world, including at refugee reception centres in southern and eastern Europe; has reached more than a million primary school children through its Barefoot Computing scheme; and has helped housing association tenants get online with discounted 4G EE Wi-Fi devices.

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