BT’s sustainability report one of the most interesting of the season

BT, formerly British Telecom but now a privatized global telecom company, has published one of the most fascinating sustainability reports of the Spring 2014 sustainability report season. Comprehensively covering environmental, social, and economic aspects of the Company’s activities the web version of the report, published under the headline “Better Future”, puts the exciting stuff upfront and the nerdy details towards the bottom of the series of web pages. The web version is exceptionally well laid out and sections are well connected. The PDF version, with somewhat less information than the web version is far less fun and lacking in pictures, clearly intended more as a reference work than a fun exploration of the Company’s many sustainability activities and most likely with the expectation that very few people actually sit down and read annual sustainability reports. We encourage readers who are interested in sustainability reporting to look at BT’s sustainability report at

Among the highlights of BT’s sustainability activities last year:

investment of 1.01% of adjusted pre-tax profits in responsible and sustainable business activities in 2013/14.

reduced energy consumption by 3% in 2013/14, with energy savings programmes generating more than £25m ($38m CDN) in annualised cost saving. This takes the total annualised saving, from programmes run over the last five years, to £131m ($197m CDN).

connected 19 locations in Africa to broadband internet via satellite as part of BT’s Connecting Africa programme, improving access to critical services for around 95,000 people and indirectly benefitting up to 570,000 people.

around a third of the 6.7m adults in the UK who are not yet online live in social housing. BT is targeting these areas of digital and social exclusion and bringing cost effective internet access to those who need it.

invested more than £5m in filtering tools and education to help children and young adults use the internet safety. This year, the Company has launched a new filter, BT Parental Controls, which gives new customers the option to install network-based parental controls as standard. To help our Wi-Fi site partners stop pornographic and child abuse material being viewed on their premises, we have launched BT Wi-Fi Protect.

this year helped customers avoid carbon emissions amounting to 1.3 times the end-to-end carbon impact of BT’s business. This was an improvement on last year, but BT still has some way to go to achieve its 2020 goal of 3:1.

assessed emissions from every tier of its supply chain using environmentally extended input-output analysis (EEIO). This technique estimates the direct and supply chain emissions for different industries by combining macroeconomic data on output and trade with emissions data.

reduced operational carbon emissions from our global business by 25.5%;

all UK electricity consumed now comes from renewable sources, and 78% of employees are involved in energy saving initiatives.

waste to landfill reduced by 57% compared with our 30% target for the year.

water use in the UK decreased for the twelfth consecutive year in 2013/14, to 1,276m cubic metres from 1,308m cubic metres.

worked with a consortium including WWF-UK, Forum for the Future, The Climate Group and leading UK and multinational companies to launch the Net Positive Movement. This is a diverse group working together to promote the Net Positive approach and encourage other businesses to do more than simply reduce harm to the environment.

Much more information in BT’s 110 page “Better Future 2014” report at

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