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BT Pledges to Reduce its Environmental Carbon Emissions by 87% for 2030

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 (10:38 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 275)
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Last year saw UK telecoms giant BT achieve their target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 (i.e. four years ahead of schedule). Today they’ve set a new goal of cutting carbon emissions by 87% in tonnes of CO2e per unit of GVA (Gross Value Added) by 2030, from a 2016/17 baseline.

The operator hopes that their latest commitment, which has been approved by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTI), will help them to support the ambitious aims of the COP21 Paris Agreement (i.e. limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit it even further to 1.5°C by the end of the century).

The new target will require some big changes at the operator, such as the need to adopt low carbon vehicles into its fleet and further reducing the carbon intensity of their buildings. On top of that BT are working towards a goal of purchasing 100% renewable electricity for its operations by 2020 (currently 82%), not to mention various other schemes (e.g. recycling 500,000 HomeHub routers).

Niall Dunne, BT’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said:

“The role that technology can play in creating a more resource efficient world is both profound and exciting. The benefits of leading climate action extend to our customers, suppliers and people. Our commitment to this 1.5°C target will help create partnerships and coalitions that continue the unstoppable momentum enabled by the Paris agreement.”

Last year an independent study, which examined the environmental performance of the world’s largest publicly-traded companies by market capitalisation (500 of them), ranked BT Group as the 3rd best and Sky plc (Sky Broadband) came 8th (here).

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7 Responses
  1. Juo One

    How about BT stop sending out junk mail to every house hold in the UK?

  2. Steve Jones

    I would have thought that electric vans would be ideal for much of the OR fleet as I suspect they do a lot of stop-start and relatively few long journeys. Also ideal for use in towns and cities. I would also expect considerably reduced maintenance costs.

    Of course, its not just OR, but all those other companies with similar fleets where short journeys predominate.

    The one big obstacle might be charging. Maybe not too much of an issue if the vans are kept at exchanges, but if the employees are used to parking them at home then they might not appreciate having to travel into work first (which would also be personal, not work time). It won’t always be possible to charge a van at home, even if the issues of who ways for the electricity can be sorted out.

    • Joe

      “I would have thought that electric vans would be ideal for much of the OR fleet”

      The Green argument pretty much always gets difficult once you factor in the environmental cost of battery production.

      Given rising energy density of solar panels and their rapidly falling weight/cost. (You can get some now that are wafer thin and flexible.) The roof of the vans might allow significant top up charging during the day.

    • Steve Jones

      “The roof of the vans might allow significant top up charging during the day.”

      In the UK an optimally placed solar panel (which means canted over towards the south at the best compromise angle) will do an average of about 1200kWh per square metre per year. Given that the roof panel will not be optimal placed and will often be in shaded by buildings, trees and so on, then even half that might be pushing it. Lets say 600kwh per year. If there is 2sqm, then that’s about 3.3kWh per day on average (much less in the winter and bad weather, more when its sunny). Reading about the Nissan e-NV200 electric van (a small/medium van), then you can count on a realistic 3 miles per kwh.

      So that roof top solar panel might get you about 10 miles range on an average day (and virtually nothing on a bad winter’s day).

      Toyota will have a roof-top panel available for their plug-in Prius, but it’s only capable of 180w, so even 12 hours of “perfect” sunshine would only provide about 2kWh and it would be a lot less averaged over a year in the UK.

      So, maybe it will save a little on the electricity bill, but van roof solar cells aren’t going to remove the need for charging stations.

      That is always assuming that they keep the van roofs clean – given the state of most such vehicles in the UK I have my doubts…

    • Joe

      Typical panels now on a roof are often ~20% or less efficient. The best hitting the market today are close to 25%. The best in labs (usual caveats apply much higher https://www.sciencealert.com/images/2017-03/nrel-chart-2017.jpg) As BT are trying to hit these by 2030 I think we can expect some decent uplift on panel performance making a top up (and I did only say top up) progressively more effective. Especially if they can get the vans unloaded weight down with more weight saving materials

  3. Mike

    Church of climatology …

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