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Zen Internet Aims to be First Net Zero UK Broadband ISP by 2028

Thursday, Jun 17th, 2021 (10:54 am) - Score 2,064
zen internet uk isp

UK ISP Zen Internet, which is certified as a B Corporation, has today announced that they’re pledging to become the first of the main broadband providers to reach Net Zero by 2028, which essentially means that the company will be removing as many carbon emissions as they produce.

The UK Government has committed to achieve Net Zero by 2050, although many people fear this will be too late to reverse the environmental impact that climate change is having. The scientific consensus suggests that a 1.5°C increase in global average temperatures is the limit to minimise the worst effects of climate change, but it’s predicted that such a limit will be reached by 2030 – one recent study suggested there’s a 40% chance we’ll hit that as early as 2025.

Just for comparison, Sky (Sky Broadband etc.) hopes to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, while BT (EE) expects to do this by 2045 and Virgin Media has aligned itself with the RE100 initiative’s general 2050 target. As for mobile operators, O2 are being a bit bolder and hope to be one of the first to reach this point by 2025 (we’re unsure if this will change after their merger with Virgin Media), while Vodafone target 2040.

Paul Stobart, CEO of Zen Internet, said:

“It is really important to us at Zen that while we run our business we also strive to make a positive difference to the world, rather than focusing solely on profits. Achieving B Corp certification in 2020 was a massive part of this, and our pledge to be the first broadband provider to reach Net Zero is the logical next step in our journey.

We’re under no illusions that this commitment will involve a huge amount of work within the business, but it’s something that we’re passionate about and for us it’s non-negotiable. We want to show the industry that it’s possible to be a successful business without neglecting our social responsibilities.”

Becoming Net Zero involves measuring Zen’s carbon footprint in line with the three scopes defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol), most of which is already underway. Following the measurement, a reduction plan will be implemented, and any remaining emissions will then be offset through positive projects that remove carbon from the environment, such as reforestation and soil enhancement programmes.

Where possible, Zen said they will aim to support projects that also tie in with their wider Sustainable Development Goals.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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13 Responses
  1. Avatar photo SM says:

    Maybe they could make the free Fritzbox router an optional item for people who want it and not force it on all new customers as part of the signup process. Surely sending one that sits in a box un-used, with next day courier delivery, impacts on the environment and could be a simple step to reduce waste and lower their “footprint”?

    1. Avatar photo Brad says:

      Well said, couldn’t agree more. Even better, They could offer free installation or an appropriate monthly discount for those choosing not to take up their offer of a ‘free’ router.

    2. Avatar photo Goodfellow says:

      They certainly didn’t force one on me a couple of years ago when I signed up, neither were the PPPoE details difficult to obtain.

    3. Avatar photo SM says:

      @Goodfellow – couple of years ago is a couple of years ago. They do now. A Fritbox router is sent if you want one or not.

    4. Avatar photo Richard says:

      I’ve just emailed them about exactly this, linking this article, asking if i can NOT be sent a new router. My existing Unifi setup will do fine thanks.

    5. Avatar photo Shaun McDonald says:

      I a few months ago moved from g.fast with Zen to FTTP via CityFibre with Zen. I suggested I just use the same FritzBox, but no, they were sending out a new one.

      The silver lining is that the old FritzBox is now providing better WiFi to the back of my house connected up with a cable. The previous WiFi box has been sold on eBay and off to a new home, as it wasn’t working so well being in the older WiFi standard.

  2. Avatar photo Mike says:

    I’ve heard Zen is not as good as they once were, the virtue signalling being another sign I suspect.

    1. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      You heard wrong and suspect wrong going by independent metrics.

    2. Avatar photo Bob says:

      Who did you “hear” this from? Mr Vodafone? Mrs TalkTalk? Miss Sky? Danny down the pub?

      My first-hand experience is ten months a customer and ZERO minutes down time according to my Fingbox. My previous ISP (and current employer) can’t even get close to that.

    3. Avatar photo DaveD says:

      I am a very happy Zen customer, flawless ordering process and not so much as a blip or minute of downtime in 13 months and counting.

    4. Avatar photo Stoo says:

      You’ve been misinformed, I’ve been a customer over 10 years, there has been no degradation at all. Any issues so far have been at the hands of BT, all of which Zen worked tirelessly to resolve whenever anything did happen.

    5. Avatar photo L.E. Vator says:

      I’ve heard Mike is not as good as he once was, the stupidity signalling being another sign I suspect.

  3. Avatar photo Anthony Goodman says:

    Simplest way ISPs can get close to net zero. Don’t force junk low grade cheap routers with super locked-down firmwares on them. Support an open source system like OpenWRT for every ISP router to allow them all to be used cross provider and be updated and patched years after release.

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