10 June, 2022
In a post-lockdown world, we appreciate the need for connectivity at very close quarters: whether it’s the ability to transition (mostly) seamlessly to remote working or keeping in touch with friends and family.
The telecoms industry is central to facilitating shifts in how we live and work, but also to sustainability: these are the companies installing and managing the vast system of cables under our streets that connect our homes and workplaces, selling much of the technology we use, and employing a large workforce. They make digital living a possibility but also hold the key to a low carbon future, where we travel, work and communicate differently and with a lower carbon footprint.
So we are pleased to see our friends at Virgin Media O2 launch their new ESG strategy: the Better Connections Plan. It builds on existing work across their pillars of connected communities, circular economy and zero carbon future and sets some bold targets: to connect one million digitally excluded people by 2025, to recycle all products customers return, and reduce carbon emissions in their value chain by 90% by 2030.
What’s more, they are going beyond their own scope 3 carbon impact: setting a target to accelerate the national transition to net zero, by helping their customers make low carbon choices, supported by the products and services they provide, with a view to empowering customers and the UK to avoid 20 million tonnes of carbon through supporting changes in the way we live, work and travel.
Avoided emissions – what we call “scope X” – don’t reduce a business’s own carbon footprint, under carbon accounting standards. Nonetheless, this sort of support and facilitation is exactly what is needed on the journey to a low carbon future.
By Patrick Bapty