BT accelerates net zero target by 15 years

The BT Tower in London, UK
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

BT has announced that the net zero target for its own operations is being brought forward by 15 years from 2045 to 2030.

The target for its supply chain and customer emissions has been set as 2040.

In order to meet these targets and minimise its carbon footprint, BT said that it will “press ahead” with plans to retire 3G mobile networks by 2023 and the public switched telephone network (PSTN) by the end of 2025.

The new deadline comes a year after BT completed the switch to 100% renewable electricity worldwide, signing a three-year renewable energy supply deal with TotalEnergies in February 2021.

By 2030, the company is also set to transition the majority of its 33,000 strong commercial fleet to electric or zero carbon emissions vehicles. It has also pledged to cut the emissions intensity of its business by 87% by the end of March 2031.

BT Group’s chief digital impact & sustainability officer Andy Wales said that the company is “committed to climate action and today’s announcement will see us not just deliver on our public commitments to date but exceed them”.

“As the world looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remember that the global climate emergency hasn’t gone away,” he added.


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However, Wales said that getting the company “in order” alone “isn’t enough”. This is why BT also announced the launch of its Big Sofa Summit, which will raise awareness of the need for small changes anyone can make to help the environment. The interactive video series will also showcase how smart tech can be used to fight climate change.

“We must broaden the conversation around climate change by getting households up and down the country talking about it and helping them understand what they can do to help. That’s why I’d encourage all of our customers, colleagues and communities to get involved, by holding their own Sofa Summit, looking at the small, sustainable changes they can make,” said Wales.

BT also announced today that it had joined The Climate Pledge, which was co-founded in 2019 by Amazon and Global Optimism. Signatories of the pledge are committed to three principal areas of action, which are: “regular reporting, carbon elimination, and neutralising any remaining emissions with real, permanent and socially-beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040”.

The news comes a month after the UK’s technology sector was urged to make a formal commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, with the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion asking companies to sign a separate, yet similar pledge available on the Business Climate Hub’s website.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.