BT extends carbon commitment to suppliers
As part of its commitment to reducing carbon emissions across all of its operations, today BT introduced a Climate Change procurement standard that will apply to all suppliers. This new standard encourages suppliers to use energy efficiently and reduce carbon during the production, delivery, use and disposal of products and services supplied to BT.
BT’s Climate Change procurement standard is one of the first of its kind in the UK and will include three minimum expectations to be undertaken by all contracted suppliers:
- The supplier has a policy in place to address the challenge of climate change;
- The supplier is actively measuring and reporting carbon, as well as other relevant green house gas emissions;
- The supplier has set challenging targets to reduce emissions and is reporting on progress.
BT already has a strong track record in addressing the challenge of climate change, taking action to reduce emissions from its own operations and reducing those of its customers through the delivery of lower carbon products and services. For example the BT Vision Box is now 30% more energy efficient than its predecessor and all cordless home phones come with energy efficient power supply units as standard.
The company is now taking its activity to the next level by committing to buy lower energy products for its own use and within the work it does for customers. While most companies are currently working to reduce their own carbon footprint, BT is one of the first to extend its focus to the supply chain. Last year, BT spent £12billion with thousands of suppliers so this pioneering work will have an impact in the UK and abroad.
Ahead of the introduction of the new Climate Change procurement standard BT, in collaboration with the Carbon Trust, has been holding free, day long workshops with its suppliers designed to help them with their own carbon reduction policies and share best practice.
Liz Cross, BT CSR strategy and policy for procurement, said: “This is not something that we’re legally obliged to do, but we see this as key to delivering on our commitments on carbon reduction. We set our first carbon reduction target in 1992 and so initiatives like the workshops are a way for us to share what we’ve learned along the way. We’ve had really positive feedback from our suppliers on the workshops and we’ll continue working with them on their own carbon plans.”
Hugh Jones, Managing Director of Carbon Trust Advisory Services, said: “BT’s procurement guidelines go a long way to helping suppliers take ownership of the measurement and reduction of carbon emissions during their ‘custody’ of BT products and services. Such forward thinking initiatives enable companies at all points of the supply chain to harness the efficiencies, opportunities and reputational benefits of the low carbon economy now, and we hope other companies will follow suit.”
Alison Drake, Operations Director of Hudson and attendee of the supplier workshops, said: “The workshop raised awareness levels and provided practical advice for all businesses on some of the energy savings that can be done quickly, at little or no cost. It also provided information on those measures with longer term profit gains and clear environmental benefits. I enjoyed the sharing of ideas with other delegates and found the event useful in that it helped put concepts into targets and targets into sound action plans to help reduce our carbon footprint as far as possible.”
Notes to editors
1. Throughout 2010 BT, in collaboration with the Carbon Trust, held a series of 5 one day workshops and a half day webinar covering a total of 80+ suppliers across a range of sectors and geographies. Each workshop was free and contained practical and theoretical sessions aimed at identifying best practice and ways of reducing carbon emissions. Examples of suppliers that attended these workshops include Hudson, Ogilvy One, Pace, Teligent Ltd and 20:20 Mobile.
2. As part of the new Climate Change procurement standard suppliers are required to complete the BT Climate Change Questionnaire to ascertain their engagement on climate change and identify any areas for improvement. This focus on improvement is supported by a range of initiatives. For example; procurement awards of business may include specific improvement requirements i.e. suppliers are expected to have targets to reduce GHGs/carbon emissions by at least 10% over 3 years or to demonstrate that they have already achieved this and are working to more challenging targets.
To drive further engagement on climate change, we expect BT suppliers to be actively managing and driving engagement in this area with their own supply chains.
For further information
About the Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company with the mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy, providing specialist support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies.
In 2009, BT was awarded the Carbon Trust Standard, in recognition of achieving year on year carbon reductions across a three year period. Over 450 organisations have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard. Together they have cut their emissions by 3 million tonnes of CO2e and have saved the equivalent of over £138 million associated with reductions in gas, electricity and fuel use.
Organisations wanting information about getting the Carbon Trust Standard can call: 0800 019 1443 or visit www.carbontruststandard.com.
Carbon Trust Advisory Services helps large businesses to harness opportunities and manage risks in the move to a green economy. Its paid-for professional services include strategic business advice, carbon footprinting, new product and service design, and value chain decarbonisation. For further information or an interview with the Carbon Trust Advisory Services, contact press office on 020 7379 3972 or email@example.com.