CR Glossary

It's easy to be confused by the jargon that surrounds corporate responsibility. So here's a simple glossary which we hope will clear things up.



Carbon dioxide (CO2)
A greenhouse gas emitted when fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are burned. It is believed to be the most significant contributor to climate change.

Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)
Various greenhouse gases contribute to global warming. Their combined effect is usually expressed in terms of the amount of CO2 that would have the same impact on the environment.

Carbon footprint (or climate footprint)
The contribution a person, company or country makes to climate change. The footprint is calculated by taking the total amount of greenhouse gas emitted and subtracting any amount saved elsewhere - for example, as a result of buying offsets.

Carbon intensity
The amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of economic output. There are two main ways to set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Absolute targets specify the amount by which total emissions will be reduced over a period of time, typically in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Intensity targets specify the reduction relative to economic output that will be achieved measured, for instance, in tonnes of CO2e per million of pounds worth of sales. Also termed Climate Stabilisation Intensity (CSI) target.

Carbon Impact Assessment (CIA) Service
A consultancy service we offer to help large businesses and public-sector organisations understand, assess and reduce their carbon footprints.

see Combined Heat and Power

Climate change
The change in weather patterns and temperatures caused by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activity. To counter the problem, we have set one of the most aggressive corporate emissions-reduction targets in the world. By 2020, we hope to have cut the carbon intensity of our global business by 80 per cent compared to its level in 1997.

Climate Stabilisation Intensity (CSI) target
A simple and effective way for organisations to link their financial performance to the carbon reductions that must be made to avoid catastrophic climate change. (See also Carbon Intensity.)

Combined heat and power
A technology that captures and uses the heat generated during electricity production. CHP typically reduces energy use by 35 to 40 per cent compared with conventional power stations, where this heat is wasted.

Two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange information but also create and share meaning. For more information about BT's campaigns to improve communication.

Community effectiveness measure
An independently assessed measure we use to evaluate the impact of our community programme. It is one of the key performance indicators (KPIs) we report on in our annual sustainability report.

Community investment
The provision of funding or in-kind support for community or charity programmes that benefit society. Each year, BT invests one per cent of its pre-tax profits in the communities it serves.

A way for people to meet and do business without having to travel. BT is one of the largest suppliers of conferencing services in the world - and the largest in the UK.

Connected Earth
A web-based museum of communications, featuring BT's rich heritage of historical artefacts, documents, images and film.

Copenhagen Accord
A non-binding accord, which the US reached with key nations including China and Brazil in December 2009. It recognises the scientific case for keeping global temperature rises to no more than 2 degrees C but does not contain commitments to emissions reductions to achieve that goal.

Corporate governance
Structures and standards designed to promote fair and transparent business.

Corporate Responsibility (CR)
The management of a company's positive impact on society and the environment through its operations, products or services and through its interaction with key stakeholders such as employees, customers, investors and suppliers.

see Corporate Responsibility.