We're using the power of communications
to make a better world... a world where people are prepared for the challenges that tomorrow brings.
The UK aims to be a leading digital economy, but faces a major digital skills challenge that's costing an estimated £63bn a year.Chairman
Business has an important role in delivering long-term value for stakeholders and society. BT's focus on digital skills will help to prepare people for an increasingly digital world, equip them for the jobs of the future, and support the UK's productivity.Non-Executive Director and Chair of BT's Digital Impact and Sustainability Committee
We've updated our strategy to focus on the UK and global challenges that we can make the most meaningful contribution to through our technology, our reach and our people.Chief Executive Officer
We've refocused our ambitions to help us drive progress in the areas where we can make the biggest impact.
Tackling climate change and environmental challengesAmbition: Zero Become a net zero carbon1 emissions business by 2045
Tackling climate change and environmental challengesAmbition: 87% Cut our carbon emissions intensity2 by 87% by 2030, compared with 2016/17 levels
Tackling climate change and environmental challengesAmbition: 3X Enable customers to reduce their carbon emissions by at least three times the end-to-end carbon impact of our business by 2020
Tackling climate change and environmental challengesAmbition: 100% Buy 100% of our electricity worldwide from renewable sources by 2020, wherever markets allow
Tackling climate change and environmental challengesAmbition: 29% Carbon emissions: by 2030, to reduce our supply chain carbon emissions by 29%, compared to 2016/17 levels
Building better digital livesAmbition: 10m Reach 10m people in the UK with digital skills training by 2025
Building better digital livesAmbition: 5m Help 5m children to receive better teaching in computer skills by 2020
1. Measured for Scopes 1 & 2 greenhouse gases
2. Measured for Scopes 1 & 2 greenhouse gases, per unit of gross value added
The world is increasingly shaped by technology. But the rapid pace of change is leaving people behind – as many as 11.3m UK adults and 10% of the UK workforce lack basic digital skills. This digital skills gap is costing the UK economy an estimated £63bn a year.
Building better digital livesOur ambition Reach 10 million people in the UK with digital skills training by 2025.
We can help the UK fill the digital skills gap. And grow demand for our products and services too. We're working with partners to make a difference to families through targeted support at key stages of life. We're helping businesses upskill their workforce and boost productivity by doing more digitally, ourselves included.
Supporting families' digital lives
Barefoot's Crazy Characters activity asks children to create their own crazy character and write a sequence of instructions for their friends to follow to draw it. If their friends draw a character that looks different, the pupil rewrites their instructions until it looks the same. They've just written and debugged their first algorithm – an important building block for computational thinking.
Supporting working people and businesses
Our TechWomen programme helps hundreds of women in technology and commercial roles progress their careers.
Over the course of a year, participants get face-to-face training, masterclasses, coaching, and access to a new network of peers and senior leaders. The number of women taking part doubled this year to 770. We added a new course for women in early management roles, as well as training senior leaders. We've expanded the programme to India too.
In 2017/18, 41% of participants secured a bigger role after completing the programme. 87% said they were more confident driving their own career and 90% felt more confident networking.
Supporting charity partners
In India, around 150m school age children are illiterate. Improving their literacy – and digital literacy – can make a big difference to their future prospects.
This year, we launched a three-year partnership with the British Asian Trust to empower half a million young people, with a particular focus on adolescent girls, in India. It will use apps, videos and other interactive digital technologies to breakdown social barriers and improve young people's health, education, employability and life skills.
We're also pioneering new finance models to support learning on an even bigger scale as the first corporate to support the British Asian Trust's education development impact bond. It aims to improve literacy and numeracy skills for more than 300,000 children in India through local partnerships.
This builds on our existing work to tackle illiteracy in India through the Katha Information Technology and E-commerce School (KITES) that we set up with the charity and publisher Katha in 2001. It's helped over 375,000 children in the slums of New Delhi learn how to read, with support from BT volunteers. This year, we supported the development of new online learning resources to reach more children.
Human rights are important for everyone – society, government and business. We use the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to shape our approach.
Championing human and digital rights
Championing human and digital rightsOur ambition Keeping people safe and secure online, whilst protecting privacy and freedom of expression.
Everyone's entitled to basic rights and freedoms – both on and offline. We're committed to respecting these rights, partnering to combat modern slavery and helping to drive the conversation on issues like data privacy.
Tackling modern slavery
On National Anti-Slavery Day in October 2018, we lit up the BT Tower with modern slavery messages, visible to thousands of people across London. This included highlighting the modern slavery helpline and smartphone app.
We partner with the charity Unseen to raise public awareness of slavery in society and provide communications services, equipment and consultancy to support the UK modern slavery helpline it runs. Since its launch in October 2016, it has received many thousands of contacts indicating over 13,500 potential victims.
freedom of expression
Protecting privacy and freedom of expression
Customers expect us to keep their information safe and private. We must – and do – protect our customers' personal data. And when we design a new product or service, we consider privacy from the very start. We call this privacy by design.
We believe everyone should have access to any content online as long as it's legal. So we won't block access to material on the internet except in a very specific set of circumstances. We don't think internet providers like us should be making judgement calls about what content is and isn't acceptable. But we think someone should. In September 2018, we joined other broadcasters and media providers in an urgent call for an independent watchdog to regulate the industry and make the internet safer for everyone.
The October 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlights the importance of urgently tackling climate change. We're listening. And we're taking action.
Tackling climate change and environmental challenges
Tackling climate change and environmental challengesOur ambition A sector-leading approach to climate change, with a target for net zero emissions by 2045.
We want to be a leader on climate action. That's why we've pledged to become a net zero carbon emissions business by 2045. We're also partnering with our suppliers to target a 29% reduction in emissions from our supply chain by 2030 (from 2016/17 levels). And we're helping our customers reduce their carbon footprint too.
Net zero carbon business
We're aiming to be a net zero carbon emissions1 business. That's no mean feat. But we've already made big strides. To do this, we're targeting 100% renewable electricity by 2020. We're investigating how to decarbonise our buildings. And we're looking at how we can convert our fleet to ultra-low emission vehicles.1 Greenhouse gas emissions Scopes 1 & 2
Partnering with suppliers to cut our emissions
ADVA is one of our key suppliers for networking equipment. Its eco-optimised approach means products are designed to be recycled and reused at the end of their life.
For the next major release, they plan to use artificial intelligence to improve energy efficiency through predictive maintenance. And the company has also intends to reduce emissions from producing and transporting the equipment.
Overall, this could save BT's supply chain 12,000 tonnes of CO2e and £6 million over a ten-year period of buying the equipment.
Helping customers save emissions
We're not just reducing our own carbon footprint, we're helping our customers reduce theirs too.
We see big potential for our products and services to save our customers energy, fuel, materials and emissions. Investing in ICT could reduce the UK's carbon emissions by an estimated 24% in 2030.