BT Group has unveiled plans to curb its carbon emissions sooner than planned, by bringing forward its net zero target from 2045 to 2030 for its own operational emissions and 2040 for its supply chain and customer emissions.
The new target comes as a landmark UN climate report has warned that global heating is irreversible, with its starkest warning yet that urgent action is needed to reduce emissions.
BT has pledged to cut the emissions intensity of its business by 87 per cent by the end of March 2031 and has set targets in line with the most ambitious aim of the COP21 Paris Agreement – linking its targets to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Since 2016 BT has reduced the carbon emissions intensity of its operations by 57 per cent and has reduced supply chain emissions by 19 per cent over the same timeframe.
In 2020, the company announced that it had completed the switch to 100 per cent renewable electricity worldwide and pledged to transition the majority of its 33,000 strong commercial fleet to electric or zero carbon emissions vehicles by 2030.
To meet these new targets, BT will work closely with its customers and suppliers, and will press ahead with plans to retire legacy networks such as the 3G mobile network by 2023 and the public switched telephone network (PSTN) by the end of 2025. Any residual emissions will be covered by high quality carbon offsets, which the company will invest in.
The company believes that continued innovation in products and services alongside the roll out of full fibre broadband to 25 million homes and businesses by December 2026 and the offer of high performance 5G solutions across the entire UK by 2028 will help underpin many of the innovative solutions needed to achieve a net zero carbon economy.