BT extends carbon commitment to suppliers

BT extends carbon commitment to suppliers

As part of its commitment to reducing carbon emissions across all of its operations, Sustainable Glasgow partner BT has introduced a Climate Change procurement standard that will apply to all its 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.