BT's Head of Environmental Sustainability: "We need thousands more companies to join"

With only a few weeks to go before COP27 opens its doors, BT Group’s head of environmental sustainability, Gabrielle Ginér, takes some time to look at what we have accomplished and what needs to be done at COP27 and beyond.
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By Gabrielle Ginér, Head of environmental sustainability, BT Group
Climate action has been a part of BT Group’s agenda for 30 years. Our first carbon reduction target was set in 1992, and in 2008 we set our first science-based target - to reduce the carbon emissions intensity of our business by 80% by 2020. We were proud when we met that target four years ahead of time, but we decided that was not enough. In 2017, we became the third company in the world to have a 1.5 degree Celsius aligned science based target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. And in 2021, we pledged to be net zero in our own operations by March 2031, and for our customer emissions and supply chain by March 2041. To achieve the 2031 goal we are focusing on three areas: continuing to use 100% renewable electricity worldwide, decarbonising our estate, and decarbonising our fleet. Any residual emissions will be covered by investment in high quality carbon offsets.
As many other companies in the telecom industry, our own operations account for only a small percentage of our total carbon footprint. While 6% of our emissions come from our own operations, 70% are from our upstream supply chain, and 23% from customers using our products and services. It is clear to us that working with suppliers to reduce their own carbon emissions is key if we want to reach our net zero supply chain target. If you want to know more about the specific actions we have taken, we have written about them in previous articles here on We Don’t Have Time.
Looking forward to COP27, we need to keep the intention of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C alive, and we need to see accelerated climate action during this decade. Action is growing, but more companies need to come on-board in setting science based targets aligned to 1.5 degrees before we see a true turning point. We need thousands more companies to join, and we need countries to provide new and improved carbon reduction plans that go far enough to ensure we stay below the 1.5 degree threshold.
Accountability and transparency are key. How are countries and companies progressing on their targets and what are their plans to reach net zero? We need everyone to share their progress and plans publically so we can understand what the gaps and challenges are. Only if we understand this, can we work together to solve them.
For this we need not only brave leaders, but also more data to track our progress. We can not afford to lose momentum. We need to have a clear and science based direction going forward. If we do, I believe we can pull ourselves out of this crisis. It’s now all about HOW we transition to net zero and only by collaborating can we overcome the challenges to get there.
Tune in for We Don’t Have Time’s COP27 broadcasts, where I will be participating in the discussion on November 8th.
  • Evangeline Wanjiru

    72 w

    Commendable efforts Dear Gabrielle. Keep setting the pace.

    • Petra Meyer

      82 w

      Dear Gabrielle, congratulations. You have already done marvelous steps. And you are very right: We can solve the problems by immediate action all together. May I welcome you to a series of workshops offering solutions to a variety of Challenges which can be met by highly sophisticated until lowest budged changes :) Feel sure you can take these suggestions into your group, cooperation-partners, clients and whoever wants to know about it :) Our specialists can help you to moderate them according to your conditions and desires :)

      • Kodakandla deva Priyam

        83 w

        From🇮🇳 I do at my area 🌱 I wanted economic help👍 I do 100/-persent job💯 you join me medam

        • Sarah Chabane

          83 w

          Great article! Let's keep pushing and get many more on board!

          • Adam Wallin

            84 w

            I am looking forward to COP27 with excitement mixed with some nervosity. I hope everyone brings the same energy that BT does!

            • Tomas Roovete

              84 w

              It is only together we can solve the climate crisis, but to many companies and organizations think they can do it by themself.

              • Ingmar Rentzhog

                84 w

                Yes, We do! Thanks for leading BT!

                • Tabitha Kimani

                  84 w

                  Great leadership at BT through responsibility and accountability.

                  Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
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