How collaboration between BT Group, Ericsson and Flex Poland is reducing supply chain emissions

BT Group is a long-standing partner and customer of Ericsson, and both companies have been leading the charge on sustainability initiatives in our sector. In fact, both organisations set independent and ambitious science-based targets as far back as 2008.

We are both members of Exponential Roadmap Initiative (ERI) - an initiative for innovators, transformers and disruptors taking action in line with the 1.5°C ambition, with the mission to halve emissions before 2030 through exponential climate action and solutions. The Exponential Roadmap Initiative is an accredited partner of the United Nations’ Race To Zero and a founding partner of the 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders and the SME Climate Hub.

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We’re also both founding members of ERI’s 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders, an initiative set up so that businesses can “work with and support suppliers to halve emissions before 2030 and achieve net zero emissions before 2050.”
In line with these partnerships and initiatives, as well as ERI’s Business Playbook best practices, BT Group is tackling both long- and short-term goals for net zero, hoping to set an example on what is achievable in emissions reduction.
Indeed, research shows that ICT solutions can enable a reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% by 2030. This calculation was estimated based on the legacy portfolio and 5G is expected to add a further reduction potential. The good news is that within our own industry, we’re not alone. In fact, alongside BT Group, there are currently 27 companies in JAC, “an association of telecom operators aiming to verify, assess and develop the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) implementation across the manufacturing centres of ICT suppliers,” and to date, over 90% of members have committed to science-based and/or net-zero targets.
As pointed out in the recent JAC climate change report, the majority of emissions for ICT companies comes from supply chains, rather than from own operations. 84% of JAC members now have anywhere between 70-100% of their total carbon emissions falling under Scope 3 with 60% - 80% of telco operators’ typical Scope 3 carbon footprint is derived from the supply chain.

Driving supply chain carbon reduction through sector collaboration

In response to this, BT Group and other JAC members are looking for closer collaboration with supply chains. This includes vetting new suppliers to ensure that their values for net zero reflect our own, working directly with suppliers to help provide them with tools and processes they need to reduce emissions, and creating incentives for those suppliers to independently reduce their emissions. The JAC climate change report contains leading practice examples on sustainability for suppliers which are based on learning and best practice from JAC members.
One of BT Group’s recent supply chain collaborations was covered here, and reflects the potential there is in this approach. And now we also are excited about this work we have been doing together with Ericsson for another example of how working together can reduce supply chain emissions.

BT Group, Ericsson & Flex: Collaborating to reduce emissions

As an industry peer, Ericsson has been leading the charge in many respects to emissions reductions, and last year BT Group and Ericsson decided to collaborate on ways in which they could reduce carbon emissions across both of their supply chains. This complemented Ericsson’s supplier climate target for 350 high emitting and strategic suppliers to set their own 1.5 degree aligned climate targets that they had started several years ago.
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An example of this collaboration was the work that Ericsson did with one of their suppliers, Flex, that switched to 100% renewable electricity for its factory in Tczew, Poland.
Of the 1.1 million products Flex has produced for Ericsson in Poland, 1,401 baseband units were shipped by Ericsson to BT Group. As Flex had already switched to renewable energy at its Tczew, Poland site, Flex and Ericsson estimated an 11k-tonne reduction in Flex’s scope 2 carbon emissions dedicated to Ericsson for 2022, which translates to a 14-tonne reduction in embodied carbon emissions for the 1,401 baseband units shipped to BT Group.
It may seem like a small improvement, but these types of actions are necessary in the journey towards Net zero and set a precedent for how these types of collaborations can be scaled in value chains.

Moving forward: Climate Week NYC and continued collaboration

As New York Climate Week gets underway, we’re looking forward to connecting with both Ericsson and ERI at the event to further the dialogue around collaborative initiatives like these. Our goal is to set examples that serve as inspiration for peers inside and outside of the Technology industry regarding what is possible when businesses join heads.
As Johan Falk, Co-founder of ERI, stated: “Both 1.5 Supply Chain Leaders and the 1.5 Business Playbook are predicated upon the value of working together for climate solutions rather than in isolation. It is powerful enough when industry leaders take the initiative on their own to reduce their emissions and work towards net zero, but setting examples through collaboration demonstrates the effectiveness of frameworks like ours to exponentially speed up our collective emissions reductions goals. When collaborating, within our own value chains and across industries, we will reach both better understanding and results.”
BT Group is looking forward to Climate Week and its capacity as a forum to showcase the solutions we’re building into our own business and the solutions we’re working on with our partner and supply chain.
We encourage all companies, large and small, to take climate action. Good guides of where to start can be found here:
  • Lars Ek

    37 w

    Great work

    • Sarah Chabane

      37 w

      A powerful collaboration for the decarbonisation of supply chains!

      • Tabitha Kimani

        38 w

        Superb efforts to encourage other stakeholders to take climate actions.

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