BT Group at COP28 - Sharing best practice for working with global supply chains

During our attendance at COP28 in Dubai in December 2023, our Head of Environmental Sustainability, Gabrielle Ginér spoke about how BT Group is collaborating to expand and scale its engagement with global supply chains and reduce supply chain emissions.
Sharing the stage with fellow 1.5 Supply Chain Leaders, Ericsson, on Day 4 of the COP, we discussed how both a net zero company and a net zero supply chain can be achieved by actively working with other industry leaders on collaborative projects.
The main challenge to reducing Scope 3 emissions, those emissions that lie beyond the actual operations of your company, is scale. BT Group alone has around “11,400 suppliers, so unfortunately we can’t engage with all of those directly”. However, by completing projects with Ericsson, such as what we did with Flex Poland, we can make progress.
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Why supply chain emissions are crucial for true net zero

Reducing Scope 3 value chain emissions is crucial for any business with a large supply chain network. At BT Group, only around 6% of our emissions are directly generated by our operations. The remaining circa 94% come from the supply chain partners we work with and customers using our products and services.
During our time onstage with Exponential Roadmap Initiative, who founded both the SME Climate Hub and the 1.5 Degree Supply Chain Leaders, Gabrielle commented “It’s where you can really have an impact and for me personally, it’s probably the most satisfying bit… because I can see changes being made in the supply chain. It’s a great area for collaboration, sharing best practices, and the cascade [of emissions reductions]”.
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One of the ways in which we do this is through our “purchasing power… being the customer and using your customer requirements to change supplier behaviour. When we look at our adjudication criteria, around 15% is linked to the environment and to human rights…”.

The importance of transparency

Beyond the collaborative projects we’ve been involved in this year, Gabrielle also commented on the importance of transparency and accountability in emissions reduction efforts.
“We need companies to, every year, publish an update on how you are doing, but also importantly to share the challenges. If we don’t share the challenges with each other, how are we going to meet them?”
What this allows for is new opportunities for collaboration, and also creates an open-source community of businesses who can relate, share, and learn from each other’s sustainability efforts in real time. Rather than starting efforts from scratch, business by business, we can build from each other's strengths and expedite cross-industry sustainability work.
Commenting on this, Emelie Öhlander, Climate Action Program Manager for Ericsson, pointed out that “one of the things that we focus on is the opportunities and the risks”, something that is made more visible through the open disclosure that industry peers should engage in.
In some final remarks from Day 4, Gabrielle expressed that companies need to become “bigger advocates on climate action”, speaking out about “positive climate action, what we’re doing, why science-based targets are so important” and particularly creating “ambition loops… where we encourage each other and drive each other faster towards net zero targets”.
On Day 6, we also hosted a panel on supply chain engagement for climate action together with the Exponential Roadmap, inviting Louise Rehbinder, Director of the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, Rob Cameron, Global Head of Public Affairs of Nestlé and Daniel Reid, Senior Director of Environment of the Responsible Business Alliance to join Gabrielle on this topic and share examples of how companies and industry associations can engage with supply chains to inspire them to reduce emissions and support them in taking the necessary actions.
By setting clear climate demands and providing tools through initiatives like the SME Climate Hub, we can make the necessary difference to accelerate climate action at scale. Watch the full panel below:

About the COP28 Climate Hub

We Don’t Have Time hosted the COP28 Climate Hub, in partnership with Race To Zero, UNDP, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, and the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, amplifying the important high-level discussions at COP28 to a global audience. The live broadcast spanned over 10 days and covered a variety of climate-related topics.
Rewatch the COP28 Climate Hub anytime on We Don’t Have Time Play.
  • mary Mwihaki

    17 w

    This is so inspiring this is one way to reduce global supply chain emissions and to make the local.

    • Noah Isla

      17 w

      This blog is helpful for me when I was creating a research paper at for my project.

      • Andriy

        20 w

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        • Kriss Kiddo

          23 w

          Great job BT this is inspiring to hear your work;keep going.

          • George Kariuki

            26 w

            I commend BT Group's positive steps while holding them accountable for continuous improvement.

            • Kevin

              27 w

              Amazing work BT

              • Munene Mugambi

                27 w

                One way to reduce global supply chain emissions is to make them local and not global. Just saying

                • Sarah Chabane

                  27 w

                  Great job BT, it's always so inspiring to hear about your work with collaboration within the supply chain!

                  • Abraham Jok Atem

                    27 w

                    Gabrielle Giner is a visionary leader whose ideas and opinions are impactful to our collective responsibility of improving the environment

                    • dickson mutai

                      27 w

                      Sharing challenges and successes fosters a collaborative, impactful community. Let's all continue driving climate action

                      Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
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