Ethical Performance
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BT sets pace as business gets serious about carbon

July 2008

BT has set aggressive corporate greenhouse gas reduction targets by aiming to cut its total carbon emissions by 80 per cent within 12 years.

The goal is a further sign that business is now beginning to set itself demanding targets on climate change rather than the relatively conservative figures that have been laid out in the past few years.

The utilities company National Grid also recently adopted a target of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent - although by 2050 - and Vodafone has announced a goal of reducing its emissions by 50 per cent by 2020 against its 2006-07 baseline. Both companies, like BT, say the targets will be achieved principally through energy efficiency and renewable energy measures.

BT chairman Sir Michael Rake, who was until recently chair of Business in the Community, said his business's target, covering the telecoms company's operations in more than 170 countries, was challenging but achievable. BT has already reduced its UK emissions by nearly 60 per cent between 1996 and 2008. However, it envisages a further 80 per cent cut through a combination of measures, including having 25 per cent of its UK electricity generated by wind turbines by 2016, and buying low-carbon electricity.

Chris Tuppen, BT's sustainable development director, said the target would bring the company 'fully in line' with the worldwide reduction levels outlined in the Stern Report and reports by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Paul Dickinson, chief executive of the Carbon Disclosure Project, an investor-backed body that presses companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, said BT was now 'leading the way on emissions reductions'. The company has been ranked sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability index for the seventh consecutive year.

BT | UK & NI Ireland | Climate change

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