More and more, our products, services and infrastructure are helping homes, businesses and public sector organisations cut their energy, fuel use and emissions. This year alone, around £5.3bn (25%) of our revenue came from carbon-cutting solutions – from teleconferencing and cloud storage to smart manufacturing and Internet of Things (IoT) technology. And we’re going further. Our ambitious plans to bring full fibre broadband to 20m premises and boost 5G mobile will support more homeworking, smart cities and next generation carbon reducing technologies.

Our carbon reduction figures
Our carbon reduction figures

Powering breakthrough carbon-cutting technology

The UK aims to be a net zero emissions economy by 2050 and the public sector has a big role to play. Hundreds of local councils and NHS Trusts already use our services. We’re looking for new ways to support their journey to net zero through our green tech innovation platform. We’ve teamed up with Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play to find businesses with breakthrough carbon-reducing solutions. 

In January 2021, we announced our first two scale-up partners: 

iOpt uses sensors connected by the Internet of Things to provide remote, real-time information and alerts on things like energy use and moisture levels in buildings. Their technology can help councils take steps to improve energy efficiency, cut maintenance costs and eliminate damp or mould. This in turn makes homes healthier and helps to prevent fuel poverty by reducing energy costs for tenants.  

Everimpact uses a combination of on-the-ground sensors, satellite data and artificial intelligence to monitor air quality and carbon emissions. The results, transmitted via a smart city dashboard, enable local councils to target measures effectively to reduce air pollution and climate impacts. We’ll help both businesses grow and expand positive impacts by offering their services to interested customers.

  • We’re already testing new smart and remote technology solutions with a range of customers. Telemedicine offers big benefits for patients, medical staff and the climate. Remote consultations save time and emissions from travel – and help to avoid contact during Covid-19. We’re testing solutions with University Hospitals Birmingham, the UK’s biggest NHS Trust. This year, doctors trialled our remote diagnostic station technology using digital stethoscopes and heart monitors over a converged 4G/5G and wi-fi network. The Trust is now considering the technology for GP surgeries, care homes and community clinics.

  • Research by the environmental charity Hubbub found that two-thirds of UK households do not use any smart tech to help manage their homes. And four in ten (43%) think it would be expensive1. To bust this myth, we launched a pioneering experiment with Hubbub to show how smart tech and savings can go hand in hand. We asked c.60 households to experiment with digital technology to see which gadgets work best for them to reduce their energy use and bills from heating, hot water and lighting. Each household received a £50 voucher to spend on products like smart thermostats, lights or plugs. And we also offered tips and practical support. 

    1 Data from poll of 3,000 people conducted by Censuswide

  • Last year, we achieved our 3:1 target a year early by helping customers save three times as much carbon as our own end-to-end emissions. To track progress against this goal, we’ve previously calculated and reported the emissions our customers save from using products and services that we’ve identified as carbon-reducing. Last year, this totalled around 13m tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided, compared with our own end-to-end emissions of 3.7m tonnes. The way people live and organisations work online has changed significantly over the last few years – and even more so during the pandemic. We have commissioned research that will provide information on the role some of our solutions can have in a net-zero emissions world.