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Social Responsibility

Social responsibility is in our DNA. We’re proud of our achievements as a responsible and ethical business. We are committed to continue to reduce our carbon impact, support communities, help customers and empower our people to make a difference.

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Awards and Recognition

BT is proud to have received excellent recognition for its work on CR and sustainability. Find out more here about some of our recent awards received and view a more detailed awards timeline.

Environment and climate change

Climate change has never been higher on corporate or government agendas. Engagement is inevitable whether voluntary, or through regulations or tax changes. BT is a major energy consumer and a major provider of energy-efficiency products.

BT's vision is to help tackle disruptive climate change through the innovative use of communications products. We aim to lower the carbon intensity of our networks and to help our customers reduce their footprint.

Our strategy is therefore about cutting carbon by:

  • Reducing our own footprint
  • Influencing our customers and suppliers to reduce their footprints
  • Engaging with our employees to help reduce their personal footprints

We have reduced our own footprint in the UK by 58 per cent since 1996. In June 2008, we publicly announced a stretching global reduction target: by 2020, we will have reduced the carbon emissions intensity of our business by 80 per cent from its 1996 levels.

Helping Our Customers

We want to grow our business in a way that benefits our customers and society.

That means designing sustainable products and services that help our customers to effectively tackle social and environmental challenges such as inclusive communications and lowering carbon footprints link to: see the BT Responsible Business for more information And web sites like BT Sign and BT Basic illustrate our pioneering approach to inclusive communications.

Helping our employees make a difference

Over the years BT has become widely recognised as a progressive employer.

Our flexible working policies and communications services enable a wide range of people to work for us including parents, carers and people with disabilities.

We have around 14,500 contracted home workers and a further 64,000 employees who are able to work flexibly thanks to the use of BT’s technology.

Find out more from our BT Responsible Business website about our approach to our most valuable asset – our people.

Protecting Our Environment

As a company, we are always looking for ways to minimise our impact on the environment.

Indeed, we are very proud of our environmental management track record having set our first carbon reduction target back in 1992.

Now we’re committed to reducing the carbon intensity of our global business by 80 per cent by 2020 – so far we have achieved a 43 per cent reduction by becoming more energy efficient and by increasing our use of renewable energy.

Find out information see our BT Responsible Business Website to find more about BT’s sustainable products, services and initiatives, the work we’ve done to address the climate change issue, and our Wind for Change project.

Recognition and ratings

Responsible behaviour and sustainable development matter to BT, and we are proud that our achievements in this area have been recognised.

Examples include:

Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Dow Jones

For eight consecutive years, BT has been recognised as the world's top telecoms company in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

Carbon Trust Standard

Carbon Trust Logo

BT has become one of the first companies in the UK to achieve the new, independently assessed Carbon Trust Standard certification. It means the company has been recognised as an organisation that has genuinely reduced its carbon footprint and is committed to making further reductions year on year.

Social inclusion

Communications technology can promote social inclusion, by giving individuals and communities the opportunity to participate in the global economy. Unfortunately, millions of people still lack access to technology and the skills to use it.

Contributing to a more inclusive society, where the benefits of communications technology are widely shared, is a key part of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment.

Society 1 Society 2

Supporting Our Communities

We want to make a positive contribution to society.

We recognise by investing in and supporting our communities, we can help to build a more economically sustainable, educated and socially-inclusive society. That’s why we invest one per cent of our annual pre-tax profits into programmes which benefit communities and the environment.

Find out more from the BT Responsible Business website about the work we do to support our communities.

Sustainable economic growth

By investing in new products, services and operational practices that reduce our impact on the environment and enable more people to participate in the information society, we will help achieve sustainable economic growth.

Our sustainable economic growth programme has two equally important elements:

  • Innovation – seeking new, long-term commercial opportunities to create a more sustainable world.
  • Integration – making sure that sustainability is embedded into our key business processes and becomes business as usual.

Anticipating sustainable development trends

We are tracking global sustainability trends and using this analysis to better understand how information and communication technologies (ICT) can help solve environmental, social and economic problems.

This knowledge will help us create new products and services with a positive sustainability impact.

Product criteria

In 2007, we established a set of sustainability criteria for assessing potential new products and services. These use qualitative and quantitative measures in five areas:

  1. Medium to long-term economic viability of our customers
  2. Contribution to wellbeing
  3. Materials use and waste