Skip to main content

BT report shows potential of ICT to help EU take climate action and achieve its COP21 targets

Press Release   •   May 23, 2016 11:02 BST

BT today launched a new report - “The role of ICT in reducing carbon emissions in the EU” - highlighting the central role Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could play in combating climate change and promoting economic growth and prosperity across the European Union.

The report comes at a crucial time. Last December, at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) summit in Paris, nations agreed to work to limiting global temperature increases to well below 2°C by 2100. Yet experts predict that if carbon output continues at the current rate, governments will fall short of that target, with temperatures increasing by at least 2.7°C.[1]

BT’s new report shows how ICT enabled solutions can reduce EU carbon emissions by over 1.5 Gt CO2e in 2030. This is a saving equivalent to almost 19 times the size of the expected footprint of the EU’s ICT sector in 2030, or 37% of the EU’s total emissions in 2012.

Launching the report, BT’s President of Government & Public Affairs, Larry Stone, said:

“Just one month ago the EU and governments worldwide met to sign the COP21 Paris Agreement to take action to limit temperature increases to well under 2°C. BT recognises that, by enablingthe digital transformation of our economies and large scale energy efficiencies, ICT has the potential to help reduce carbon emissions both substantially and at speed.

“This report underpins our thinking, and shows that increased ICT deployment could enable significant carbon reductions, whilst also strengthening European economies.To make sure that we succeed together, it is important that ICT is considered at every step of the journey, and we call on policy makers to seize the moment and to move the ICT agenda forward.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • ICT has the potential to facilitate in 2030 a reduction in emissions equal to 37% of the EU’s total emissions in 2012
  • The ICT sector could generate new revenue to the tune of €678 billion and cost savings of €643 billion
  • The majority of gains (53%) that can be driven by ICT are in improving energy efficiency

    The report also found that smart manufacturing, smart buildings, and smart energy are potentially the most promising ICT-enabled carbon reduction solutions, accounting for almost 74% of potential carbon savings analysed within the report.

    The report also revealed how European countries are at different stages of readiness to instigate ICT-driven carbon reduction solutions, with the UK and Germany of the larger countries being in a leading position to implement such measures. It further indicates that France could reap economic benefit from ICT equivalent to over €191 billion, and Italy and Spain could generate €117 and €113 billion respectively in sustainable economic growth through ICT-enabled carbon reductions.

    Larry Stone added: “Increased use of ICT solutions could help ensure the European Union meets its carbon emissions reduction targets. They are also an important enabler for the circular economy. This potential gain from digitisation of industry and governments, and how we all work and consume, is important for all our futures”.

    The report “The role of ICT in reducing carbon emissions in the EU” can be downloaded at www.bt.com/purposefulbusiness

    Ends

    Notes to Editors

    BT’s action on tackling climate change

    Climate change is one of the greatest global challenges of our time. We can make a big difference by cutting our end-to-end carbon footprint and enabling others to cut theirs.

    We’re helping to create the low-carbon economy envisaged by the 2015 Paris climate deal. Our products and services support new ways to communicate and do business that can avoid emissions and stimulate economic and social benefits. We’re committed to purchasing 100% renewable power in our own operations by 2020.

    Our products and services are already helping customers cut their emissions by 1.6 times our end-to-end carbon footprint. We aim to make it three times by 2020. We’re doing this by offering more services that cut carbon to more customers and working hard to shrink our own end-to-end footprint at the same time.

    The biggest contribution we can make to the environment is to help tackle climate change. This also supports the UN Global Goals. We promote a circular economy and aim to recover or recycle our waste.

    We helped customers avoid an estimated 7.6 million tonnes of CO2e emissions in 2015/16. And we

    generated £3.6bn revenue from the products and services that are helping them do it. That’s a 16%

    increase over the last two years.

    We cut our energy use by more than 3% through our focus on efficiencies. This helped us reduce our worldwide operational emissions by 10%, to under 350,000 tonnes of CO2e.

    This year we’ve achieved an 81% reduction in our climate stabilisation intensity (CSI) measure compared to its 1996/97 baseline, achieving the 80% target we set for 2020. Next year, we’ll incorporate EE into the numbers and set a new target.

    Progress on BT’s 2020 ambitions are published annual online at www.bt.com/deliveringourpurpose

[1] http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/iea-says-pledges-for-cop21-slow-energy-emissions-growth-dramatically/

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.With effect from 1 April 2016, the group has been reorganised and the customer-facing lines of business are now: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com