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BT seeks to improve sustainability of its supply chain


Posted on 21/05/2013 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

A groundbreaking initiative by BT called the Better Future Supplier Forum was launched last year to promote sustainability in its supply chain. Research conducted by the Carbon Trust last year showed that BT’s supply chain was responsible for 77 per cent of BT’s overall CO2 emissions, leaving significant room for improvement. The extensive positive effects of BT’s green campaign are now coming to light, following a year-long trial period.

As part of the campaign, the company set ambitious goals for itself regarding carbon emissions. Since the initial launch, BT has successfully reduced its carbon impact by over 30,000 tonnes. This represents a massive success for the company, following its established 3:1 target to deliver three times the carbon savings for every gram of CO2it is responsible for.

Green innovations have reshaped the entire enterprise from the ground up. As suppliers search for ways to streamline products, manufacturing processes have been overhauled to comply with green regulations, solid waste production has been cut by 15 per cent and the amount of water used throughout production has dropped significantly. Additionally, packaging and delivery costs have been trimmed and savings have been passed onto customers.

Before rolling out their new campaign, BT tested its practicality and profitability on a number of pilot companies, all of which found the green initiative beneficial and cost-effective. Within the first year of the new programme, participants saw carbon savings of over 25,000 tonnes.

Since its pilot campaign, BT has been working closely with two of its suppliers, Huaweiand SGW Global to create better, more sustainable technologies. The company says a product from SGW Global was helped BT cut its carbon impact by over 30 per cent, putting it on track to meet target emissions. BT has vowed to reduce CO2 by 80 per cent by 2021, compared to 1997 levels.

BT’s chief sustainability officer, Niall Dunne, said: “The Better Future Supplier Forum demonstrates how collaborations across the supply chain can have a positive impact on our environment. By encouraging scrutiny of not only our own operations but those of our partners and suppliers, we’re able to offer more sustainable products and services that help to ensure we make a net positive contribution – for the benefit of everyone.”

BT’s Better Future Supplier Forum has been hailed as a holistic, practical sustainability campaign which makes green innovations easier for suppliers to comprehend, resource and implement. Following a successful trial period, the project has now been made available to all global suppliers.

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