Weaving Sustainability into the DNA of How Companies Operate

Sawar Khan Headshot

Sawar Khan, British Telecom’s Global Head of Sustainability.

Once a marginal topic, sustainability is now critical focus area with commitment required at all levels of the company starting with the Board. It goes well beyond ticking off ESG goals to embedding a culture of change across the organisation – from the set of company mandates, trickling down simply to ‘how we do things around here.’

When companies focus on three core areas for change: utilising greener technology; sustainability measurements and reporting; and embedding sustainability into the overall culture, it’s then that sustainability can be achieved.

Greener technology supporting decarbonisation

Greener technology is an enabler of sustainability, helping companies meet their decarbonisation goals by shifting to carbon-efficient technologies. This includes virtualisation and a shift to the cloud into regions with low carbon intensity.

To enable this, we’ve launched Global Fabric. Designed around the world’s major cloud locations to optimise its hardware footprint, it uses 16 percent less devices than BT’s existing international networks. This solution also  uses network devices that are 64 percent more efficient than existing equipment, delivering a 79 percent reduction in overall energy consumption – a major win for companies intent on reducing their scope 3 emissions and producing cost savings.

Measuring sustainability effectively

Greener technology is only as good as our ability to measure its effectiveness, which is why we’ve developed solutions to track the impact of technology sustainability.

The Digital Carbon Calculator allows network designs from the operational environment, LAN, and WAN (including data centre equipment) to be assessed for their potential carbon footprint, then optimized for the best results. BT’s Carbon Network Dashboard goes one step further providing customers with real-time and detailed reports of each network device’s power consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, empowering them with the information needed to balance performance, energy consumption, emissions, and cost.

These measurement tools help companies accurately track the effectiveness of their technologies’ sustainability, improving the reporting process and protecting against greenwashing situations.

Getting your people onboard the sustainability bus

Bringing team members into the sustainability journey is crucial to embed sustainability into the fibre of how companies operate. When people legitimately understand the importance of sustainability, they become experts equipped to support customers on their own sustainability journeys too.

To be effective, it’s imperative to be clear on your sustainability goals as an organisation, then transparently measure and communicate this to everyone.

Recent BT data found that 82% of executives want to see an improvement in the sustainability of their workplaces, reinforcing the notion that employees value an organisation that genuinely prioritizes sustainability over traditional perks such as subsidised gyms or cafeterias.

By prioritizing these three core areas in tandem, companies put themselves in a win-win position to achieve their sustainability goals in a meaningful and measurable manner, that over time will also be evident in the overall employee culture.


Learn more about BT’s Digital Carbon Calculator and Carbon Network Dashboard here.


BT Group is the UK’s leading provider of fixed and mobile telecommunications and related secure digital products, solutions and services. We also provide managed telecommunications, security and network and IT infrastructure services to customers across 180 countries.

BT Group consists of three customer-facing units: Consumer serves individuals and families in the UK; Business* covers companies and public services in the UK and internationally; Openreach is an independently governed, wholly owned subsidiary wholesaling fixed access infrastructure services to its customers – over 650 communications providers across the UK.

British Telecommunications plc 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 the London Stock Exchange.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/about

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