BT has become the first company in the world to have product carbon footprints independently verified by the Carbon Trust to the new Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard, launched in October 2011. The independent verification covers the company’s internet Home Hub, the Vision+ digital set-top box and the Graphite 2500 DECT phone.
The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company providing specialist support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions. Carbon Trust Certification offers a range of services to allow organisations to certify and verify their product carbon footprints.
BT’s commitment to carbon footprinting is reinforced by its involvement in the initiative to develop guidance on how to assess the greenhouse gas emissions of various information and communication technology (ICT) services, such as telecommunications network services and desktop managed services (see previous coverage here). The ICT Sector Guidance is being developed by a number of ICT companies and other interested stakeholders in collaboration with the Carbon Trust, the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI).
BT has been very pro-active in sustainable ICT in recent years in its move to reduce carbon emissions from the organisation (search the www.thegreenitreview.com for more details). The company aims to reduce its carbon intensity (emissions generated related to profit and employees – not everyone’s favourite measure) by 80% by 2020, compared to 1997 levels.
Carbon footprinting is an important part of BT’s actions, so I hope we’ll see the organisation as an early adopter of the ICT Sector Guidance on lifecycle carbon accounting. BT offers a range of IT services and has large contracts with global companies, so it would be a good example to the rest of the industry to assess its ICT services and make the details available in its CSR reporting. It’s the sort of information that could be an important factor in ICT company and service selection in the future.