O2 has achieved the Carbon Trust Standard once again which means we've successfully measured and managed its carbon usage and improved carbon efficiency across its business by 18 per cent. That’s big achievement as O2 becomes the first UK mobile operator to not just achieve the Carbon Trust Standard but to retain it.
Over the last couple of years O2 has worked hard to cut its carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency in all its operations. That effort adds up to a slashing of 30,000 tonnes of carbon from our output. Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive of O2 UK says:
“By retaining the Carbon Trust Standard we’ve proved that by using technology to measure energy usage, connect people and encourage new ways of working – we can make a major difference to climate change.”
The Carbon Trust Standard measured O2’s performance over the course of five years during which the company has improved carbon efficiency by 22 per cent relative to turnover. To achieve that we've instituted some major changes including Think Big, a sustainability programme that gets staff behind carbon reduction initiatives, and £2m of investment in over 7000 smart meters at O2 buildings to get a real picture of our energy use.
O2's UK HQ is a great example of how we're changing to lower carbon dioxide emissions. The building, dubbed OurSpace, has been refurbished and extended with ecological concerns in mind. It achieved a "very good" rating from BREEAM, the world standard for environmental concerns in buildings, and a reduced number of desks (548) which has saved £7,000 per desk adding up to a £3.84m saving per year.
Our Space also includes informal areas for ad hoc meetings and discussions as well as traditional meeting rooms. The entire building uses smart metering to monitor electricity consumption, has highly efficient air conditioning and photo voltaic cells on the rooftop to capture energy. Rainwater is harvested to water the surrounding greenery and dual-flush and infra-red controlled toilets keep water consumption down to a minimum. Other forms of waste have been reduced too with fewer toxic materials and the maximum amount of recycled content in use. Less than 2 per cent of redundant office furniture from the building ends up in landfill.
O2’s commitment to this kind of ecological thinking doesn’t stop with the Carbon Trust Standard though. Those efforts are part of a wider plan with the Think Big programme which includes helping customers like you and big corporate clients to cut their carbon usage and releasing phones, tablets and other products that have a lower environmental impact and better eco-rating. It’s a big challenge but one O2 is confident it can achieve with your help.
Let us know: what measures have you taken to reduce your own carbon footprint and what do you think O2 should do to further improve its eco-friendly credentials?