O2's Head of Environment, Dr Gareth Rice, explains Earth Hour, what O2 is doing to support it and how you can get involved too.

Gareth Rice On Saturday at 8.30pm people across the world will switch off their lights for one hour in support of the WWF’s Earth Hour. At O2 we’re fully behind this great initiative from the WWF to draw attention to climate change. This is O2’s third year supporting the event and our passion is share with other Telefonica businesses around the globe. As part of our Think Big commitments, we’ll not only be supporting Earth Hour from our own perspective as a business with sites across the country, but also by raising awareness of it amongst our employees and customers.

On Saturday we’ll be switching off the signs in all our offices across the UK and they will remain off until Monday morning. Signs and non essential kit in our retails stores will also be turned off from Saturday until the start of the next business day. And despite a major concert taking place, The O2 is also supporting Earth Hour; this year The Script are playing the Arena and will be sharing Thank You emails so that together with The O2, they can message the audience. There will also be messaging on the cylinders and the Arenamation around the site.

We’ll also be raising awareness of Earth Hour with customers using plasma screens in our shops, a message on our website and using our presences on Twitter and Facebook. We’ve even set up a text reminder service for customers to sign up to. Text EARTH to 2020 and we’ll send a reminder to switch off your lights one hour before Earth Hour starts.

Internally, we’ll be encouraging all of our employees to get involved with messages on our intranet and using plasma screens in our main offices.

Clearly our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment doesn’t start and stop with one initiative. As part of our Think Big programme focusing on People and Planet, O2 have been working on how we can reduce our energy consumption for many years. In 2009, we were the first mobile operator to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for the measures we implemented, and we’ve just recently become the first to be re-certified to the Standard. And we believe we can go even further which is why we adding to the £2m already invested in smart meters to better monitor our energy performance, and announced a new a carbon reduction target to reduce ‘Carbon per Connection’ by 40% by 2015.

Please do join us in supporting Earth Hour this Saturday.

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