• Decision makers cite financial constraints (50%), lack of staff capacity (38%) and a lack of strategy (19%) as hindering sustainability progress and investment in social causes.
  • Despite 89% of business leaders expecting carbon footprint transparency from suppliers, 69% aren’t receiving enough information to track the carbon footprint of products from suppliers or can’t rely on the accuracy of what is available.
  • 64% of business decision makers believe they could be better equipped to leverage technology to fast-track progress to achieve sustainability and social goals.
  • To help UK firms, Virgin Media O2 Business launches ‘Carbon Calculator’ and ‘Tech Donation Programme’ to support customers’ sustainability efforts.

October 4, 2023: To help business customers understand their carbon tracking and prioritise digital inclusion, Virgin Media O2 Business has today launched two new solutions: the ‘Carbon Calculator’ and ‘Tech Donation Programme’. This comes as new research reveals organisations are feeling pressure to make sustainable changes to meet the UK Government’s 2050 net zero target, with a quarter of businesses (25%) without or unsure if they even have an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy.

For organisations struggling to further prioritise sustainability, financial constraints (50%), lack of staff capacity (38%) and a lack of strategy (19%) are among the key blockers to progress. However, firms cannot afford to fall behind on their ESG goals, as potential consequences range from struggling to attract increasingly eco-conscious customers and employees to risking hefty fines for non-compliance with government legislation.

Three-quarters of surveyed organisations have established ESG strategies or goals, but there’s a gap between intention and action. Almost two-thirds (64%) believe they could better leverage technology to accelerate progress, which is why Virgin Media O2 Business has launched two new ESG tools for customers – at no extra cost.

Carbon Calculator

While the majority of business leaders surveyed (89%) expect transparency from suppliers on their carbon impact, over two-thirds (69%) aren’t receiving enough information to track the carbon footprint of products from suppliers or can’t rely on the accuracy of the information. To support these organisations, Virgin Media O2 Business’ ‘Carbon Calculator’ aims to provide clear and trustworthy information on emissions related to their services.

In minutes, the calculator generates insights based on the customer’s service information, inputted by an account manager, and forms the basis of a yearly report on their carbon footprint. With the model verified by the Carbon Trust as conforming to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Lifecycle Standard, decision makers can use the information from the calculator to understand the impact their telecoms services have on their overall carbon footprint, helping them contribute meaningfully to the Net Zero agenda.

Tech Donation Programme

Over half (54%) of consumers consider a company’s commitment to ESG as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. However, only 12% believe companies are taking significant strides to address social and environmental issues through their products, services and operations.

The ‘Tech Donation Programme’, offered in collaboration with Hubbub and Community Calling, ensures partners can make an immediate impact on digital inclusion, without further financial or time commitment. The programme empowers Virgin Media O2 Business customers to drive tangible social impact by offering free refurbished smartphones, mobile data, texts and calls to digitally excluded demographics, specifically 11–16 year-olds and those aged 65+. Customers can choose the location and demographic to receive donated devices. When the donation has been received by the community group, the customer will get an impact report that can be used in their own ESG reports.

Virgin Media O2 Business’s ‘Carbon Calculator’ and ‘Tech Donation Programme’ also supports organisations to lower their Scope 3 supply chain carbon emissions. This is achieved by providing transparency into the carbon consumption of select Virgin Media O2 Business services, as well as ensuring that devices donated are more likely to be given a second life.

To find out more about the Carbon Calculator and Tech Donation Programme, visit: virginmediao2business.co.uk/sustainability

Jo Bertram, Managing Director at Virgin Media O2 Business said: “Beyond target setting, consumers want to see measurable changes when it comes to sustainability. Organisations are looking for transparency and support from their suppliers to reach social and environmental goals, and technology can be a useful tool for this progression.

The introduction of the ‘Carbon Calculator’ and ‘Tech Donation Programme’ underscores our commitment to reach Net Zero and eliminate digital poverty together with partners. We are ready to guide organisations as they work toward achieving less where it matters – less carbon, less waste and less inequality.”

Tom Cumberlege, Director at the Carbon Trust said: “We were pleased to work with Virgin Media O2 to provide verification of the model that underpins its new Carbon Calculator. Greater transparency and access to credible data are fundamental steps in the Net Zero transition and this tool will allow business customers to understand the carbon impact of the Virgin Media O2 services they use. We look forward to seeing how customers respond to the tool.”

Emily Watson, Senior Creative Partner at Hubbub said: “At Hubbub, our purpose is to inspire action that’s good for the environment and for everyone. We find positive social and environmental impacts come hand in hand. We are excited to collaborate with Virgin Media O2 Business on the Tech Donation Programme, a transformative initiative that will help bridge the digital divide and empower organisations to extend their ESG efforts beyond their immediate boundaries.”


Notes to Editors

Additional Customer Quotes

Steve Packer, Strategic Engagement Manager, RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) said: “The Tech Donation Programme will be of great benefit to people with sight loss who are twice as likely to be digitally excluded when compared to the general population. If current trends continue over the next six years nearly all people in the UK will be online, but it’ll take an additional eight years before nearly all people with sight loss are online. Programmes like this help close that gap.”

Lindsay Harling, Head of Commissioning and Procurement at Fedcap said: “Understanding the carbon impact of the products and services we use is a vital first step to reduce emissions across our business. While we understand our own emissions, supplier emissions can often be difficult to track. Virgin Media O2 Business’ carbon calculator has taken the environmental guesswork out of the equation and is helping us progress against our ESG goals.”

Model outputs do not constitute a verified product/organisation footprint.

Commissioned by Virgin Media O2 Business, Censuswide surveyed 1,203 respondents working in UK businesses in organisations with more than 11 staff and in the private and public sector between 10.08.2023 – 17.08.2023, and 1,000 General Consumers (aged 16+) between 10.08.23 – 14.08.23.

Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on ESOMAR principles.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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