Virgin Media O2 Business launches new ESG tools as UK firms still unclear about carbon footprint
To help business customers understand their carbon tracking and prioritise digital inclusion, Virgin Media O2 Business has 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 is 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.
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, input 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 to 16 year olds and those aged over 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 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 is 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.’