The Anatomy of a Launch: BT’s Net Good Programme Goes Live

We have just completed the last part of the launch of BT’s Net Good programme. It has been quite a whirlwind for me and many others working on it.

The first step was a formal external launch event at the Royal Society for the Arts building in London on June 18th, in partnership with The Climate Group who had helped us with stakeholder engagement as we developed Net Good. The day commenced with a media briefing, followed with a platform event in front of a physical audience of about 130 invited guests and streamed live. Our CEO Ian …

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A Kaleidoscope of Corporate Responsibility on a Page

The front page of last week’s Washington Post is an executive tour of the landscape of issues in the world of trust and corporate responsibility. Three of the four headline stories cover issues that are directly relevant to our field.

“Regimes’ Web tool made in the USA” describes the apparent discovery that equipment made by Blue Coat – a leading provider of Web security and management (a company that I’ve blogged about previously ) has been used by autocratic states to censor web sites and monitor the communications of dissidents. Similarly to  how companies are increasingly held accountable for activities …

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What is Net Good?

For many years BT has focused on reducing its environmental impact. If you trace back through our archive of sustainability reports, you will see that we have been measuring our energy and carbon footprint and applying a succession of reduction targets to one or both since 1992. You will also be able to see that we have improved our performance on other measures too, such as total waste and our waste to landfill.

But we have reached the point where reducing impact by itself, is no longer sufficient to bridge the gap between the challenges of a growing and …

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BT’s New Better Future Report – Just Out

The 2013 BT Better Future report is out and we are all very happy (and a little relieved too if truth be told).    It takes a lot of work from people across the business to collect all the data together,  validate it, decide how best to structure the report, design the web site to present it, create an executive  summary, create the input to the annual financial report and have all the data and the words externally validated.   This year we announced our new Better Future programme at the same time, so we also have a new web site

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Sustainability Gets a Seat at the Table: Why Including Climate Change in the Inaugural Address is a Momentous Event

 

 

Inauguration speeches are a bit of a conundrum, really.  All at once they are meant to set a vision and inspire a nation, yet avoid partisanship, or anything that might be too controversial from the current political agenda.  The sameness of inaugural addresses even inspired a mashup of inaugural addresses from the last 50 years that was broadcast widely online in the days leading up to President Obama’s inauguration last week.

Whether Republican or Democrat the inaugural address follows a comforting formula noting the new beginning, but acknowledging the foundation of tradition; praising the quintessential American values of …

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Valuing Natural Capital – A Double Edged Sword

I was in London last week and attended a very stimulating Green Monday evening that got me thinking about the term ‘value.’   Value can be defined as both:

  • The regard that something is held to deserve
  • The monetary worth of something

In a roundtable session after the presentations I joined a discussion about valuing natural capital. I hold natural capital in high regard. Natural capital has a monetary worth for sure. But it has an intrinsic value in its own right –to our own and to future generations — that potentially goes beyond its monetary worth as set by …

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Carbon Accounting – The New Frontier

Back in the early 1990’s at BT we started by measuring and reducing our absolute carbon footprint and energy usage.  In financial terms this parallels assessing the total cost base of the operations of the company. As we improved our understanding of our carbon cost base, we have been able to break it down into its components such as travel, network, datacenters etc etc.  Just like a company can break its cost base into different components of its operations.

A few years ago, we made our analysis of our carbon cost more sophisticated, by assessing it on a per unit basis.   …

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Hurricane Sandy and the Lexicon of Sustainability

It’s been a tough  week.  I lost 24 hours of it to Sandy. But when my power came back on and I switched on the TV I was able to see just how lucky I had been – dark for only 24 hours and no damage of flooding. The photo is of the New Jersey home of a friend and colleague from BT who was less fortunate.   Luckily no one was hurt.

The range of potential and actual corporate responses we are seeing to the storm is an informative way to distinguish the lexicon of our sustainability landscape.  A little …

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Watching the Water Run Out of the Tub and Other Analogies: Making the Challenge of Sustainability Tangible

Last week in London I delivered a presentation on sustainability to about 120 middle and senior managers from within BT.  Afterwards we explored climate change, at the new and very impressive Atmosphere Gallery  in the Science Museum.

Recently I have taken to introducing my presentations using the measure of how many planets worth of resources humanity is using and how that number is growing.   If you are not familiar with it, this web site from Global Footprint Network explains the concept.

Another analogy I like to use to illustrate the concept is a bathtub with water running in from the tap …

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Should We Connect People or Things?

I know I said I was going to go on vacation and not write new posts for the next couple of weeks, but as with all well thought out plans…I got inspired on my last day before vacation.

“Connected society” and “the internet of things” are terms that we use more and more frequently. But what could they mean for sustainability and building a better future for consumers ?

 

 

Connected Society

There is certainly the possibility to achieve improved sustainability through person to machine interfaces;  how we employ ICT technologies to enable conscientious, environmentally collaborative relationships between people …

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