Kevin Moss, BT: Companies that don’t address climate change are "on the wrong side of history"

10 December 2013

On Tuesday December 17, Kevin Moss, Programme Director Net Good, BT, will join us on Twitter to discuss the opportunity of 'Net Good' business. You can take part and ask Kevin questions from 3pm GMT using hashtag #NetGood.

Kevin writes:

We launched the Net Good vision and goal in July 2013 with a big event led by our then CEO Ian Livingston at the Royal Society for the Arts, and followed with our online Better Future Forum a couple of weeks later.

Net Good is BT’s vision to help society live within the constraints of our planet's resources, together with our 2020 goal to help our customers avoid at least three times our end to end emissions.

Within the business, we continue to see the impacts of climate change. Our Annual Report and Accounts 2013 highlighted the impact of extreme and variable weather conditions on our own network and our customer service. Recently we sent three engineers to the Philippines where they have been instrumental working with Net Hope, setting up communications infrastructure to help with post hurricane disaster response and recovery.

Due to unusually warm weather conditions in the UK we have our work set out for us this year to maintain our five year record of year on year absolute energy reduction. I know that no individual weather condition can be solely attributed to climate change, but the patterns and associated costs to our business are clear.

The directional impact of our Net Good goal is also clear. It is about business opportunity. For companies that take the strategic long term view, addressing climate change is an opportunity for growth. Companies that don’t are on the wrong side of history.

Our Net Good goal calls on us to grow the portfolio of products and services that contribute towards helping our customers reduce their emissions. That is business opportunity and will help us thrive rather than just survive in a resource constrained environment.

Since the summer launch of Net Good, in addition to the nine services in the Net Good portfolio, we have a number of initiatives underway that will contribute in the future: we are a major IT partner in this smart city initiative with Milton Keynes which is anticipated to support economic growth while providing for reduction in water, carbon emissions, electricity and gas consumption; we are a partner in this shortlisted Smart Meter contract for the North of England and Scotland; our award winning carbon reducing BT Fleet engine remapping  programme has been launched to customers; we have a key roles in this Stride initiative for transport and logistics efficiency, and also in this trial to help ease congestion and prepare the way for self driving vehicles on the A14 – Britain’s first internet connected road. All of these projects offer potential to contribute towards the Net Good goal and are signs of the growing role of sustainability in the growth of our business.

The Better Future Forum held as part of the Net Good launch earlier in the year identified a consensus that investors and customers are not currently driving as hard as we would like for action in the sustainability space. It was recognised that business has a role to play in trying to lead for change among those stakeholder groups. I made a commitment after the event, that we would get more involved in these areas and in working with other businesses to support growth of the Net Positive movement.

To this end, together with key NGOs and key companies, BT has been a key player in supporting the establishment of this cross sector Net Positive programme to drive growth of the movement.

I was also encouraged to see this recent global Brandshare report from Edelman, that highlights the importance consumers attach to ‘values’ in their perception of brands, including an important role for helping the world and how products are made. But, we haven’t yet identified how to convert that perceived importance into action in the purchase decision. More on that in the future I hope.

I see a lot of momentum, but as a sustainability practitioner, I know there is so much more to do. I would love to see your thoughts on Twitter about what business can do to create transformational change among consumers and investors in particular.

I am looking forward to our Twitter Q&A with The Climate Group on December 17. Please join us.

Join Kevin Moss, Programme Director Net Good, BT, on Twitter to discuss the opportunity of 'Net Good' business from 3pm GMT on December 17 using hashtag #NetGood.

Related news:

BT’s Net Good: Explore an Infographic of the new carbon abatement methodology

BT shares open source approach to CO2 abatement with new Net Good framework

“We hope to play our part in creating a better future": BT CEO Ian Livingston presents Net Good plan in London


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