TalkTalk's Drive Towards a Greener Future
15 February 2023
Will Ennett, Head of Sustainability at GC Business Growth Hub partner TalkTalk, discusses the company’s drive towards sustainability and how this is currently impacting the business, customers and staff.
As the effects of climate change become more apparent, everyone has a part to play, especially businesses. Whilst rising energy costs have been an unfortunate new challenge, a positive by-product is that many companies are now reducing their energy usage and getting involved with the push to net zero.
Here at TalkTalk, we’ve been discussing net zero for a long time and it’s promising to see more organisations getting involved. There’s a lot to learn when going green and we’re keen to share our own experiences so that together we can all do more.
Steps TalkTalk is taking to drive green change
TalkTalk is committed to driving green change. Our mantra is ‘we can - and must - do more’ and that’s why we’re committed to goals validated by the Science Based Target Initiative, using climate science to guide us on our journey to net zero.
The steps we’re taking are focused on four key areas
- Carbon – We’ve already reduced our carbon footprint but we need to do more. We’re reviewing every link in our supply chain to understand how we can improve, from greener transportation methods to using fully green energy.
- Materials – We want to reduce, use and recycle at every opportunity. We’re working with suppliers to minimise waste, embrace circularity and create sustainable products.
- People – We empower employees to make sustainable lifestyle choices both in and out of the office, by developing community groups where ideas for moving towards Net Zero can be shared.
- Communities – As a business we can raise awareness of the challenges ahead in the communities we operate in and maximise the power of our connectivity services to support wider decarbonisation efforts.
TalkTalk is an ISO50001 accredited company for energy management, our data centres and offices to run on 100% renewable energy, we only use green gas and in 2021 started to take orders of our first electric vehicles within our fleet.
TalkTalk also has a vision to invest in a full fibre future for the UK that is affordable, high-quality and reliable. In 2021 we published an exclusive study with third-party environmental consultants and found that full fibre is up to 80% more energy efficient and produces up to 30% fewer Co2e emissions than traditional copper connections.
"Given energy costs at present, the case for taking steps to work towards net zero are ever clearer. This story is a great example of how it generates positive outcomes for customers, staff and the bottom line – as well as the environment."
Ben Peace, Net Zero Principal, Bee Net Zero / Green Economy
How do these steps benefit customers and staff?
There have already been many benefits to both customers and staff. In terms of our customers, as well as the knowledge that we are taking effective steps on their behalf, there have been fewer hardware replacements.
When it comes to our staff we have seen many of our people get involved with the green drive through participation in internal sustainability-focused groups such as our #NetZeroHero team, a forum for employees to share their knowledge and experience on both work and non-work-related issues.
We’re also subsidising active travel to and from work for staff, getting the team involved with our work in communities, and we regularly survey the team on how they think we’re doing on sustainability.
How have these steps impacted the business?
As a start, it’s led to a considerable reduction of our own energy use which has had a financial impact. We’ve reduced our energy footprint and emissions by over 70% over the past decade, despite data traffic soaring over 1000% in the same period, with a 6% reduction in energy usage from 2021-2022 alone.
We are proud to be included in the inaugural listing of the FT’s European Climate Leaders.
What does TalkTalk hope to achieve with these steps towards sustainability?
We are ultimately looking to meet the demands of our business customers; in that we are on our way to decarbonise the products and services we sell. We understand that commitments to the green agenda cannot be fleeting and must be long-term. With that in mind, we hope to improve efficiency, raise green awareness, and ultimately play a leading role in the journey to net zero.
What have you done differently to promote the green agenda and make real, positive environmental change?
In terms of how we’re doing it differently, we are looking beyond just ourselves and instead trying to understand how we can bring our wider network with us. We’re not looking to move the problem or offload our inefficiencies onto external suppliers and we’re determined to make real, positive, environmental change through leading by example.
We’ve worked hard to ensure our initiatives are measurable in their impact and look forward to seeing the future benefits for TalkTalk as we act against climate change now.
This article was written solely by the identified authors and/or organisations. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and/or organisation – not those of the #HereForBusiness campaign or GC Business Growth Hub.