Telecom Operators

Virgin Media O2 cuts carbon emissions by 23%

Virgin Media O2 cuts carbon emissions by 23%

In 2023, Virgin Media O2 made significant strides in its sustainability efforts by reducing its carbon emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) by 23%, an impact equivalent to the annual energy consumption of nearly 15,000 UK homes. This achievement is part of a broader commitment outlined in their Better Connections Plan, initiated in 2022, which has already seen a 45% reduction in emissions from their 2020 levels. The company is well on its way to reaching net zero carbon emissions across all facets of its business by 2040, ambitiously aiming to accomplish this goal a decade ahead of the UK’s national target for net zero emissions.

Last year, Virgin Media O2 facilitated 2.2 million ‘circular actions’ by consumers, contributing to a total of 4.7 million actions towards their 2025 goal of 10 million. This includes the O2 Recycle scheme, which saved nearly a quarter of a million devices from landfills, offering repairs, refurbishments, and recycling, and has expanded to include consoles and MacBooks, rewarding customers with £341 million since 2009. In their pursuit of zero waste by 2025, the company has eliminated 65 tonnes of single-use plastic, the weight of five double-decker buses, and has refurbished and reused 11 million routers and set-top boxes since 2014.

In 2023, Virgin Media O2, through partnerships with Internet Matters and Good Things Foundation, enhanced the digital skills of two million individuals, aiming for six million by 2025. The company’s initiatives, including the National Databank, Tech Lending Hubs, and Essential Broadband, have supported over 100,000 people in getting online, distributing 41,933 SIM cards and 188,149 data vouchers. Additionally, the uptake of social broadband tariffs surged by 285%, thanks to increased customer awareness efforts, such as detailed information provided in five million bills, ensuring continued support for customers on benefits.

Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2 highlighted that “Our Better Connections Plan makes clear that we are a business that aims to deliver for our customers, for our communities and for our planet, and we made further strong progress across the board last year. We are on track to meet our targets to cut Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 60% by 2025 and deliver net zero carbon by 2040. We are supporting decarbonisation through the products and services we provide, encouraging circular actions among consumers, cutting our own use of plastic, and stepping up to support the communities we serve through initiatives designed to boost skills, tackle digital exclusion and provide free data and devices to those in need. As a major UK business, we’re committed to reducing our environmental impact as we continue to provide fast and reliable connectivity to our millions of customers”.

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