BT/EE and Three on a mission to connect the UK to a greener future

Climate change has been in the spotlight for the past few decades but the public attention to it has never been greater. As world leaders and policy makers strengthened their pledges to tackle climate change at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last month, the UK’s mobile operators are also playing their parts in helping to better protect the environment and to build a more sustainable future.

By sharing their infrastructure through MBNL, the industry’s first network-sharing joint venture – BT/EE and Three have already significantly lowered the impact of their operations on the environment by reducing the number of sites, and the equipment and energy needed to run them. Both operators have ambitious plans for further reducing their operational impact on the environment and are looking at new and innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint over the coming years.

BT aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2030 and from supply chain and customers by 2040. The group’s whole business is currently powered using 100 per cent renewable electricity, from mobile and broadband networks to EE’s stores on the high street. The operator is making its products, network and operations circular, ensuring people and businesses can buy more sustainable products, use them for longer and refurbish or recycle them. To help reduce electronic waste, EE offers free annual device MOT and speedy repairs to help customers extend the life of their phones, as well as trading in of old devices and more eco-friendly phones and accessories for customers to choose from. On plastic waste, EE aims to have 100% of the plastic packaging they use to be reusable, recyclable, compostable or removed entirely by 2025. BT is also planning to move the majority of the vehicles in its fleet over to electric or zero emissions models by 2030.

Three is committed to limiting the effect it has on the environment, measuring its emissions and setting a carbon reduction strategy. In 2020, around 94% of Three’s buildings and network used renewable energy and 98% of waste collected from its retail stores was diverted from landfill for recycling or energy generation. A key focus for Three in 2021 was to have zero waste to landfill from its high street stores, with other locations following in 2022. Three is working with the Carbon Trust to understand its own carbon footprint and is setting a net-zero goal focusing on reducing waste and promoting reuse and recycling around its operations, working with its employees, partners and suppliers to improve its environmental impact. Three is already implementing initiatives to reduce single use plastics through its supply chain and increasing customer deliveries by electric vehicles. The operator also offers customers the chance to recycle their old electrical and electronic items when purchasing a new item from it to help reduce electrical equipment waste.

You can learn more about the net-zero plans of BT/EE and Three by visiting their websites:



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