A Glimpse into a Greener Future: Our Visit to BT’s Sustainability Event

We recently had the incredible opportunity to attend the BT Sustainability Festival, an event that left us inspired and hopeful for a more sustainable future. On September 13, 2023, the event brought together experts, innovators, and industry leaders to showcase how cutting-edge technology can drive sustainability and help us reach the goal of net-zero emissions across various sectors. 

BT’s Sustainability Event, which brought together over 2,000 partners, customers, and experts, was a testament to the growing prominence of sustainability in the telecom industry.

Sarwar Khan, Senior Manager of Global Digital Sustainability at BT, identified three key trends driving this shift: widespread ambition among organisations to achieve net-zero targets, regulations mandating transparency in reporting sustainability progress, and taxation policies like the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which applies to carbon-intensive goods entering the EU.

For BT, environmental commitments are central to its mission. The company has set ambitious goals, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality for its own operations by the end of March 2031 and extend this to its supply chain and customer emissions by the end of March 2041.

To reach these milestones, BT is embracing a range of activities that are becoming standard across the industry. For instance, the company is committed to using 100% renewable electricity worldwide and intends to transition most of its fleet of 32,000 vans to electric or zero-emission vehicles by the end of the decade.

The telecom industry sees itself as a crucial enabler for organisations striving to achieve challenging net-zero targets. However, it’s essential to avoid “greenwashing,” where environmental claims are tenuously linked to marketing messages. BT’s Digital Carbon Calculator and Carbon Network Dashboard are notable exceptions. These tools empower customers to measure and optimise the environmental impact of their purchases from BT, including network equipment and devices.

The festival did a brilliant job at providing a platform to delve into the impact of legislation, regulations, and the role of technology and human capital in shaping this sustainable future.

One of the standout technological innovations showcased at the event was liquid cooling technology. With increasing demand for data processing, hardware generates more heat, driving up energy consumption and cooling costs. Immersion4, an Australian company, demonstrated a solution in which networking equipment can be fully immersed in a dielectric liquid, effectively cooling only the equipment itself. This innovation promises more efficient cooling, reduced energy usage, and lower operational costs.

As the global community intensifies its efforts to reduce environmental impact, businesses are increasingly looking towards innovation and technology to create more sustainable and energy-efficient operations. 

The BT Sustainability Festival was a celebration of innovation, collaboration, and the boundless possibilities that lie ahead in our journey towards a more sustainable world. It was a reminder that we all have a role to play in creating a greener future, and by harnessing technology and working together, we can make it a reality. 

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A Glimpse into a Greener Future: Our Visit to BT’s Sustainability Event

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