Virgin Media O2 Emission Reductions Same as 15,000 Homes

Virgin Media O2 has Made Significant Strides in its Energy Efficiency
Thanks to reducing its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 23%, Virgin Media O2 has made significant strides towards its energy efficiency goals

The latest sustainability and energy efficiency success announced by Virgin Media O2 sets an example of how telcos can blaze the way to their own sustainability goals for the benefits of its own business and customers as well as the planet.

The British mass media and telecommunications giant — one of the UK’s big four, alongside EE, Vodafone and Three — has reduced emissions by 45% against its 2022 baseline and is on track to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its operations, products and supply chain by the end of 2040. This is a decade ahead of the UK’s overall net zero goal.

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In 2023, Virgin Media O2 reduced its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by just shy of a quarter —  equivalent to emissions caused by the annual combined energy usage of 14,883 homes.

Virgin Media O2 setting energy reduction example

Since launching the Better Connections Plan, Virgin Media O2’s sustainability strategy, the company has continued to make significant sustainability strides.

It is on track to meet its goal of slashing its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 60% by 2025.

Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2, said: “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. 

Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2

“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.”

The firm launched its sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan, in 2022, which has propelled its sustainability goals further forward. As well as this, its Sustainability Performance Update shows that during 2023 the company’s products and services have now prevented almost 60 million tonnes of carbon entering the Earth’s atmosphere. This has been achieved by powering Internet of Things (IoT) applications such as smart metering, supporting customers to be more sustainable and preventing carbon emissions from either cars or public transport. 

As well as this, Virgin Media O2 has increased its electric fleet to 281 vehicles, a large step toward transitioning to a fully EV fleet by the end of the decade. 

Other notable Virgin Media O2 successes

As part of its commitment to making a positive impact where its various areas of business operate, Virgin Media O2 has achieved the following:

Key facts
  • Supported 4.7 million ‘circular actions’, including tech recycling and refurbished smartphone purchases, with a target to reach 10 million by 2025
  • Around 250,000 devices rediverted from landfill with £341m (US$428m) paid out to customers since 2009
  • Removed 65 tonnes of single-use plastic since 2021, equivalent to the weight of five double-decker buses
  • Refurbished 11 million routers and set-top boxes since 2014
  • Partnered with Internet Matters and Good Things Foundation to enhance digital skills for two million people in 2023, with a goal of reaching six million by 2025
  • Supported more than 100,000 individuals to access online resources through initiatives like the National Databank, Tech Lending Hubs and Essential Broadband, with a 285% increase in social broadband uptake
  • More than 100,000 people supported through voluntary efforts in 2023
  • Partnership with disability charity Sense helps chronic loneliness among disabled individuals through the Virtual Buddying service, which utilises volunteering leave for video calls and social activities.

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