BT is a leading global provider of communications services with more than 86,000 staff. The company has a strong record of cutting emissions and has continued to take further steps in the past three years.
Transport has been a recent focus. The company has introduced measures to improve the efficiency of its vehicle fleet, including a website that enables managers to view reports on fuel consumption and to benchmark drivers' performance. In the past two years, BT cut the distance covered by its commercial fleet by 9.5% and by its company car fleet by 22.5%.
In 2008, BT launched a new global energy-saving campaign to save 75,000 tonnes of CO2 and £15m by March 2011. Measures already taken will reduce emissions by more than 20,000 tonnes a year. Nearly half of this gain came through identifying and turning off equipment that was no longer in service.
The company is also addressing carbon emissions linked to its products by launching new, more energy-efficient phones. By July 2008, the energy efficiency of 90% of BT's home phone range had been improved.
The company has an ambitious target to slash emissions by 80% by 2016 compared with 1996 levels and says it has already managed a 58% cut. However, both the target and the reduction to date count carbon saved through the purchase of green tariff electricity, contrary to government advice.
"BT remains a leader. It is good to see continued efforts in the face of diminishing returns as a mature player"
Logica is an IT consulting and business services company (see p14). It has a target to reduce its CO2 emissions by 3.3% per year in absolute terms, between 2006 and 2010, rising to 6% per year in 2008-2020.
Emissions were cut faster than targeted between 2006 and 2008 through a combination of measures. These included an initiative to switch off lights and equipment at night, steps to reduce energy consumption of data centres and server consolidation, removal of screensavers and consolidation of offices faxes, printers and scanners.
Travel-related measures included increased facilities for video conferencing, new meeting-planning systems to reduce travel, provision of increased cycling facilities at one UK office, and elimination of the least efficient cars from the company's car fleet.
Under the banner of a campaign called 'Stamp down our carbon footprint', Logica organised webinars and meetings to inform staff about climate change and about internal steps to reduce emissions, plus low-carbon offerings to market. It has an environmental awards scheme for staff and for projects to reduce customer emissions.
Customer-focused actions include server consolidation programmes, which Logica estimates save customers up to 80% of energy consumption.
"A commendable multi-initiative approach, including a strong focus on customer benefits"
O2 is a leading provider of mobile services in the UK with 13,000 staff and a 2008 euro-denominated turnover of just over EUR7bn. The company has improved its energy efficiency by an audited 18% in the past three years, avoiding 48,000 tonnes of CO2.
Measures taken by O2 include a 'Flick the switch' campaign to turn off unused office equipment, implementation of advanced boiler controls and installation of efficient free-cooling and fan-box units at mobile phone mast or cell sites.
O2 implemented 'half rate' audio signal data compression software at its cell sites, increasing capacity while reducing energy consumption. In the past 18 months, it invested more than £1.4m to install smart meters across some 3,500 cell sites, retail premises and offices. The meters enable real-time monitoring of energy consumption, which has helped O2 identify additional areas to focus on.
O2 has targeted a 10% reduction in energy consumption across networks, office and retail premises in 2009. It has targets for 2015 to reduce network-related electricity consumption and usage per office and per retail employee. It is the first UK mobile operator to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for CO2 reduction.
Following its acquisition by Telefonica in 2006, O2 established a new sustainability governance structure in 2008. CEO Ronan Dunne has committed the firm to external verification as a sustainability leader by 2012.
"O2 has made a commendable effort in the face of rapid growth"
REPORTING AND ACCOUNTING
AstraZeneca is a leading pharmaceutical company with major R&D sites and also its corporate headquarters in the UK. Worldwide, it employs 66,000 staff.
The firm reports its greenhouse gas emissions in detail and publicly. It has been reporting data to the international Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since the scheme's first year in 2003.
All reporting is compliant with the WRI/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol. In the past three years, the company has publicly reported direct emissions (Scope 1), indirect emissions from purchased energy (Scope 2) and other indirect emissions, mainly from transport activities and use of its products (Scope 3).
AstraZeneca's carbon reporting is verified by a third party, which conducted the assurance process in line with the AA1000 Assurance Standard. At the same time, its reporting was assessed against Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting criteria and judged to have reached the B+ level, which is third from top on a scale of seven.
In addition to reporting on past emissions, AstraZeneca publishes Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions forecasts for its global activities looking two years ahead. The forecasts are backed by emissions targets.
"Successful reporting with leading work on impacts beyond the factory gate"
Dalkia provides energy management services to a range of organisations. Based in Portsmouth, it has 3,800 employees and had nearly £519m of revenue in 2008.
In 2007 Dalkia launched an energy services offering called CarbonCare, backed by an integrated marketing campaign. Despite widespread evidence that energy efficiency and smarter energy management is generally cheaper for users than purchasing more megawatts, the energy services message has historically been difficult to sell. CarbonCare and its marketing campaign was designed to overcome these obstacles.
The company packaged the services offered through CarbonCare as a series of steps, aiming to make the process simpler for potential clients. As well as PR and advertising, it developed a website and a programme of seminars for potential customers. All this was backed by direct marketing and telemarketing.
Dalkia believes the campaign has been very effective. Following the launch of CarbonCare, the company generated £30m in new-business sales in 2008. According to an independent survey, the company was rated the number one energy services provider in the UK in 2008 by facilities managers.
The potential for customers to achieve carbon cuts is central to the CarbonCare message. Dalkia estimates that its customers achieved savings of nearly 380,000 tonnes in 2008, an increase of 18% on 2007.
"Dalkia has run a solid campaign that has enabled it to break down barriers to marketing energy services"
OVERALL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT (SMES)
GI SOLUTIONS GROUP
GI Solutions Group is a direct-mail printer and marketing support services firm based in Leicester, with 170 employees and a 2008 turnover of £22m.
The company has had a certified ISO 14001 environmental management system since 2001.
GI Direct, the company's direct-mail operation, supplies certified sustainable paper when requested. It became accredited to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 2006 and to the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) in 2008.
From 2007 to 2008, GI Solutions Group increased the weight of paper, cardboard and polyethylene recycled by 65% and cut the weight of waste sent to landfill from 26 to 15.6 tonnes. It reduced its water usage by 8% between 2006 and 2008, and its gas and electricity consumption by 20% and 15% respectively over the same period.
The company has several targets for future improvement. It's committed to a 5% increase in energy efficiency between 2008 and 2010, and to further strengthen measures to source environmental preferable materials by the same time.
GI Solutions Group checks its supply chain to ensure that suppliers meet sustainable procurement standards. All suppliers are required to complete an initial audit form. It aims where possible to build strong supplier relationships with progressive suppliers.
"Basic stuff, but positive for an SME in a sector that is generally not environmentally advanced"
MacSween is an Edinburgh-based manufacturer of haggis and black pudding, with 34 staff and a 2008 turnover of £2.7m. The company has introduced waste reduction measures across its operations such that it has been able to reduce waste going to landfill at a time of rising production.
The need to avoid waste and to manage it carefully is made clear to all staff. Plastic and cardboard are reused as far as possible, and the company has taken steps to reduce volumes of suppliers' transit cardboard packaging and of its own sales packaging.
Waste fat and oil are kept out of the waste stream as far as possible and are sold to a biodiesel manufacturer. Sacks containing oatmeal are reused to collect waste paper for recycling. All office printers are set up to print on both sides of paper. No disposable polystyrene cups are used in the office.
The firm is now composting its food waste and has a target of sending zero waste to landfill by 2011. It has partnered with external organisations to promote best practice across the food manufacturing sector and beyond, and in 2008 won a Vision in Business for the Environment in Scotland (Vibes) award.
"This is a great performance, especially for an SME dealing with difficult food wastes"
Tube Lines upgrades and maintains three London Underground lines (see p19). The rail network it covers is home to a number of rare and protected plants and species, most notably a large bat roost in a disused rail tunnel at Highgate.
Tube Lines has a biodiversity action plan and computer mapping of all its worksites, showing areas of biodiversity interest. Environmental advisers ensure that this information is available to engineering staff.
The company creates an environmental plan for each engineering project, and site managers are responsible for ensuring biodiversity performance. Cases of biodiversity damage during projects are monitored and reported. Tube Lines has a target for reducing the number of such incidents.
Tube Lines also aims to enhance biodiversity on its territory and has developed action plans for badgers, bats, reptiles, grasslands and woodland trees and scrub. Where it fells trees to ensure safe operation of rail lines, it is committed to planting replacements. The company also has a target to create one new nature area each year.
Tube Lines has virtually eradicated Japanese knotweed, an invasive weed that can stifle native wildlife. By switching to a new herbicide, it has reduced the biodiversity impacts of the eradication programme.
"Tube Lines' use of computer mapping systems is innovative. Biodiversity indicators are an area for improvement"
BRIGHT IDEAS GLOBAL
Based in Melton Mowbray and employing four staff, Bright Ideas Global developed and markets the 'Ecobutton', a device for switching computers and their monitors to low-power mode when not in use.
The company estimates that the average computer is left idle for 30%-50% of the time it is switched on, including nearly two million PCs left on overnight or over the weekend. It calculates that the average PC is therefore wasting more than 100kg of CO2 a year and £30 in electricity costs.
The Ecobutton is a small device that plugs into computer USB ports. When clicked, it puts the computer into its most efficient sleep mode - typically using the same amount of power as when switched off, according to Bright Ideas Global.
As well as direct electricity savings, using the Ecobutton can also reduce demand for air-conditioning caused by heat emitted by working computers. It is also a visible reminder to users of their computer's power consumption and so can also help change energy efficiency awareness and behaviour.
Sales of the Ecobutton took off in 2008, in which year Bright Ideas Global's revenue jumped by 230%. In total, 800,000 units have now been sold. The company has won a string of awards for the Ecobutton in the UK, Germany and the US.
"The Ecobutton is a simple, effective device that could have impacts on emissions as well as influencing behaviour"
GREEN SERVICE (250+ EMPLOYEES)
Trafficmaster is a route-planning and vehicle-tracking company with a staff of 585 staff and, in 2008, a turnover of nearly £56m. In 2007 it introduced Fleet Director to Britain, a service that supports more efficient fleet management.
Satellite navigation and tracking devices fitted in all vehicles enable journeys to be monitored and managed by a fleet manager. The service also includes live traffic information, enabling journeys to be revised according to specific circumstances - for example, to avoid the scene of accidents or other causes of congestion.
Fleet managers can communicate direct with drivers. Managers can also select the most appropriate vehicle to carry out each job, detect unauthorised journeys and even cases where vehicles exceed mandatory speed limits - which Trafficmaster notes can also raise CO2 emissions.
Trafficmaster estimates that its customers should be able to reduce fuel consumption by 12%, save four hours a month sitting in traffic and reduce distances travelled by up to 16%. Research across 27 vehicle fleets using Fleet Director in the US in 2007 found reductions in fuel consumption of up to 30%.
The company is working with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership to develop existing and new intelligent navigation and fleet management systems that can cut fuel consumption and average driving times further.
"Trafficmaster shows the potential of intelligent fleet management to reduce emissions"
easit (East Area of Surrey Initiative for Transport) is a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Dorking, which promotes sustainable transport use. It helps employers and their staff to implement car-sharing and to use public transport wherever possible. The organisation works with more than 50 companies in East Surrey to reduce pollution and traffic congestion and to encourage greener travel.
The way easit works is to encourage businesses to join a local co-operative network, and to implement a greener travel plan. The organisation supports this process and then works with local government and public transport providers to address problems highlighted by consultation with staff.
So far, it has created three easit networks and taken delivered than 150 sustainable travel roadshows to organisations within its region. More than 4,500 weekly bus tickets are sold to easit members, representing a 67% increase in bus usage. Its car-sharing website now has 6,500 members, and it has secured a 20% discount for all easit members on Southern Rail services. In addition, shuttle buses now carry an average of 2,000 people to work each week, and a lunchtime supper bus has been introduced for businesses in Dorking.
Easit aims to become a nationwide solution for sustainable business travel by launching networks across the country. It is planning to introduce more car-sharing clubs and to engage with schools to educate children about how to use public transport.
"Easit has achieved impressive reach in a short time and is obviously making a real difference to transport patterns in its region"
Emissions reduction achievement and ambition
Reporting and Accounting
Marks & Spencers
HR and employee engagement
National Australia Group
Reed Specialist Recruitment
Business Support Kent
Crowne Plaza St James
Clear Channel Courier Systems
Overall environmental management (250+ employees)
Overall environmental management (SMEs)
EHS Brann Group
Kingsley Print & Design
Guys & St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust
Home Retail Group
Daikin Airconditioning UK
Gas-elec Safety Systems
Green service (250+ employees)
Jones Lang LaSalle
WSP Environment & Energy
Green service (SMEs)
Waterman Energy Environment
Green service (micro-organisations)