British telecom company Virgin Media announced this week that it successfully contracted for 100% renewable electricity in 2018, and committed to going a step further by joining The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative.
Virgin Media, tangentially linked to Sir Richard Branson, published its 2018 Sustainability Report (PDF) on Monday and highlighted the fact that 100% of the company’s contracted electricity for its entire building and technical estate across the United Kingdom and Ireland came from renewable energy sources.
Out of this, the company also announced that it would now join The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative, a global corporate leadership program that brings together businesses from across the planet who are all committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable energy sources.
The decision to join RE100 serves as a multilayered commitment, as it will not only feed into the company’s efforts to support the UK’s plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, but also falls under the rubric of the company’s larger efforts to grow its business without increasing its carbon footprint — one of the company’s five 2020 sustainability goals, also known as its 5 in 5 goals.
“I’m proud that Virgin Media is joining the RE100 initiative alongside many leading brands to push for more renewable electricity generation,” said Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s Chief Information and Technology Officer. “At a time when the UK has just set a world-leading target to be net-zero by 2050, it is vital that businesses like Virgin Media make the long term commitment to purchasing renewable electricity. While we already source 100% of our contracted electricity from renewable sources we’re committed to doing more. We are focused on reducing our overall energy consumption and making great strides against our 5-year carbon goal, already achieving a 22% reduction since 2014.”
“It’s fantastic to welcome Virgin Media to the RE100 initiative, committed to using 100 per cent renewable electricity across their operations,” added Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group. “This is a great example of a UK-based company stepping up to deliver the practical steps towards a net-zero carbon economy.”
Further highlights from Virgin Media’s 2018 Sustainability Report include:
- Supporting more than 121,000 disabled people with information, skills and advice to gain the skills and confidence to get into and stay in work following the launch of the Support to Work service with its charity partner Scope
- Creating opportunities for 112,947 small business to grow since 2015
- Releasing product scorecard results for the Virgin TV V6 box – now used by 60% of TV subscribers – which reveals it uses less than half the power of the previous TiVo box and uses 21% fewer materials by weight, like plastics, metals and electronics
- Training more than 8,000 employees in disability and vulnerability awareness
- Reducing energy consumption year-on-year by t2%, contributing to a 22% reduction in Virgin Media’s carbon footprint since 2014
- Reducing single-use plastic by over 60 tonnes
- Reducing paper from direct marketing by 70% since 2014
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