Protecting the environment
Installing and maintaining the fibre network that connects homes and businesses is a huge operation. With more than 27k commercial vehicles, we operate the second largest fleet in the UK - accounting for 66% of BT’s operational emissions. Last year our engineers travelled over 220m miles, using more than 37m litres of fuel and producing over 95k tonnes of CO2.
We understand the need to act on climate change and we’re committed to reducing our operational impact. That’s why we're helping our parent company BT Group achieve their ambition of net zero carbon emissions by 2045.
Our progress so far
We’ve created a dedicated Openreach project team, focussed on cutting fleet emissions and helping to identify alternative, cleaner technologies.
We’re making an impact today through engagement, innovation and technology. Each year we replace our older vehicles with leaner, greener engines and have worked closely with our vehicle converters to reduce the weight of internal racking. We're actively looking to phase-out diesel vehicles by replacing them with electric vehicles (EVs) at end-of-life and by only purchasing EVs wherever possible from 20/21. We aim to have more than a third of our fleet fully migrated to EVs by the mid-2020s.
To encourage more large-scale investment in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and to make it commercially viable for us to make more of our fleet electric, we joined EV100, a global campaign for electric vehicles, to promote further action.
More recently, we’ve launched an innovative new partnership alongside BT and The Climate Group called the ‘UK Electric Fleet Coalition’. We have convened a leadership coalition to advocate for accelerating the transition to electric vehicles in the UK ahead of the crucial COP26 climate summit
Reducing the impact of our fleet
Better use of telematics data is also making our drivers safer and more efficient. Our drivers can review their driving behaviours such as acceleration, braking and cornering by using a dedicated app. This has resulted in significant MPG increases, reductions in CO2 emissions and positive engagement about sustainability with our engineers.
We’re currently trialling installing lithium battery packs for our specialist ‘green packs’ for our new hoist vehicles to power a range of roadside equipment that, such as lights and blowers, are currently reliant on petrol generators. We’re also trialling new hoist vehicles with electrically operated booms – reducing air pollution and noise made by the hoist.
As we look to the future, we’re focusing on how we roll out EV’s at scale. The next phase involves proving the medium sized EV concept (new vehicles should be on the market in 20/21) and introducing some of the technologies described at scale. We also need to work through some challenges such as off-street charging and finding zero emission vehicle solutions for our specialist/heavier vehicles.