13 Jul 2023

UK’s largest connectivity providers commit to working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Guest blog by DCF)

On Thursday 13 July the Digital Connectivity Forum announced the launch of a pledge for collaborative action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the supply chain. The pledge, which is signed by many of the largest mobile and fixed network operators in the UK marks a positive step in the increasingly important journey towards net zero.

The commitment follows a roundtable meeting, convened by Ofcom and Accenture, where twelve telecoms and network infrastructure companies were invited to discuss and identify priority areas where they could work together to reduce GHG emissions in the supply chain.

The participants have committed to work via the Digital Connectivity Forum’s Climate & Sustainability Work Group, to build industry consensus on these areas to drive action, ahead of COP28, while ensuring compliance with Competition Law.

The DCF Climate & Sustainability Work Group provides a platform for the facilitation of UK telecoms collaboration, enabling the acceleration of individual and industry paths towards net zero through collaboration, evidence sourcing and the provision of expert recommendations to Government, regulators and the industry.

The commitment shown by signatories to work collaboratively in reducing the climate impact of the telecoms sector is something the DCF welcomes and fully supports. We believe that by understanding the complexities of the industry we can begin to address these issues and, in collaboration with the organisations listed and others, lay the foundation for transformative action in the sector.

The group will meet a further four times before the end of COP28 and will collaborate with other telecoms groupings and bodies that are committed to tackling climate change.

You can learn more about the statement of commitment and those companies who are signed up to it here. If you would like to learn more about the Digital Connectivity Forum, including our work in the Climate & Sustainability Work Group, you can contact us using our website.

Will Ennett, Chair of the Digital Connectivity Forum Climate & Sustainability Work Group & Head of Sustainability, TalkTalk

The Digital Connectivity Forum welcomes the signatories’ commitment to work together to reduce GHG emissions and support the sector and nation’s net zero ambitions. Individual companies within the telecoms sector have long-established commitments at a company level, however the UK telecoms industry is a complex and interlinked system. It is therefore essential that the sector collaborates and works together to address these challenges and achieves industry-wide transformation. I am delighted by the enthusiasm and support for the DCF’s working group on climate issues and look forward to the work that it will undertake.

Ed Leighton, Director of Strategy & Policy at Ofcom

We welcome the commitment of these companies to work together to reduce the climate impact of the sector. Better understanding the supply chain is as critical for sustainability as it is for security, so this is the right focus. We look forward to seeing further specific proposals ahead of COP 28

Toby Siddall, Sustainability Lead, Accenture UK & Ireland

Companies have a leading role in scaling the ambition of a more sustainable future into a reality. The commitment we saw from all participants at May’s roundtable to work together and identify priority areas for collaboration will accelerate the innovative solutions and sustainability services needed for real action. We will continue to support the members of the Digital Connectivity Forum with insights on embedding sustainability as a core objective in the communications industry.

Alex Mather

Alex Mather

Head of Digital Connectivity Forum (DCF)

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By 2030, digital technology can cut global emissions by 15%. Cloud computing, 5G, AI and IoT have the potential to support dramatic reductions in carbon emissions in sectors such as transport, agriculture, and manufacturing. techUK is working to foster the right policy framework and leadership so we can all play our part. For more information on how techUK can support you, please visit our Climate Action Hub and click ‘contact us’.

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