Sustainable supply chains essential to future-proof property industry

Sustainable supply chains essential to future-proof property industry

72% of UK residents value sustainable building features when choosing a home, according to our new report Sustainability: The Resident Perspective – published in partnership with EE, part of the BT Group. This percentage increases for older residents, with 85% of the 65+ age group saying they valued sustainable features. The property industry’s customers, shareholders and other stakeholders are demanding ever more accountability and transparency around ESG factors. Helen Brett and Jo Guite, Senior Account Managers at EE, explain how to ensure your business is truly sustainable and future-proof by setting the same high standards for supply chains that you do for your own operations.

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A recent report published in the journal Ecological Economics found that, as things stand, existing housing stock in the UK would consume 92% of the total carbon budget for England up until 2050. Along with the need for widespread retrofitting of existing stock, new build homes must become zero-carbon in order to start to reduce the sector’s impact.

A key factor in achieving this is working with suppliers to ensure their standards are in line with our own targets.

High standards

Here at BT Group, we’ve cut our supplier carbon emissions by 28% since 2016/17, making excellent and steady progress towards meeting our 42% reduction target by the end of March 2031. All suppliers must meet our standards on climate change, and we track compliance with this through supplier assessments.

We understand that our commercial partners in the property industry demand the same rigorous standards from us that they impose on themselves. This is the only way to ensure that new buildings are designed, built, and maintained in genuinely sustainable ways, with entirely transparent supply chains.

To make this easier for our commercial partners, BT Group recently published its Manifesto Report 2022, which lays out our own current performance and ambitious targets for ESG factors.

The BT Group Manifesto

The Manifesto reveals how we’ve brought forward the net zero pathway for our operations by 15 years, to the end of March 2031, and set a net zero target for our supplier and customer emissions by the end of March 2041.

We’ve cut the carbon emissions intensity of our operations by 55% since 2016/17, and now use 100% renewable electricity across our worldwide operations. We’re also decarbonising our buildings and introducing more electric vehicles to our fleet. 

This report also confirms how important recycling is to consumers, and we’ve committed to building towards a circular BT by the end of March 2030, and a circular tech and telco system by the end of March 2040. Towards this goal, we’ve so far refurbished or recycled 170k mobile devices, 1.35m home hubs and set-top boxes, and recovered or recycled 97% of our operational waste worldwide.

Sustaining quality

As this report also shows, residents won’t accept sustainability to the detriment of service quality. We understand that the quality of service we offer must match our strong ESG credentials, to ensure EE services are both financially and environmentally sustainable.

We’re working with over 30 of the UK’s biggest residential property developers, helping them and their customers to get new homes connected from day one. We’ve launched EE Personal WiFi in response to what we’ve learned from them.

EE Personal WiFi

EE Personal WiFi is designed specifically for the needs of multi-tenanted sectors, such as Build to Rent, Student Accommodation and Housing Associations.

EE Personal WiFi is pervasive wi-fi, meaning wherever residents go in the building, their wi-fi goes with them – and only them. It’s secure wi-fi, meaning it’s private and no-one else in the building can access it, and it’s powered by 100% renewable electricity for all network elements up to the customer’s premises.

This helps to meet customers’ requirements for renewable energy; one of the top three sustainable building features valued by residents, as shown in the HomeViews report.

Connecting for Good

Our overarching goal at BT Group is to connect for good. This represents the ultimate aim of all our operations, and we’re committed to providing the property industry with connectivity products and services that match or exceed its own initiatives towards a fully sustainable future.

To find out more about EE Personal WiFi, contact Senior Account Managers Helen Brett or Jo Guite at

HomeViews sustainability 2022 report cover

Click the image to download your FREE copy of the new 2022 report Sustainability: The Resident Perspective – published in partnership with EE.

written by

Jan Moys

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