Better products

We want our products to be accessible and enjoyed by everyone - and have an environmental and social story we can all be proud of. As our products offer more and more functionality and services, they tend to use more energy. This goal goes beyond how much electricity is needed to power our products. It involves understanding each stage of the product lifecycle, looking at issues like resource efficiency, the circular economy, accessibility and the sustainability performance of our suppliers. We want to embed this thinking across the entire lifecycle of our products and drive improvements every time we launch a new product into our customers’ homes.

There are lots of teams involved in making our products. We work closely with our colleagues at Liberty Global to develop new products and many different suppliers help us reach the finish line. Launching new products can take several years, so influencing this process is a big task and it’ll take time.

Here are our performance highlights for 2016, the second year of our 2020 Better products goal. If you are looking for information on what we’re focusing on for the remaining three years of the goal, take a look at our Goals roadmap.


Performance against our goal sub targets in 2016

Publish scorecard results

2016 target - Publish our first ever product sustainability scorecard results for a baseline product.

How we did – The product scorecard was created and we used it to test the Hub3.0 - our latest WiFi box - in 2016. The results weren’t ready for publication in 2016  because we needed more time to make sure teams at Virgin Media and Liberty Global had fully embedded this tool into our product development processes. During this time we also undertook an independent review of the scorecard’s methodology which has now been completed by Wrap. The scorecard was published in July 2017 and can be found here.

Understand the macro environmental benefits

2016 target - Develop a methodology to understand the macro environmental benefits of improvements to future customer products, as measured by the product scorecard.

How we did –  We created a methodology to understand the macro environmental benefits that improvements to future customer products could deliver.

Using this methodology, we know the Hub 3.0 delivers increased WiFi capabilities, and new features such as Internet of Things and telephony, yet is more energy and resource efficient than our previous hub:

  • 15%* more energy efficient during use - avoiding enough electricity to power over 7,000 UK homes each year**

  • Avoiding 173* tonnes of plastics, metals and electronics and saving 40 tonnes of paper from documentation and 311 tonnes of cardboard from packaging

Embed scorecard methodology

2016 target - Build the product sustainability scorecard methodology into the product development process with suppliers to make sure that social and environmental factors are considered from the concept stage through to delivery.

How we did – The product scorecard has been embedded into the product development process with suppliers. The scorecard criteria has been used to create requirements for our product suppliers to consider in the early stages of product design. 

*Energy and resource efficiency is calculated based on relative performance of the products that takes into account increases in functionality

** based on average UK household energy consumption (Source: DECC, 2015)