Lower impact

Grow our business without increasing our carbon footprint

Why does it matter?

Business will play a vital role in the delivery of the UK’s climate change commitments under the Climate Change Act 2008 and the UK Government’s recently launched 25 year environmental plan. In addition to the global challenge of climate change, there is increasing focus on how society can best move to a more circular economy, with the impact of plastic waste on our natural environment becoming a national focus in recent months

Virgin Media has a large and growing footprint across the UK. For every kilowatt hour we use in our technical sites, litres of fuel we consume in our fleet and every tonne of waste we send to landfill, we’re contributing to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and waste challenges.  The more we can grow our business while minimising energy, fuel and waste, the more cost efficient we can be while also positively contributing to the UK’s carbon and waste targets.

How are we making it happen?

This goal is overseen by our Sustainable Operations Subcommittee which is chaired by the Vice President of Technical Site Strategy and attended by functional leads for Property and Facilities and Sustainability.

Our plan is focused on four key areas:

(1)   Reducing energy demand in our technical estate, which accounts for over 85% of our scope 1 and 2 footprint, through investment in our OREO (Overall Room Energy Optimisation) programme and utilising newer, more efficient equipment

(2)   Reducing vehicle fuel consumption through driver monitoring software and more efficient vans

(3)   Working towards zero office waste to landfill and cutting out single-use plastic waste

(4)   Instilling good environmental management principles across our estate through the continued rollout of our ISO14001 certified Environmental Management System


Performance against our goal sub targets in 2017

Here are our performance highlights for 2017, the third year of our 2020 Lower impact goal. If you are looking for information on what we’re focusing on for the remaining two years of the goal, take a look at our Goals roadmap.


Carbon footprint

2016 target – Grow our business without increasing our carbon footprint.

How we did – We’ve reduced our Carbon footprint (Scope 1 & 2) by 8% compared to 2014 baseline, by introducing new more efficient technologies, technical site upgrades, removing older equipment and energy optimisation at our technical facilities. This means that we are avoiding an increase in energy despite significant growth in network and data demands. This is also shown by the 69% reduction (not including Ireland) in emissions per terabyte (TB) of data used on our network since 2014.

Despite a 2% increase in absolute emissions (2016-2017), due to the addition of TV3 (rebranding as Virgin Media Television from September 2018) in Ireland and increased service and install demands on our fleet, we expect to deliver on our 2020 goal.


Waste Management

2017 target – Maintain zero waste to landfill logistics supply chain and increase operational landfill avoidance.

How we did – (Green flag graphic to replace existing animated thumb)

We’ve reduced office waste to landfill from 27% in 2016 to 15% in 2017 through our waste management partner diverting waste away from landfill to energy from waste facilities, and ensuring all our sites where we have people permanently based, including part-technical sites, have mixed recycling bins onsite.

We maintained a zero waste to landfill logistics supply chain – which covers the return of old Virgin Media electrical kit and waste produced by our field operations. In addition, working in partnership with our logistics partner Kuehne+Nagel, we continue to focus on reducing waste and vehicle impacts. In 2017, we reused 730,000 and recycled 1.2 million items of kit from customers homes and are reusing 91% of HDMI leads, 70% power supply units and 32% of remote controls returned to us.