Virgin Media commits to only using 100% renewable electricity and joins RE100 initiative

29 July 2019

  • Virgin Media joins RE100 initiative after revealing 100% of contracted electricity used across Virgin Media’s UK and Ireland operations in 2018 came from renewable sources
  • Operator publishes 2018 Sustainability Report revealing a 22% reduction in its carbon footprint since 2014
  • Penultimate year of ’5 in 5’ sustainability strategy shows progress across all goals, including  the launch of an innovative digital employment service for disabled people as part of its commitment to support one million disabled people with the skills and confidence to get into and stay in work by the end of 2020

Virgin Media has signed up to The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative, joining a group of leading businesses committed to increasing the generation and consumption of renewable electricity across the UK and around the world.

Virgin Media’s 2018 Sustainability Report, published today, reveals that in 2018 it sourced 100% of its contracted electricity*, used across its UK and Ireland operations, from renewable sources. Now, by joining RE100, Virgin Media is making a long term commitment to supporting the UK’s drive to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

This commitment further supports Virgin Media’s goal to grow the business without increasing its carbon footprint. While expanding its gigabit capable network to connect millions more homes and businesses through Project Lightning, Virgin Media has also reduced its carbon footprint by 22%** and by 80%** per terabyte of data since 2014.

This has been achieved through a range of interventions such as investing in newer, more efficient equipment and smart energy management, enabling Virgin Media to improve the environmental impact of its network while also launching new products, increasing speeds and meeting the exponential customer demand for data.

Jeanie York, Chief Information and Technology Officer at Virgin Media, said “We’re delighted to be signing up to the RE100 initiative and playing our part in supporting the UK’s goal to increase the availability of renewable electricity and to help drive down carbon emissions.

“It’s vital that businesses make long term commitments to reducing consumption and using renewable energy: we’re actively using our business, brand and people to create a positive impact for our customers, people and the communities we serve.”

Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group, commented: “It’s fantastic to welcome Virgin Media to the RE100 initiative, committed to using 100% renewable electricity across their operations. This is a great example of a UK-based company stepping up to deliver the practical steps towards a net zero carbon economy.”

Virgin Media’s carbon footprint performance is revealed as it publishes its 2018 Sustainability Report, which provides performance updates for the penultimate year of its 5-year sustainability strategy and goals.

Key highlights from 2018 include:

  • Supporting more than 121,000 disabled people with information, skills and advice to gain the skills and confidence to get into and stay in work following the launch of the Support to Work service with its charity partner Scope
  • Creating opportunities for 112,947 small business to grow through digital since 2015
  • Releasing product scorecard results for the Virgin TV V6 box – now used by 60% of TV subscribers - which reveals it uses less than half the power of the previous TiVo box and uses 21% fewer materials by weight, like plastics, metals and electronics
  • Training more than 8,000 employees in disability and vulnerability awareness
  • Reducing energy consumption year-on-year by 2%, contributing to a 22% reduction in Virgin Media’s carbon footprint since 2014
  • Reducing single-use plastic by over 60 tonnes
  • Reducing paper from direct marketing by 70% since 2014


Notes to editors

*Contracted energy represents 99.5% of Virgin Media’s total electricity consumption. The remaining 0.5% relates to shipperless sites that will be covered by 2020.

** Based on the location-based method, reflecting the average emissions intensity of grids. For a market-based method, reflecting Virgin Media’s choice to purchase renewable electricity, its carbon emissions reduction would be 88% and by 97% per terabyte of data since 2014.

About Virgin Media

Virgin Media offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline.

Our dedicated, ultrafast network delivers the fastest widely-available broadband speeds to homes and businesses and we’re expanding this through our Project Lightning programme, which could extend our network to up to 17 million premises.

Our interactive TV service brings live TV, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games to customers through a set-top box, as well as on-the-go through tablets and smartphones.

Virgin Mobile launched the world’s first virtual mobile network and offers fantastic value and innovative services with 4G connectivity. We are also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland.

Through Virgin Media Business we support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds and tailor-made services.

Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company. Liberty Global connects 21 million customers through operations in 10 countries across Europe subscribing to 45 million TV, broadband internet and telephony services. It also serves 6 million mobile subscribers.

About RE100

Led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, RE100 is a collaborative initiative bringing together the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power. Renewables are a smart business decision, providing greater control over energy costs while helping companies to deliver on emission reduction goals. RE100 members, including Global Fortune 500 companies, have a total revenue of over US$4.5 trillion and operate in a diverse range of sectors – from information technology to automobile manufacturing. Together, they send a powerful signal to policymakers and investors to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. | #RE100