Virgin Media's 2020 sustainability performance revealed in new report

25 May 2021

Virgin Media has achieved zero waste to landfill operations for the first time, and since 2014 has reduced its operational carbon footprint (scope 1 and 2) by 46% and refurbished and reused more than 8 million products, it has revealed in its latest 2020 Sustainability Report.

The report, ‘Dialling into 2020’, also highlights how Virgin Media stepped up to support its customers and communities during the Covid-19 pandemic, the launch of the company’s ‘Belonging’ strategy and marks the conclusion of Virgin Media’s five year partnership with the disability equality charity, Scope.

The company is creatively bringing its annual performance to life by - creating a ‘prezi’, a podcast, and a pop quiz for its employees to highlight the report’s key findings and to engage and inform people about the company’s successes and learning.

This will help Virgin Media’s employees to gain a deeper understanding of how they can get involved and help make a positive impact in the communities they live and work in.

Reducing our environmental impact

Virgin Media has reduced its carbon footprint by 7% (Scope 1 and 2) and has reduced its Scope 3 emissions by 14% over the past 12 months.

This has been achieved by multi-year investments in energy efficiency measures and the removal of older equipment. As a result, Virgin Media is using less electricity now than at any point in the last six years.

In addition, in 2020 Virgin Media increased the circulatory of its products by refurbishing and reusing 1.3 million items such as set-top boxes and routers.

Furthermore, the company has reduced its paper usage by 88% since 2014, and 80% of operational waste is now recycled.

Keeping communities connected

During 2020, Virgin Media supported its customers and communities to keep them connected to everything they love during the pandemic.

This included providing extra data and minutes for customers, providing funding for devices to help children learn from home, and the launch of Virgin Media’s Essential broadband plan for people on Universal Credit.

Supporting a million disabled jobseekers

Virgin Media wrapped up its partnership with the disability charity, Scope, supporting more than a million disabled people with the skills and confidence to get and stay in work via the Support to Work digital employment service.

In addition, more than 100 companies have joined the #WorkWithMe community and are taking the steps to transform their policies and practices so they can support as many disabled people as possible.

Creating a sense of Belonging

Virgin Media also launched a new diversity and inclusion strategy, 'Belonging', which aims to create a culture where no-one is left behind, and everyone can be themselves at work and achieve their potential.

In addition Virgin Media has launched its ‘Belonging Collective’, five employee networks representing underrepresented ethnicities, gender equality, disability, neurodiversity, and LGBTQ+ communities. These networks work together to bring lived experiences to the decision making table.

Meaningful Connections Plan

Earlier this year Virgin Media launched its new five year sustainability strategy, the Meaningful Connections Plan, which sets out how it will use its purpose, people and products to have a lasting and positive impact on society, and how it will reduce its impact on the planet.

As part of the new strategy, Virgin Media has set goals to achieve net zero carbon operations (scope 1 and 2) and zero waste operations by the end of 2025.


Virgin Media has also entered into a new five year strategic partnership with the charity, Carers UK, where it aims to make life better for one million unpaid carers by creating connections to each other and to their communities.

Virgin Media is proactively encouraging its employees to build meaningful connections in their community by increasing the number of annual paid volunteering days from one to five – the equivalent of around 450,000 hours per year across its 12,000 workforce. They will be encouraged to take this time regularly - either in-person or digitally – to reduce loneliness and build a sense of community belonging. This includes micro-volunteering opportunities which have a sustained and lasting impact.

The company has also set a goal to create hundreds more employment opportunities for people from underrepresented groups. This includes women in STEM, disabled people, people from LGBTQ+, underrepresented ethnicities, neurodiverse and other communities with low social equity.

Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media, said:

“Our ‘Dialling into 2020’ sustainability report shows how Virgin Media has supported our people, customers and communities during the pandemic, while taking action to tackle climate change.

“We’re building on this momentum with our new five year sustainability strategy, the ‘Meaningful Connections Plan’ which will see us accelerate our efforts to deliver lasting and positive change for our people and customers, while meeting the climate crisis head on.”

ENDS

About Virgin Media

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

Our network delivers the fastest widely-available broadband speeds to homes and businesses. We’re expanding this through continued investment in our Project Lightning programme, which has seen our network footprint reach an additional 2.5 million premises so far to pass 15.3 million UK premises overall. We are also investing to bring next-generation gigabit speeds to our entire broadband network by the end of 2021, making us the UK’s largest gigabit operator.

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 5G connectivity. We are also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK.

Through Virgin Media Business we support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering a range of connectivity and tailor-made services.

Virgin Media employs around 12,000 people directly in the UK and is part of Liberty Global, one of the world’s leading converged video, broadband and communications companies. Liberty Global connects customers through operations in seven countries across Europe subscribing to 49 million broadband, TV, fixed and mobile telephony services.