Lower impact

Lower Impact

Grow our business without increasing our carbon footprint

Why this is important to us

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, as well as the recent announcement that the UK will seek to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. In addition to the global challenge of climate change, there‘s increasing focus on how society can best move to a more circular economy, with the impact of plastic waste on our natural environment continuing to make headlines.

In 2015, we launched the biggest investment in new broadband infrastructure for more than a decade. We plan to increase the number of homes and businesses to which Virgin Media can offer it’s ultrafast broadband services to up to 17 million premises. For every kilowatt hour we use in our technical sites, litres of fuel we consumer in our fleet and every tonne of waste we send to landfill, we’re contribution to the UK’s greenhouse 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 we’re making it happen

Jeanie York, Chief Technology and Information Officer is the executive sponsor for our lower impact goal. The delivery of this goal is overseen by our Sustainable Operations sub-committee, chaired by the Vice President of Planning and Engineering and attended by functional leads for Property, Facilities and Sustainability. Our plan is focused on four key areas:

o   Reducing energy demand in our technical estate, which accounts for over 75% of our  carbon footprint (fuel and energy use),  through investment in our OREO (Overall Room Energy Optimisation) programme and utilising newer, more efficient equipment

o   Reducing vehicle fuel consumption through driver monitoring software and more efficient vans

o   Working towards zero office waste to landfill and cutting out single-use plastic waste

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

In 2018 we…

  • Achieved a 22% reduction in our carbon footprint (fuel and electricity use) against our 2014 baseline in conjunction with the delivery of our ambitious network expansion plan
  • Purchased 100% of our contracted electricity from renewable sources
  • Reduced fleet fuel by 9% saving 1,200 tCO2e, meaning on average, our car fleet is below 100gCO2/km for the first time
  • Diverted 91% of office waste from landfill
  • Diverted 100% of logistics supply chain
    waste from landfill
  • Saved over 60 tonnes of single-use plastic through removing plastic packaging from our uniform supply chain, Quick-Start boxes and logistics operation at our Big Red Shed. We’ve also tackled waste in our catering facilities including saving over 50,000 single-use coffee cups

These are our performance highlights for 2018, 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.


 By 2020, we’ll have

  • Found new ways to power and cool our network with lower energy demand
  • Made the most of more efficient logistics methods and enabled more customers to resolve issues online to minimise vehicle journeys
  • Made a step change in the way we use and manage waste across the business, building on the success we've had in our zero-waste-to landfill logistics supply chain and reduction of single-use plastic at our core sites. This means taking big steps to cut out the most common waste streams and delivering zero waste to landfill across all of our offices