Today we have launched our annual sustainability report, ‘Dialling into 2020’, which outlines our social and environmental performance over the last year. Here are some of the highlights:
We reset our approach to diversity and inclusion in 2020 to make sure we always put inclusion at the heart of decision making, give everyone a voice and remove barriers from the employee and customer experience. To support this in 2020 we…
- Launched our Belonging strategy:
We created and launched Virgin Media’s new inclusion strategy, basing it on three commitments: Build a diverse workforce, create a safe environment where voices are heard and valued, leave no one behind by identifying and removing barriers across the employee and customer journey. Being straight up, we know we have more work to do to represent society and build a place where everyone feels they belong, and our new Belonging strategy will help us achieve this.
- Unveiled our Belonging Collective:
We launched five employee affiliation networks; Empower (underrepresented ethnicities), Ultraviolet (Disability), Our Indigo Mind (Neurodiversity), Prouder (LGBQT+) and Gender Equality. Together they form our Belonging Collective.
- Appointed our Belonging Exec Sponsor:
Alongside the backing of our Executive Committee, who are aligned to each of our Belonging Networks, we appointed our Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Dodds, as overarching Executive Sponsor for all things Belonging. We also reinforced our commitment with a ten-fold increase in investment for our Belonging strategy.
We partnered up with disability equality charity Scope between 2015 and the end of 2020, which focused on using the power of digital technology to transform people’s lives and support disabled people facing barriers to independence. The end of 2020 saw us wrap up our Scope partnership, and here’s how we closed things off…
- Supported 1 million disabled jobseekers:
In 2015 we committed to supporting 1 million disabled people to gain the skills and confidence to get in and stay in work through the Support to Work employment service. By September 2020 we’d exceeded our original target having supported 1,204,427 disabled people.
- Fundraised £1 million:
Our people have donated a whopping £902,309 for Scope. We topped that up to £1million at the end of last year. The £200,000 raised since 2018 has been used to fund the launch of the Support to Work jobs board and a local offshoot of the Support to Work service in Leeds. All fundraising from 2015 – 2018 was used to deliver projects across Scope to support their objective of tackling disability inequality in the UK.
- Assessed the impact of Support to Work:
70% of Support to Work users say they have improved skills and knowledge, to choose, find and apply for jobs. This has been achieved by customers working closely with advisers in one-to-one sessions and our bespoke online content which provided best practices for job searching.
- Supported other businesses be more inclusive of disabled people:
In partnership with Scope, we launched the #WorkWithMe community in 2018. The community connects businesses, where they can share their learnings, advice, resources and practices on how to become more inclusive of disabled people. By the end of 2020 the community had grown to over 100 members.
2020 saw changes in our environmental performance linked to the pandemic. This was largely in part due to a reduction in business travel as we worked from home. We also saw unprecedented demands on our network, demonstrating how vital connectivity is to keeping the country moving. During 2020 we…
- Shrunk our carbon footprint:
Despite this unprecedented demand, we reduced our operational carbon footprint by 7% compared to our 2019 baseline (new baseline) and 46% against our previous 2014 baseline. And when comparing our carbon footprint to the unprecedented amount of data used by our customers in 2020, we reduced operational carbon footprint (per terabyte of data) by 50% since 2019 and 93% since 2014. We know we have more work to do to reduce our Scope 3 emissions.
- Reduced operational waste:
For the first time ever, we achieved zero waste to landfill operations and we, recycled 80% of our operational waste during 2020. Through continued efforts to utilise digital means of communicating with customers, e-billing and tackling internal printing, we also reduced paper use by 88%, a saving of over 11,000 tonnes compared to 2014.
- Cut down on waste in our supply chain:
We took back over 1.5 million routers and set-top boxes for refurbishment and reuse during 2020. This is expected to save up to 2,000 tonnes in raw materials. Since 2014, we’ve taken back more than 13 million products.
Although we’ve now said goodbye to our ‘5 in 5’, strategy, our three core focuses going forward remain the same – people, communities and the planet. See how we’re tackling all three in our new Meaningful Connections Plan for the next five years.
We’ve got an incredible opportunity to use the power of our brand, our people and our connectivity as a force for good, for people, communities, and our planet. But we need team play to get there.