BT contracts cut environmental impact

12 June 2012

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12 June 2012 | Adam Leach

BT's contracting process has reduced the impact of its supply chain on the environment.

In 2011, the telecoms and technology company, which works with around 18,200 suppliers, set a target of evaluating energy consumption or environmental impact when awarding 85 per cent of its contracts.

Furthermore, it pledged that all ‘replacement contracts’ awarded should demonstrate an improvement in energy efficiency or environmental impact. It achieved both of these targets, with environmental factors being considered in 87 per cent of its deals.

The Better Future report 2012, also explained that over the past year, the company has partnered with electronics organisation Pace to work in improving the sustainability performance of Singaporean supplier Flextronics.

The two firms worked to improve conditions for staff at the company by including rest breaks, improving the management of overtime pay and strengthening the provision of training. These factors contributed to the number of staff returning to work at Flextronics after Chinese new year increasing to 98 per cent, compared with the industry of norm of between 50-60 per cent.

The report also explained the company’s ‘minimum standard payment terms’ are within 60 days of receipt of the invoice. But in 2011, the company failed to meet this target. The average time taken to pay suppliers across its global operations was 61 days, although this was a reduction from 64 days in 2011.

During 2012, BT is focusing more strongly on working with its SME supply base on sustainability. The results of its supplier survey showed the number of suppliers that monitored CO2 emissions had dropped to 47 per cent when surveyed 2012, compared with 56 per cent in 2011. BT said this was because it had increased the number of SMEs in its supply chain.

A statement in the report from BT chairman Sir Michael Rake and CEO Ian Livingston said: “We need to think big, which means ensuring we take our customers, partners and suppliers with us. However difficult that may be, it will be the only way to succeed for shareholders, keep our customers happy and motivate our people while sustaining the societies we all rely on.”

Over the next year, the company has set a target of following up with all suppliers’ deemed as high or medium risk within three months.

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