BT’s Gabrielle Giner on raising climate ambition to 1.5ºCThe We Mean Business coalition
At the sidelines of COP25 in Madrid in December last year, We Mean Business had the chance to hear from Gabrielle Giner, head of environmental sustainability at UK telecoms company BT. We asked her some of the key takeaways from the summit, as well as how companies and governments can accelerate climate action throughout 2020 and beyond.
“I think what’s really exciting and what I’ve seen change at this COP (25) is the level of ambition around 1.5ºC.”
“We at BT have been championing 1.5ºC science-based targets for a long time and the fact that so many companies are coming together to set those I think is fantastic. And now of course we’re hoping that governments and policy makers will follow suit.”
“I think that the power of the collective of companies coming together in campaigns like RE100 and EV100 have really changed the market and we start talking about ambition loops and that’s where we see business action which leads to increased government action and the other way around. That’s very powerful and we’re hoping to see more of that from governments.”
“Businesses need to take action irrespective of if there are policies or not. Obviously policies are very supportive… but if there are no policies, we as leading businesses need to start taking action.”
“I’m very proud that BT was one of the first companies in the world to set a science-based target aligned with 1.5ºC. We set that in September 2017 and we also have a target to be a net-zero emissions business by 2045.”
“We hope that by setting these ambitious targets we can inspire other businesses and policy makers to set equal targets.”
“So how are we going to meet our very aggressive decarbonisation targets? Three areas really. One is we have to get to 100% renewable energy worldwide; we’re currently at 87%.”
“Secondly we have one of the UK’s largest fleets, we have around 30,000 vehicles and we need to electrify those. And the third area for us that we need to decarbonise is the heating of our buildings.”
Gabrielle Giner, head of environmental sustainability at BT.