Thinking Big - O2's carbon commitment continues

It’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows us that our favourite colour is blue. But that won’t stop us looking into how, as a business, we can be more green.

We’ve recently become the first mobile network operator to have carbon footprints independently verified by the Carbon Trust. Using their Footprint Expert™ software, we worked out how much greenhouse gases were produced by using our voice and data services. From this, we determined that the carbon footprint of a one-minute voice call made on the O2 network is 3.6g CO2e and transferring a meg of data weighs in at 11g CO2e.

This means that making a five-minute call is the carbon-equivalent to boiling enough water for a cup of tea (250ml, in case you were wondering).

A cup of tea.

Why have we done this? We’re strongly committed to understanding the environmental impact of our operations, as part of our sustainability plan – the ThinkBig Blueprint. It’s our three-year plan, under which we’re aiming to deliver carbon benefits to customers that are 10 times the impact of our network, by 2015.

So, as part of the ThinkBig Blueprint, we needed to understand just how much impact our mobile operations – which makes up the majority of our carbon footprint – are having. That way, we can look at exactly how we can address the issue effectively and reduce the size of the footprint we leave on the world.

And this is just the beginning. We’re also planning to provide our customers with the tools to calculate the CO2 associated with the services they use. Then we’ll help to compare them with every day activities (like the cup of tea one we mentioned earlier), helping everyone to see their CO2 impact in day-to-day context.