Multi-billion pound saving identified for UK businesses

  • Huge unclaimed savings will benefit UK businesses in a challenging COVID environment and beyond.
  • Green Savings Calculator from O2 helps businesses to identify ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save money with long-term flexible working.
  • Calculator finds annual savings of 534 tonnes of CO2 and £2.6m on energy, property and travel costs for an average company with 1,000 employees, and an overall estimated £53bn saving for UK PLC.

UK businesses could benefit from millions of pounds in new savings and dramatically reduce their carbon footprint thanks to a new green calculator from O2.

The new Green Savings Calculator uses details provided by individual businesses, including travel and office space arrangements, to help identify ways to save money and reduce carbon emissions from flexible working.

In trials, the calculator found an average potential annual saving of £2.6m for a company of 1,000 employees*. Overall, O2 calculated that it could provide a £53bn** annual saving for companies in the UK, at a time when employers are working hard to support UK workers through the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the pandemic initially drove UK businesses to support temporary home working, it is likely that flexible work is here to stay. O2 is already one of the biggest providers of flexible working technology and connectivity in the country, and the Green Savings Calculator, built by The Lab, powered by O2 and based on calculations by the Carbon Trust, is designed to help businesses plan for the longer term.

The new tool can be used to build the business case to invest in the digital tools, capability, and confidence to build back the UK economy in a sustainable and resilient way. The calculator looks at different savings sources across the business, including business travel reduction and longer-term initiatives like fleet and office rationalisation.

Companies including Hitachi Capital UK PLC are already signed up to the ongoing beta trial of the calculator, which could support thousands of businesses across the UK in becoming more flexible.

O2 CEO, Mark Evans announced the calculator at the Carbon Trust’s Corporate Sustainability Summit in London yesterday, bringing to life the real benefit of sustainable approaches to business of all sizes following O2’s own aim to become the UK’s first net zero in its own operations telecoms company by 2025 earlier this year, and helping the UK to reach the same goal.

O2 research shows that if UK workers who can work flexibly choose to work from home twice a week, the UK would see an annual 14.3 megatonne CO2e decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from travel – more than the total annual emissions for Northern Ireland.***

Mark Evans, CEO, O2 said: “The pandemic has undoubtedly been tough for Britain, but it is also a catalyst for change. The surge in flexible working is already delivering clear benefits for people, businesses, and the environment, that we should look to carry into the future.

“Mobile and digital connectivity, smartly designed and deployed, can help businesses and industries to improve their productivity and efficiency, while reducing carbon emissions. All businesses need to start thinking green with every decision they make.”

 Tom Delay, Chief Executive, the Carbon Trust said: “We are dedicated to helping businesses move towards a more sustainable future by creating tools to inform strategic decisions. Re-imagining working patterns in the coming months and years provides an opportunity to shift towards more sustainable business models. The Carbon Trust has worked with O2 for over 10 years on its carbon reduction strategy and we look forward to continuing our work together to help deliver a net zero future.”

Find out more about how O2 wants to support other businesses on their journey to net zero here: connect.o2.co.uk/ourjourneytonetzero

To register your interest and find out how your business could save time, cost and carbon please click here: connect.o2.co.uk/business-sales-enquiry

                                                                         -ENDS-

Notes to Editors
Calculator savings are representative examples, for businesses in professional activities sector with employees taking an average number of UK business trips of 2 per month, and no international travel, without a fleet of vehicles. Going from zero home working to all employees working two days per week at home.

Business with 100 employees:

  • 53 tonnes of CO2 saving per year
  • £261,000 saving in energy, travel-related costs and office rationalisation
  • 8,520 hours saved on commuting and business travel

*Business with 1000 employees

  • 534 tonnes of CO2 saving per year
  • £2.6m saving in energy, travel-related costs and office rationalisation
  • 85,196 hours saved on commuting and business travel

UK business average (this is excluding businesses with fewer than 5 employees and therefore, based on ONS UK Govt. business population estimates 2019, based on an average of 39 employees)

  • 21 tonnes of CO2 saving per year
  • £102,000 saving in energy, travel-related costs and office rationalisation
  • 3,323 hours saved on commuting and business travel

** O2’s calculations are based on UK-wide figure across all sectors and obtained by removing the people that are not able to work remotely or are already mainly working from home. A total of 20.333.894 employees could benefit from homeworking in the UK, taking out employees already mainly working from home and professions that cannot be performed remotely.

***Northern Ireland data source 2017: UK local authority and regional carbon dioxide emissions national statistics from BEIS

O2 Press Office Contacts
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All O2 news releases can be accessed on our website: www.o2.co.uk/news

About Telefónica UK  
O2 is the principal commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited, part of the global telecommunications group Telefónica S.A, headquartered in Spain and operating in Europe, and North, Central and South America.

No.1 Network: O2 is the UK’s largest network with more than 34 million connections, providing 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G services while operating a nationwide O2 Wifi service.

For three consecutive years O2 has won Best Network Coverage provider at the publicly voted USwitch Awards (2018, 2019, 2020).  It won Best Network Performance at the Mobile News Awards 2019 and was named Most Reliable Network by GWS in 2020.

The company is the network of choice for mobile virtual network operators giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Lycamobile and manages a 50:50 joint venture with Tesco for Tesco Mobile.

O2 has led the industry with its commitment to Customer Fairness. Since 2013 O2 Refresh has split airtime and device costs so customers never pay for a handset they already own, and the evolution of customisable plans gives customers true flexibility over how they pay for their mobile phone. From exclusive Priority Tickets which provide customers with pre-sale tickets for The O2 and O2 Academy venues, 48 hours before everyone else, to England Rugby matches – who O2 have proudly been sponsors of since 1995.

O2 strives to do the right thing both as a business and for its customers. It has committed to becoming net zero by 2025 and to working with supply chain partners to reduce carbon emissions by 30% in the next five years. The O2 Recycle scheme was named Best Recycle Service at the Mobile Industry Awards, and encourages customers to dispose of old devices responsibly. Last year O2 was one of only three companies globally to be recertified at the highest level by the Carbon Trust Standard for reducing supply chain emissions. Through its partnership with the NSPCC, since 2015 O2 has helped parents take over 7 million actions keep their kids safe online. In 2020 it became the only UK mobile network to sign up to The Conscious Advertising Network (CAN), a voluntary coalition of organisations set up to ensure that industry ethics catches up with the technology of modern advertising.

O2 has 6,500 employees across three main office sites and more than 440 retail stores, and was named a Best Place To Work in Glassdoor’s 2019 Employee’s Choice Awards. Its industry-leading inclusive policies have seen it recognised with a National Inclusion Standard accreditation. In 2019 the company introduced 14 weeks’ paid paternity leave for heterosexual and same-sex couples, and it launched a toolkit for employees considering transitioning at work. It is the only teleco named in the Social Mobility Employer Index for the last three years.