Virgin Media commits to 100% renewable power by 2020

Virgin Media has pledged to source only renewable electricity for the entirety of its operations by 2020, underlined by their decision to join the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative.

Virgin Media’s latest annual sustainability report has revealed that they have reduced their carbon footprint by 22 per cent (fuel and electricity use) since 2014.

Furthermore, the report states that in 2018, 100 per cent of its contracted electricity used across the UK and Ireland operations was from renewable sources.

Contracted electricity across these markets’ accounts for 99.5 per cent of Virgin Media’s total electricity consumption, with the remaining 0.5 per cent accounted for by shipperless sites, which are sites with no electricity connection for suppliers to use.

The company’s commitment to the new RE100 will, therefore, see Virgin Media work to address these hard-to-abate locations.

Virgin Media said it had taken the decision to join the RE100 initiative, despite already sourcing such a high proportion of renewables, in order to support the UK’s new net-zero target for 2050.

“We’re delighted to be signing up to the RE100 initiative and playing our part in supporting the UK’s goal to increase the availability of renewable electricity and to help drive down carbon emissions,” said Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s chief information and technology officer.

“It’s vital that businesses make long-term commitments to reducing consumption and using renewable energy. We’re actively using our business, brand and people to create a positive impact for our customers and the communities we serve.”

The company’s sustainability report also said that they have collected more than 10 million devices for recycling or reuse over the course of four years.

The report additionally noted Virgin Media’s progress on minimising paper use, which was down by 70 per cent on 2014 levels last year, and in diverting 100 per cent of logistics-level supply chain waste from landfill.

Since November 2018, 155 companies across 140 global markets have joined the RE100 initiative and committed to becoming 100 per cent renewable, with the group collectively sourcing 188TWh of clean power annually.

Furthermore, RE100 members leverage a combined annual revenue of $4.5trn (£3.7trn) - 5 per cent of global GDP - making the group a powerful source of financing for clean energy infrastructure.

Earlier this month, government statistics revealed that over 50 per cent of the UK’s electricity was generated from low-carbon sources in 2018. However, a general increase in energy production also saw a greater use of fossil fuels.

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