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The key role of businesses in pro-environmental behaviour.

Conversation with Kelly Moir, Director of Impact and Sustainability at BT Enterprise.

Pride, connection, motivation, staff retention. There are many reasons why businesses need to change the way they do business. A recent research project led by Verizon and the Campbell Soup Company shows that doing good reduces a company's team turnover rate by up to 50%, increases its productivity by up to 13%, and boosts employee engagement and satisfaction by up to 7.5%.

Can leadership behaviour (as exemplary behaviour) and organisational support within the workplace affect both intention to act and pro-environmental behaviour amongst employees?

URBAG® speaks to Kelly Moir, Director of Impact and Sustainability in BT to speak about the role of corporations in helping the ecological transition and in supporting behaviour change amongst employees.

Kelly spent over 10 years doing commercial strategy and transformation before aligning her passion for improving sustainability with her day job. She joined the sustainability team at BT to deliver programmes to improve social and environmental sustainability for UK businesses and public sector.

Kelly, what does sustainability mean for a business like BT?

BT have committed to a target of helping our customers reduce 60m tonnes of CO2 by 2030, so my remit is to support UK business and public sector customers adopt more efficient solutions and apply those technologies to reduce emissions.

In December 2021, BT also launched a manifesto to deliver 3 pillars: inclusive tech, responsible tech and sustainable tech.

'Inclusive tech’ is focused on how we support businesses, particularly small businesses, in digital skills to improve digital inclusion. 75% of small businesses felt that they lacked adequate digital skills which was a huge problem over the past 2 years where businesses had to pivot to online.

BT supports small businesses with the Skills for Tomorrow programme which has free webinars, online courses and 1:1 mentoring.

‘Responsible’ is about ensuring tech is designed with diversity and human rights in mind. BT uses the power of technology to tackle human rights issues like modern slavery.

BT co-developed the Unseen app for the Modern Slavery Helpline. Anyone can use this app to learn more about modern slavery and report suspected cases.

This is being adopted by regional police forces, so we are helping to put tools out there for society to use. Diversity in technology needs to be driven by a diverse workforce, so BT has a number of programmes to support jobseekers from socially disadvantaged backgrounds in getting into the industry.

Finally, 'sustainable’ is about helping our customers reduce their emissions using BT’s technology and embedding circularity principles in BT’s product design.

How do you see the role of corporations in the process of ecological transition?

Large corporations need to be central to this process because they are creators of the system that everyone lives in.

Corporations, armed with their capital, people and assets, need to be committing and acting to bold and long-term targets around societal and net zero progress.

How can corporations help promote pro-environmental behaviour to employees inside and outside the workplace?

Corporations have a huge responsibility to lead and support their people and communities in being environmentally responsible.

It used to be that this was intrinsic and necessary for the success of a business because they would be physically situated on the doorstep of their community to see and feel the consequences of the community and it would not be good for business.

But with expansion and globalisation, the consequences are no longer immediately obvious to large companies and there is less accountability.

At BT there is active promotion of sustainable behaviour and employees are encouraged to engage in the sustainability conversation through employee sustainability forums for example.


About BT Enterprise@

British Telecoms (BT) is one of the world’s leading communications services companies. To know more their sustainability journey, visit their manifesto page here.

Small business can access the Skills for Tomorrow programme here

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