Helping Virgin Media O2 Business become a carbon transparent supplier

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How can the ICT sector respond to customers’ call for carbon transparency?

Businesses across all industries are under pressure to make Net Zero a reality. Organisations, however, cannot make sustainable changes if they do not capture the full picture of their footprint. As organisations plan their transition to Net Zero, many look to suppliers for support and want to know the carbon impact of the products and services they buy.

Connectivity has become essential to modern businesses and the green transition. As ICT services become key B2B suppliers, it is important for them to share the carbon impact of the services they provide. A key supplier to businesses of all sizes, Virgin Media O2 Business saw carbon transparency as an opportunity to add client value.

Through a dedicated carbon calculator, the telecommunications provider wanted to equip customers with bespoke and free carbon footprint estimations of its most popular business solutions.

Before rolling out this online ESG tool, Virgin Media O2 Business needed an independent expert to evaluate the tool’s accuracy. Having co-authored the ICT sector guidance to support the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Standard, the Carbon Trust was the right third-party to certify the Virgin Media O2 Business carbon footprint calculator.


Certifying Virgin Media O2 Business’s carbon footprint calculator in line with international standards 

To help business customers quickly and easily understand the carbon footprint of Virgin Media O2 Business’s services, it is important that the calculator’s footprint estimations consider the emissions from the product’s full life cycle; without this, customer value diminishes.

A telecommunications provider like Virgin Media O2 Business should, for example, account for the embodied emissions of its products, meaning the emissions that will be released when users access their network. To ensure the tool provides real customer value, we:

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Examined whether the boundaries of the footprint calculations and the calculation methods used were in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Standards.

As part of this, we ascertained the calculation method includes important emissions such as embodied emissions. This will give customers a more accurate picture.


Put the Virgin Media O2 Business carbon footprint calculator to the test. This checked whether the model provides accurate enough estimations and revealed any errors that needed to be resolved.

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Evaluated Virgin Media O2 Business’s management system, so it can implement and update its carbon footprint calculator over time and control the data input.

Having the right processes and policies in place will make sure that the calculator’s outputs remain up-to-date and of high quality.

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Certified Virgin Media O2 Business’s carbon footprint calculator for its SD-WAN and mobile solutions. This certifies that the calculation model used conforms to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard.


Driving carbon transparency as a supplier

Connectivity and digitalisation are seen as key pillars to the Net Zero transition, which makes visibility over the emissions from these services all the more important.

Following this certification, Virgin Media O2 Business officially launched its carbon footprint calculator in October 2023. When customers now buy one of the SD-WAN or mobile solutions, they can receive a free carbon footprint estimation of their purchase. The certification of the calculation model and the resulting calculator can drive significant change. They:

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Build trust in Virgin Media O2 Business's carbon claims by substantiating them.

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Enhance the customer experience by providing B2B customers with the carbon transparency they seek. Decision-makers can use the calculator to understand the impact their telecoms services have on their overall carbon footprint.

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Make carbon data more accessible for all. Though large corporates will already report on their Scope 3 emissions, Virgin Media O2 Business’s free calculator will allow small and medium-enterprises with fewer resources to follow best practice and make carbon-conscious purchases.