BfG News Issue 12 - Expert View: BSkyB explains how to be green and lean

12 May 2008|Added Value

Each month News invites an expert to give us their view on a topical issue.  This month we approached Jo Fox, Head of Environment, at BSkyB to talk about the ways they’re helping their customers adopt a greener behaviour.

AV_PolaroidImages_foxSmall companies aren’t taking action on climate change: so says the Committee of Public Accounts. If that’s true, it’s not just irresponsible, it’s illogical.  As the FT points out, ‘in most cases, the cost of cutting emissions is made up within a year or two in savings’ (20 May). Not only that, customers increasingly expect the businesses they buy from to be playing their part. More than that, climate change is frankly too big and too urgent an issue for us to ignore.

But if businesses haven’t yet taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint, surely they are even less likely to do so if the economic backdrop gets gloomier?

I hope not. Allowing short-term concerns to overshadow the long-term challenge of climate change would be a monumental error. We all need to find ways to be green and lean, from switching off computers and lights at night to on-site energy creation and natural ventilation systems – whatever works for you.

We also need to be helping our customers make changes.  Not with guilt-trips or hard-sells, but with practical and desirable, lower-cost and lower-carbon products and services.

Our customer magazine’s ‘Sky Perks’ offers special discounts that have saved customers millions of pounds.  Recently, this has included eco-kettles and green energy deals.
Changing the way you make a cuppa may seem ‘small beer’ but if a third of households in the UK and Ireland did – it would make a big difference.

In the past 12 months, we’ve developed and downloaded a clever piece of software to four million set-top boxes. By simply putting boxes to sleep overnight, it has saved our customers £12 million on their energy bills and over 50,000 tonnes of carbon in the first year alone. To put that in perspective, that’s more than Sky’s entire direct footprint.

We know that this all changes the way people feel about us. Management Today’s 2007 ‘most admired companies’ survey, saw Sky move up to 3rd place, largely in recognition of our social and environmental contribution. And our own research shows that customers like Sky better because we act on the issues that really count.

Every company needs to find a lower carbon plan of action that works for them. I am not suggesting that Sky’s path is a panacea– not least because we – like everyone – are only a few steps into what will be a long journey.

But I am saying that we should all be taking action now. If we do, not only will we be ‘doing the right thing’, but we will have more efficient businesses and more loyal customers to boot.  Not a bad deal when all is said and done.

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