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2012 - what a year!

21 December 2012

2012 - what a year!



Katie Buchanan

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It only seems like a moment ago I was sitting down to write my 'One Year On' blog post and another 12 months have passed. 2012 was not only the year when Britain hosted the first truly digital Olympics and saw analogue TV fade into history, but it was also a year where...

….we listened to staff, experts and customers on a range of issues. Whether it be via our interactive video booth to hear what staff thought about our sustainability strategy or through our Big Red Box that toured the country to ask Great Britain what they really think about digital issues. A big highlight has to be the Government announcing a fund of £10m in the budget for the creation of a Youth Enterprise Loan. This came after we listened to our Virgin Media Pioneers spell out the need for funding and investment opportunities. This commitment to listening and learning will continue to help us ensure we remain on the right track.

….we responded in a number of ways following on from all that listening we did. Experts in sustainability and business emphasized that we should put digital technology at the heart of our sustainability strategy. And so that's we did when we launched Our Digital Future, with the help of Sir Richard Branson, to better understand what people really think of the digital world. Along with this we've updated the way we talk about sustainability - look out for an update in 2013. We want to continue learning and are committed to acting on what we hear.

….we improved accountability for the big issues we've got to tackle as a business. In 2012 this included a focus on our supply chain where we held Action Plan meetings with our 10 core suppliers to better identify risks and opportunities together, worked with the senior team to establish how to move forward on our strategy to ensure all of our customers, regardless of their needs, can access our products and services and we saw teams take responsibility for sustainability across our business, such as our Retail team who dedicated an edition of their magazine to sustainability and more importantly - committed to improving the sustainability specification of its publication. 2012 has been a real step change for us as we look to embed accountability for our biggest issues.

…we focused more on our customers. For the first time we actively engaged our customers in some of our big sustainability and responsibility issues - such as Child Protection - where we used our staff to kick off a big conversation around keeping kids safe online. 'Having the Talk' has been one of our most popular company intranet stories and resulted in the launch of a new customer website Protecting Children Matters.

… we saw the numbers stack up. Our logistics team are working on making our supply chain both cost-effective and sustainable. Recent recycling improvements are generating a net benefit to our business of around £36,000 this year. And it previously cost us around £5,000 to dispose of our waste! We've also been collaborating with our suppliers, such as Netgear, where we've created a product for our non-cable customers that will allow them to directly install their router after receiving it in the post. Not only do we hope this will improve the customer experience, but we estimate an improvement of 57.5% more units per pallet.

…we had more fun than last year. We're on a mission to make sustainability part of how we do business and that also means having fun along the way too. My personal highlight has to be the V Festival, where we worked with our internal team, sustainability and events agencies to establish a benchmark for creating a more sustainable event. Not forgetting our National Charity Day where we had a lot of fun raising over £60,000 in one day!

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and 2013.

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