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Our products and services offer people the very best in digital entertainment.

 

But cutting edge technology is just the half of it - we want our products to be accessible to all and have a track record that everyone can be proud of. This means working with our suppliers to improve the social and environmental impacts of our supply chain. And we’re committed to designing products that use less energy and are more easily reused and recycled.

How we did

Product carbon emissions

 


Deliver a 10% reduction in carbon emissions per Personal Video Recorder (PVR), such as TiVo® and per non-PVR unit.

 

We reduced carbon emissions per PVR unit by 3.9% and per non-PVR unit by 2.8%.

Product education

 


In line with future launches of our broadband customer premise equipment we will ensure that every customer receives communication and guidance on power management.

 

We didn’t launch any new broadband customer premise equipment in 2012.

Electrical waste

 


Recycle 2,200 tonnes of customer premise equipment (e.g. set top boxes and mobile phone handsets) – a 16% increase on 2011.

 

In 2012 we recycled 2080 tonnes of household WEEE - a 9% increase on 2011 figures and 95% of the 2200 tonnes we had set as a target for 2012.

Code of conduct

 


Ensure all group procurement suppliers sign up to our supplier code of conduct; focus on ensuring our remaining suppliers sign up to the code.

 

At the end of 2012 99.6% of group procurement suppliers were signed up to our supplier code of conduct.

The outstanding 0.4% exists because there are always new suppliers in the process of being set-up on our system.

Suppliers

 


Carry out 100% of action plan meetings with the core suppliers we have identified.

These are in-depth conversations with 10 suppliers identified when we mapped the hotspots in our supply chain, to help us better manage the risks and opportunities within our supplier base.

 

Action plan meetings were held with 9 out of 10 suppliers in 2012. We were unable to schedule a meeting with one supplier, so this meeting will be completed in 2013.


 

Behind our targets

Accessibility

We want everyone to be able to enjoy our range of products and services, so we’re working hard to make sure that as far as possible, our products and services can be enjoyed by our customers whatever their need may be. This commitment spans our product offering – TV, broadband, home phone and mobile.

When it comes to accessibility and provisions for customers living with special needs, impairments and disabilities although we meet our obligations, we know we can go even further to meet our commitment. That’s why throughout 2012 and beyond, we’ve put accessibility at the top of our agenda at our quarterly Corporate Responsibility Committee meetings, which are chaired by our CEO. We will share an update on our plans for 2013 soon.

Take a look at our latest accessibility statement.

Product carbon emissions

The energy used by Virgin Media technology in our customers’ homes is our biggest source of scope 3 carbon emissions. That’s why we set targets to improve the energy efficiency of our products. In 2012, we missed our target of reducing the carbon emissions from our set top box units by 10% but we did achieve a reduction in carbon emissions of 3.9% for personal video recorder (PVR) units such as TiVo® and 2.8% for non-PVR units.

We missed our target because when we introduced new TiVo® units, we gave customers the option to keep their older set top boxes. While this enabled customers to access our services from multiple rooms in their homes, it also meant that more of our older, less efficient PVR units were operating across our network, which limited our ability to reduce the average carbon emissions per set top box. We know we can do more, so in 2013 we have set ourselves a target to reduce the power consumption per TiVo® unit by 30%.

We will also integrate sustainability requirements into the product design specifications of all our set top box and broadband equipment. By working closely with our suppliers, we can reduce the power consumption while increasing the percentage of recycled materials of our set top box and super hub units.

Electrical waste

We don’t stop thinking about the environmental impacts of our set top boxes, modems and routers once they’re in our customers’ homes – we want our digital products to have a low waste impact across their entire life cycle. In 2012, we updated how and where we communicate our WEEE policies and processes with our customers.

Reuse and recylcing of customer premise equipment (CPE)

We fell short on our target to recycle 2,200 tonnes of customer premise equipment in 2012, although we still achieved a significant increase of 177 tonnes of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment), compared to 2011. One of the main reasons for this shortfall is because we’ve focused on repairing and reusing set top boxes and super hubs that are returned to us by our customers wherever possible. This means less customer equipment ends up being recycled.

In 2013 we'll continue to focus on recovering old customer premise equipment to ensure that it’s handled responsibly. This takes place through postal, manned or collect-plus routes as well as small-scale collections of WEEE from our corporate sites.

Supplier code of conduct

We’ve got loads of suppliers all over the world who help us create and deliver our products and services. This means managing lots of risks and opportunities, so it’s important that we have good visibility of what’s going on right across our supply chain. By working in partnership with our suppliers we can address these sustainability impacts, while ensuring they understand the standards we expect from them and the principles of how we do business.

In 2010 we developed a supplier code of conduct that outlines the minimum standards and principles that we expect suppliers to achieve. The code is the starting point for a more in depth conversation with our suppliers about sustainability issues.

At the start of 2012, 98% of Procurement suppliers were signed up to the code of conduct. During 2012, we worked with the remaining suppliers to ensure compliance with our code - either by getting them to agree to sign up to our code or by reviewing their own policies and confirming that we were comfortable that our principles were included. By the end of the year, 99.6% of Procurement suppliers had signed our code. The outstanding 0.4% exists because there are always new suppliers in the process of being set-up on our system.

In 2013 our priorities will be to achieve compliance with our code with 100% of our suppliers across all four areas of expenditure - procurement, interconnect, content and mobile and carry out a detailed review of our current code of conduct including labour, environmental and health and safety standards.