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Virgin Media Commits to Using 100% Renewable Electricity


The telecoms giant is the latest firm to sign up to the RE100 initiative.

Virgin Media confirmed that all of the electricity it used across its UK and Ireland operations in 2018 came from renewable sources.

By signing onto the RE100 initiative, Virgin Media joins 190 companies ranging from IKEA to Apple, along with telecoms companies BT, Sky, and Vodafone, to using only renewably generated electricity in the future.

The announcement came as part of Virgin’s latest Sustainability Report, released this week. The report also revealed that the ISP and cable TV provider has slashed its carbon footprint by 22% since 2014, as it use of renewable electricity has increased and overall energy consumption fallen 2% each year.

The reduction in energy use and emissions comes as consumer’s appetite for data has soared, to 190 GB per household on average, with the rise of streaming and on-demand TV services. To achieve their emission reductions, Virgin has had to cut the carbon footprint of each terabyte of data by 80%.

Virgin also reduced its consumption of single-use plastic by more than 60 tonnes and reduced paper from direct marketing by 70% since 2014.

Virgin is also helping consumers cut their energy use and carbon footprint. The Virgin TV V6 box, now used by 60% of its TV subscribers, uses less than half the power of previous TiVo boxes.

And the set-top box has already saved emissions before it even arrives at consumer’s homes: it uses 21% fewer materials like plastics, metals, and electronics by weight than previous models.

Jeanie York, chief information and technology officer, said Virgin was "delighted to be signing up to the RE100 initiative and playing our part in supporting the UK's goal to increase the availability of renewable electricity and to help drive down carbon emissions.”

"It's vital that businesses make long term commitments to reducing consumption and using renewable energy: we're actively using our business, brand and people to create a positive impact for our customers and the communities we serve,” she said.

Sam Kimmins, head of RE100 at The Climate Group, welcomed Virgin Media to the campaign. "This is a great example of a UK-based company stepping up to deliver the practical steps towards a net zero carbon economy," he said.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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