Page 4: External stakeholders
BT's main external stakeholders are the government and industry regulators, suppliers and partners, its customers and the community.
Government and industry regulators
BT must comply with rules and regulations set by the governments and industry regulators in the countries in which it operates. These stakeholders directly affect BT in several ways. They issue BT with licences to operate in the telecommunications sector. Without these licences, BT would have no business.
Governments and regulators also set various technical and legal requirements. For example, BT must comply with the European Union's RoHS directive, which restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
Ofcom is the regulatory body that creates standards and rules for the UK telecommunications industry. Ofcom oversees the industry to ensure that there is vigorous competition between telecoms companies. It seeks to ensure that companies like BT set fair prices for its customers.
A focus on customers is at the heart of everything BT does. To attract and keep its customers, BT seeks to offer the products and services demanded by businesses and consumers. This requires continuous investment in new services. For example, BT is investing £2.5 billion on creating wider Super Fast Broadband access across the UK. It has also introduced the BT Family Protection service, which enables parents to supervise their children’s access to content on the internet.
Through its research and development work, BT is able to offer more environmentally efficient solutions to its customers. These allow BT customers to reduce their impact on the environment. For example, the latest wireless broadband BT Home Hub router uses almost 40% less energy and contains 25% less plastic than earlier versions.
BT has a global supply chain. It requires suppliers that can deliver the materials, components, products and services that will enable BT to achieve a technical and competitive advantage. Cost and quality are important considerations. However, BT also maintains an environmental focus to its relationships with suppliers. For example, when the company purchases components and products at low cost from the Far East, managers check that the low cost is balanced against environmental and other impacts. There is a partnership approach.
BT works closely with its suppliers to ensure the best use of energy and other resources across its supply chain. It recently introduced a Climate Change Standard for its suppliers. This requires suppliers to address the challenge of climate change. They must commit to targets for reducing the carbon emissions generated by their activities.
BT is one of six official sustainability partners for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sustainability involves considering the long-term impact of business and social activity. The organisers of London 2012 want the event to have a lasting impact. This means creating sports arenas that will be used long after the games are over. It means contributing to the regeneration of East London, providing jobs and leisure opportunities.
BT's role as a partner in the London 2012 Olympic Games is a business opportunity. However, it will also allow BT to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability. This is a key part of the way that it does business. As a business opportunity, BT's communications networks will help to make London 2012 the most successful and visually-rich games of all time. BT's Network will transmit every image and sports report and support every visit to the London 2012 website. This will generate a huge potential customer base for BT's services and enhance the reputation of the company.
Commitment to sustainability
The Olympics will allow BT to show its commitment to long-term sustainability in several ways:
- The integrated communications network will enable all the technologies used during London 2012 to be shared securely. This will avoid the need for duplicated procedures and systems. The project will demonstrate good practice in environmental monitoring.
- A groundbreaking new approach is being used to calculate the carbon footprint of BT's services for the London 2012 Games. This has identified ways of reducing emissions which is bringing benefits for London 2012 and for Olympic Games in the future as well as for other customers who are able to start to benefit from this now.
- The networks deployed for London 2012 will be reused after the event. The copper and fibre cables will become part of the BT national network after the Games. This network will be available for use by around 2,800 new homes to be built on the Olympic site after the event.
All companies can have an impact on the communities in which they operate. This is why the wider community is an important stakeholder. These impacts can be positive. For example, businesses provide jobs, which have an impact on local economies.
There can also be negative impacts, such as pollution and other environmental disturbance. All businesses must be sensitive to community concerns. Negative publicity can damage a company's reputation.
BT demonstrates its social responsibility through its environmental initiatives. It is also playing a role in community building. One way it is doing this is by helping to make broadband internet access more widely available. 9.2 million adults in the UK have never used the internet. BT hopes to address this via its 'Get IT Together' campaign to help people get online. By improving its networks, BT can make a contribution to tackling social exclusion.
As part of its involvement in London 2012, BT is also supporting various national community projects. BT's Big Voice campaign provides young people with the opportunity to create films. These films should be on the theme of multicultural Britain, focusing on diversity and inclusion. They will be shown on Live Sites during the Olympic Games.
BT's Coaching for Life scheme involves supporting parents, grandparents and carers that want to help young children get more involved in sports and games.
BT is also involved in the Communication Triathlon based around London 2012-inspired activities. This scheme will encourage primary school children to become better at expressing themselves through improved speaking and listening skills.