- Tech scale-ups collaborate with BT to develop new services aimed at helping public sector customers transition to Net Zero
- First scale-ups announced by BT as part of its Green Tech Innovation Platform in partnership with Plug and Play
- BT holds 'Towards Net Zero' event to showcase new Green Tech
BT recently announced that it has selected tech scale-ups, iOpt and Everimpact, to develop new joint products and services aimed at helping its public sector customers drive a green recovery by transitioning to Net Zero. Working with Plug and Play, the world’s leading innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley, BT has selected the scale-ups via its Green Tech Innovation Platform, announced last year.
BT will help iOpt, an Internet of Things company based in Glasgow, and Everimpact, a company specialising in climate monitoring based in Paris, to accelerate their growth by offering their products to local councils across the UK who are looking to adopt environmental monitoring and smart building solutions.
The successful scale-ups – the first in a series of green innovation partnerships which will be fostered by BT – were unveiled at the company’s 'Towards Net Zero' virtual showcase. The event brought together leaders across business and local government to explore collaboration opportunities to achieve a green post-Covid19 recovery.
As part of the transition to a low carbon business model, BT recently announced that its network, offices and shops worldwide were now powered by 100% renewable electricity, underpinning its commitment to become a net zero carbon emissions business by 2045. BT’s commitment to reducing its carbon intensity will help the UK Government meet its target of net zero emissions by 2050 and is calling on other companies to adopt similar measures and commitments to help the country ‘build back better’ following the disruption of the global pandemic.
Dean Terry, MD Corporate and Public Sector at BT, said: “As the world looks to recover from the current health and economic crisis caused by Covid-19, we have an opportunity to accelerate the transition to a greener society, working in partnership with Government, business and society as they look at how they need to adapt and change their business models in the evolving digital world.
“We also appreciate that BT cannot do this alone, with our track record in helping to incubate innovative start-ups/scale ups, such as iOpt and Everimpact, we look forward to bringing the best of our innovative ecosystem to support local councils on their journey towards Net Zero.”
iOpt will be using its Internet of Things (IoT) platform to enable smart buildings, with a focus on improving the quality of social housing for local councils. iOpt’s award winning IoT platform provides real-time information and alerts on the condition of properties. Installed sensors will enable key information such as damp, mould, and fuel poverty to be collated and tracked in their IoT platform. BT will provide the network connectivity and manage the installation of the IoT sensors, while supporting iOpt in growing their customer base.
By empowering local councils to take action to address such issues, iOpt’s solution can assist councils with social regeneration and deliver improved health and well-being outcomes for tenants. iOpt’s preventative approach allows for energy efficiency improvements, meaning less risk of fuel poverty for tenants. Further benefits for councils include lower preventative maintenance costs and cutting down unnecessary travel to fix issues, reducing carbon emissions. The solution supports the wider ambition of a number of local councils that a Covid-19 recovery should be climate-focused, with 38 regional leaders across the country pledging to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
Dane Ralston, Managing Director at iOpt, said: “At iOpt we are delighted to be working alongside BT on their Green Technology Innovation Platform. We always look to work with value add partners and BT is clearly one of the leaders in connectivity infrastructure which is critical to delivering the potential value we envisage in smart cities and local authorities.
“Since our introduction, through Plug and Play, it’s clear we have many shared values and despite the obvious size difference in the two organisations there are many synergies and benefits to both parties.”
BT has also selected Everimpact to develop environmental monitoring for its smart streets proposition. Air quality and CO2 sensors will be integrated into BT’s street furniture estate, such as BT’s next generation Street Hub units, payphone kiosks or CCTV sites, to provide actionable environmental insights for local councils. The solution will combine Everimpact’s satellite data and AI technology with air quality and CO2 data collated via sensors on BT’s street furniture. The local council will be able to access the data via a ‘Smart City Dashboard’ where they will be able to track emissions, and receive certified carbon offsetting information, enabling local councils to generate funds for their decarbonisation efforts.
“We are excited to be working with BT to equip their street furniture with our innovative technology to monitor and reduce carbon emissions" said Mathieu Carlier, CEO of Everimpact. "This will help local authorities monitor their carbon footprint in real-time, identify the best opportunities to cut emissions, and access new funding for the necessary investments. At scale, the UK could become the first nation to continuously monitor carbon emissions over its entire territory. This would boost its goal of net zero by 2050."
Over the next few months, the scale-ups will be collaborating with BT to run proof of concepts with local councils and other organisations. BT’s ambition is to further expand this approach to green innovation by working with more start-up/scale ups and across more customers and business segments, for example BT is already exploring opportunities for collaboration within health sector.
BT’s Green Tech Innovation Platform aligns with BT’s wider commitment to support tech start-ups and small businesses. Last year, BT launched its Small Business Support Scheme, an unprecedented package of new measures to help small businesses and start-ups thrive during and beyond the pandemic. The scheme includes a start-up bursary offer, with six months free fibre broadband and mobile bundles for at least 1,000 start-ups. BT is also working alongside start-ups on a number of leading projects, such as Project XCcelerate the UKRI backed drones project will help enable greener ways of flying through new advances in autonomous flight technology.
BT is also an active member of the SME Climate Hub which aims to motivate SMEs to halve their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050.