BT Group made moves to seek out green technology companies and establish fleets of electric vehicles in the UK, to contribute to efforts to tackle climate change.

In a statement, the operator said the Green Tech Innovation Platform scheme aimed to uncover the latest technologies from UK-based scale-ups (the next step up from a start-up) which could be used to boost the operator’s efforts to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2045.

As part of the programme, BT will explore possibilities to develop smart street features including environmental monitoring and traffic optimisation, along with IoT-capable technology for managing buildings energy and water supplies. Another goal is exploring how 5G can be used to reduce travel, for example by using video, AR or VR for remote repair and diagnostic functions.

BT is collaborating with innovation platform Plug and Play Tech Centre on the scheme and aims to select technology companies in the second half of the year.

The operator also partnered with non-profit The Climate Group to establish the UK Electric Fleets Alliance, a body which will push for an acceleration in a shift to electric vehicles for corporate fleets.

BT’s first step in this regard will be to electrify its own fleet of nearly 34,000 vehicles, it stated.

CEO Philip Jansen (pictured) noted “the global climate emergency” was still present despite “the temporary reprieve on carbon emissions and air quality in towns and cities” during lockdown measures imposed to confine the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

“As we emerge from the crisis, the recovery presents a huge opportunity for governments, businesses and individuals to put action on climate at the heart of their efforts”, he emphasised.