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BT: Reporting a better future and a bigger vision.

Independent corporate responsibility (CR) verification for BT’s annual reviews since 1998.

ICT & Telecoms

+44 121 817 4000

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Client challenge

BT is a British multinational telecommunications company, headquartered in London and with global operations. Our client is the UK’s largest provider of fixed-line, broadband and mobile services, as well as providing subscription television and IT services. BT serves consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and the public sector, including supplying wholesale products and services to communications providers in the UK and worldwide. Internationally, BT provides managed networked IT services to multinational corporations, domestic businesses and national and local government organisations.

Operating to best practice is fundamental to the business, with BT achieving compliance to ISO (9001, 14001, 27001 and 20000), BS 2599 (business continuity) and tScheme (IT governance) standards. A firm belief in corporate responsibility is also integral, thinking beyond profit to wider community purposes and recognising operational impact on the environment and society across value chains. This conviction sees our client investing 1% of its pre-tax profits, around £25 million a year, in CR initiatives – supporting BT’s  Better Future vision.

BT is well placed to demonstrate its sustainability practices, having reported on its non-financial data for over two decades. The multinational asked us to help by independently assuring its annual, non-financial reports. Our work would support BT’s strategy to be a ‘responsible and sustainable business leader’. BT wanted the rigour of our assurance process to add credibility to its activities and provide extra stakeholder confidence, from customers to investors, government, regulators and wider society.

How we helped

Our role as an external quality assurer has evolved significantly over 20 years. In this time, we have continually built on our in-depth understanding of BT’s management systems and CR ambitions.


  • In 1998, we first verified BT’s annual report against the criteria of the voluntary reporting standard, AA1000 (AS). As a technical authority, we had helped develop AS, which meant more than simply issuing a report. It was also a commentary on how well an organisation had embedded corporate sustainability issues in the overall framework of their business.
  • Having certified BT’s environmental management systems to ISO 14001 in 2000, we could help BT show how it was working towards a world-leading corporate responsibility vision.
  • Since 2000 BT has benefited from further efficiencies, such as our ISO 14001 lead assessor and lead verifier working in tandem to share relevant information.
  • In 2005, we launched a business assurance approach for greater focus and alignment between BT’s management systems and its corporate objectives, helping to focus on what really matters and drive performance and growth.

LRQA simply has so much depth of experience in working with BT people, processes and systems and, having spent time with the assurance team, I have confidence in the rigour of their approach. Using the same organisation for our management system certification and assurance work has given specific benefits … From a commercial point of view, LRQA also came out very strongly in the last benchmarking tender.”

Business benefits

Independent corporate responsibility verification of BT’s annual, non-financial reporting has made sound business sense for BT. The main advantages include:

  • added stakeholder confidence in how BT is creating a sustainable, fairer future by reviewing its value chains and enforcing new policies and practices
  • enhanced stakeholder engagement at every level, internally with employees and externally with customers, suppliers and wider society
  • easy access to verified data in a central place for tenders and ratings requests
  • a single source of facts and figures for colleagues to use business-wide, avoiding potentially damaging, contradictory information being released in the marketplace.