Environmental sustainability

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What are Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the different Scopes?

Our carbon footprint measures the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused both directly and indirectly by an organisation. We have completed an extensive investigation into where emissions are created in Colt and also across our value chain.

GHG emissions are categorised into a number of 'scopes' to help companies understand where the emissions originated and how they can be reduced.

These GHG emissions result from owned or controlled sources such as Colt’s company vehicles, gas consumption and diesel use for generators globally.

These GHG emissions come from purchased electricity, steam, heating, or cooling consumed by any Colt location around the world.

These GHG emissions come from the rest of the value chain and are made up mostly from supply chain emissions. This scope also includes business travel, employee commuting,  upstream and downstream leased assets, and waste disposal.

Ambitious Science Based Targets

Becoming the sustainable supplier of choice is a key pillar of our ESG strategy. As a large company with Global operations, we want to lead by example when working with our suppliers, partners, customers and communities to reduce our impact on the environment.

We have comprehensive, Near-Term and Long-Term Net Zero emissions targets approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Our Long-Term Net Zero target has been approved in accordance with the SBTi Net Zero Standard, the first of its kind.

You can take a look at our Carbon Reduction Plan here.

We are already in the decade which will define the global response to the ever-increasing threat of climate change. It is important to Colt that we set robust, long-term targets firmly rooted in science to enable us to help mitigate the risk this has to humanity and the planet. The Science-Based Targets Initiative is recognised globally as the best authority in this space.

The long-term nature of science-based targets ensures that we have a clear direction for our business as well as shifting our focus towards the development of innovative solutions and new opportunities to support the transition to a low carbon economy. We also want to build in resilience to our operations by moving beyond current regulation.

This is the future of business, and our customers can rest assured that by working with Colt, we will not have a negative impact on their carbon footprint as we work hard to drive down emissions across our entire value chain. We must all act together for the greater good of our planet.

Adopted in 2015, the Paris Agreement is the first-ever legally-binding climate change agreement.

It sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change:

  • Agree to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees
  • Aim to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees since this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change
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Our journey to net zero

In December 2022, Colt Group resubmitted an updated near-term science-based target to ensure our baseline is aligned to best practice and the most recent requirements set by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We also submitted our long-term and Net Zero targets, which were approved in 2023.

These targets are now set on a baseline that includes Well-To-Tank (WTT) emissions for relevant Scope 3 categories. We used this opportunity to update previously estimated data to actual data.

Net Zero Target

Colt Group commits to reach net-zero GHG emissions across the value chain by 2045.

Near-Term Target

Colt Group commits to reduce absolute scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions 47% by 2030 from a 2019 base year.

Colt Group commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 28% by 2030 from a 2019 base year.

Long-Term Target

Colt Group commits to reduce absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions 90% by 2045 from a 2019 base year.

How will we achieve our targets?

Solar Power Plant in modern city,Sustainable Renewable Energy.


Scope 2 renewable electricity or all site globally by 2030.
sustainable green building


of supply chain emissions targeted for alignment to Scope 1 & 2, 1.5C SBTi target by 2025
Recharging electric car by power cable.


pure elctric fleet by 2030, with an interim target of 38% by 2025.
Handsome man, on the way to work, riding bicycle beside the modern office building. The man is casually dressed and wears eyeglasses and carries black briefcase hung on shoulder. Blurred motion, copy space has been left.

 We have set an internal cost for carbon of 11 GBP per tCO2e, with a plan to offsetting some of our business travel emissions by investing in sustainable innovations such as Carbon Capture and Storage or internal decarbonisation projects.


What are we currently doing to achieve our targets?

The long-term strategy of Colt is to create a lean, more energy efficient and modular network whereby network optimisation is instilled as a continuous discipline. In 2021 and beyond, multiple initiatives were prioritised, which included reducing legacy networks (leaner networks), upgrading software and hardware (simpler networks), designing networks in sync with customers (demand driven architecture) and recovering and deploying equipment (greener networks).

All these will lead to better asset utilisation, cost saving, higher speed to market and greater sustainability through more efficient use. Introducing greener network technologies is done through smarter electronics and more intelligent architecture.

Energy efficiency through SDH end-of-life programmes

We are continuing our Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) end-of-life programme aimed at removing all the infrastructure connected to SDH transport technology. The overall SDH infrastructure will be removed from the Colt network, resulting in a reduction of power requirements that reduce the risk with being heavily dependent on energy. Smaller equipment can still satisfy customer requirements while reducing space and energy consumption.

Saying goodbye to legacy TDM networks in Europe

We have now completed our transition away from TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) networks in Europe, an important journey towards network modernization and enhanced sustainability. Our efforts will lead to a substantial annual reduction in energy consumption, with an anticipated saving of 13.2GWh. Read more.

Energy efficiency and emissions reduction are the backbone of our innovation strategy, ensuring we provide positive societal impact. We talk about our technologies making everything smarter: smart working, smart industry and smart society.  Smart working technology, including software-defined wide area networks (SD WAN) supports remote and flexible working - making sure employees remain connected and productive. We have implemented a multi-year transformation programme where we leverage Software Defined Networks (SDN), Network Function Virtualisation (NFV), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to virtualise connectivity. This makes the operation of the network more intelligent, bringing IT workloads to the cloud and closer to the user, resulting in a more efficient network. Smart industry and smart manufacturing also open routes for the optimisation of traditional manual processes.

Our progress against 2019 baseline

In 2022, our carbon footprint was 446,886 tonnes of tCO2e (market-based), a decrease of 30.1% in absolute emissions compared to our baseline year 2019. We have continued to drive decarbonisation across our operations and value chain through efforts like procuring renewable energy power, increasing energy efficiency, implementing new technologies and engaging with our suppliers.

With the progress we made in 2022, we are on track to achieve both of our near-term 2030 Science-Based Targets (SBT). Additionally, reviews of our annual calculation models have resulted in increased traceability and improved accuracy of our carbon footprint.

Colt Group GHG emissions in metric tonnes CO2e
2019 (base year) 2020 2021 2022 Variation against 2019 baseline
Gross direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2e 4,459 4,297 3,259 2,948 -34%
Gross indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2e (market-based) 32,146 26,552 10,260 10,499 -67%
Gross direct and indirect (Scope 1+2) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2e (market-based) 36,605 30,850 13,519 13,448 -63%
Gross Indirect (Scope 3) emissions in metric tons of CO2e 602,960 575,846 544,737 433,438 -28%
Total emissions in metric tons of CO2e (market-based) 639,565 606,696 558,256 446,886 -30%

Our Achievements

We report our sustainability activities to standards organisations such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and EcoVadis.

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

B Rating: Management Level disclosing on Climate Change

A Rating: Leadership Level for our engagement with supplier on Climate Change


Awarded a Platinum medal in 2023, placing Colt in the top 1% of all rated companies.

This year's ranking positions Colt in the 99th centile, with an overall score of 79 out of 100, an increase from 75 in 2022.