Navigating to Net Zero – Episode 3

Down to the wires: Evolving telecoms to reach net zero targets


In an age of constant streaming and scrolling, it’s easy to forget that our internet-connected devices are backed by networks of fibre-optic cables and copper wires with equipment that runs around the clock and requires constant cooling. Finding a way to reduce the carbon emissions from those operations is paramount – and two telecommunications companies on two continents are making the clear connection to net zero. 

In the third episode of Navigating to Net Zero, host Rebecca Darst talks with Caroline Morris, KCOM’s Head of Wellbeing, Health, Safety, and Sustainability, and Louisa Harris-Baxter, Vocus's Head of ESG, about how the companies are balancing increased demand for their services with their decarbonisation goals.

Electricity and fuel costs have gone up dramatically in the last 12 months. So there is a really good business case for us to actually make that transition sooner rather than later.” 

- Caroline Morris, KCOM


Caroline Morris, Head of Wellbeing, Health, Safety, and Sustainability, KCOM

Caroline Morris joined KCOM in 2020 as Head of Wellbeing, Health, Safety, and Sustainability after years of working in manufacturing. Since joining KCOM, she has been identifying the carbon emissions associated with the company’s operations and developing strategies to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 92.5 per cent in the next seven years and achieve net zero by 2040.

About KCOM

KCOM is a leading provider of communications and information technology (IT) services in the UK. KCOM installed the first all-digital telephone network in Europe, launched the first commercial broadband service in the UK, and introduced the UK’s first commercial "fast internet" service in 1998, pre-empting today's streaming and downloading technology by decades. Today, KCOM serves more than 270,000 homes and businesses and has announced plans to expand its fibre network to more than 350,000 customers. Macquarie Asset Management acquired KCOM in 2019. Learn more about KCOM here.*

Decarbonising our network becomes a really key part of our stakeholder value proposition, our customer value proposition, and our employee proposition.”  

- Louisa Harris-Baxter, Vocus


Louisa Harris-Baxter, Head of ESG, Vocus

Louisa Harris-Baxter became Head of ESG for Vocus in 2021 after spending more than a decade embedding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles across the telecommunications, agriculture, and mining services sectors. She enjoys the challenge of delivering integrated programs that create shared value for stakeholders and businesses.

About Vocus

Vocus owns and operates a 25,000-kilometre, high-performance fibre network for business and government, along with high-capacity submarine cables connecting Australia and South-East Asia. Through its retail brands, the company delivers simple and affordable broadband, mobile, voice and energy services to Australian consumers and small businesses. A Macquarie Asset Management-led investor consortium acquired Vocus in 2021. Learn more about Vocus here.*



Episode content recorded October 2022.

Navigating to Net Zero podcast series

Hear unique insights from leaders on their businesses' decarbonisation challenges and the practical climate solutions they are implementing.