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. 

*The link included on the page directs you to a website not controlled by Macquarie Asset Management (MAM). MAM is not responsible for the content of the website you are about to visit. This link is provided solely for information purposes and inclusion should not be construed as endorsement or adoption of any subsequent presentation, information, or materials, unless expressly noted otherwise. Investment strategies mentioned may not be suitable for all clients.


These recordings are intended for financial professionals and institutional investors only. This is not intended for use with the general public.


The views expressed in this podcast represent those of the speaker and are subject to change. Nothing presented should be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security or follow any investment technique or strategy, and does not constitute advice, an advertisement, an invitation, a confirmation, an offer or a solicitation to engage in any investment activity, or an offer of any banking or financial service.


This information is a general description of Macquarie Asset Management only. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of it having regard to your particular objectives, financial situation and needs and seek advice. Some products and/or services mentioned on this website may not be suitable for you and may not be available in all jurisdictions.


Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. All examples herein are for illustrative purposes only and there can be no assurance that any particular investment objective will be realized or any investment strategy seeking to achieve such objective will be successful. Past performance is not a reliable indication of future performance.


No representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, opinions and conclusions presented. In preparing this recording, reliance has been placed, without independent verification, on the accuracy and completeness of all information available from external sources. 


Macquarie Asset Management (MAM) is the asset management division of Macquarie Group. MAM is a full-service asset manager offering a diverse range of products across public and private markets including fixed income, equities, multi-asset solutions, private credit, infrastructure, renewables, natural assets, real estate, and asset finance. The Public Investments business is a part of MAM and includes the following investment advisers: Macquarie Investment Management Business Trust (MIMBT), Macquarie Funds Management Hong Kong Limited, Macquarie Investment Management Austria Kapitalanlage AG, Macquarie Investment Management Global Limited, Macquarie Investment Management Europe Limited, and Macquarie Investment Management Europe S.A.


Other than Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 (“Macquarie Bank”), any Macquarie Group entity noted in this document is not an authorised deposit-taking institution for the purposes of the Banking Act 1959 (Commonwealth of Australia). The obligations of these other Macquarie Group entities do not represent deposits or other liabilities of Macquarie Bank. Macquarie Bank does not guarantee or otherwise provide assurance in respect of the obligations of these other Macquarie Group entities. In addition, if this document relates to an investment, (a) the investor is subject to investment risk including possible delays in repayment and loss of income and principal invested and (b) none of Macquarie Bank or any other Macquarie Group entity guarantees any particular rate of return on or the performance of the investment, nor do they guarantee repayment of capital in respect of the investment.




© 2023 Macquarie Group Limited