Future PLC announced in December its plans to go carbon-neutral in the next five years. It’s not the only media company that has ambitious corporate sustainability goals.
Some corporate plans are more fleshed out than others. Condé Nast, for example, has three phases to its five-year strategy, senior policy advisor at Condé Nast Alice Pilia told Digiday in September. Other companies like The New York Times and Gannett are currently in the process of determining their plans.
Below is a running list of media companies’ sustainability pledges and initiatives. One thing to note: Some companies use the term “net zero” while others opt for “carbon neutral.” These are similar concepts; the goal is to balance out a company’s greenhouse or carbon emissions by reducing an equal amount of emissions.
BBC wants to be net zero by 2030. Part of the process means transitioning to green energy with a focus on energy reduction, efficiency and electrification/hydrogen. Targets were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, an independent, global organization that assesses corporate plans to reduce emissions. By 2030, BBC wants to reduce its emissions in its direct operations by 46%.
Bloomberg Media is a division of Bloomberg L.P., which has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2025. It wants to transition to 100% renewable energy by that year, according to its 2020 Impact Report. 50% of Bloomberg’s energy currently comes from renewable sources.
The publisher wants to be carbon neutral by 2030. As of September 2021, its offices in London, Germany, Italy and Spain have transitioned to 100% renewable energy. Pilia, who oversees sustainability efforts across the company, said the cost difference in moving to renewable energy was “negligible.”
The Economist has set a goal to cut carbon emissions by at least 25% by 2025, a plan approved by the Science Based Target initiative. The nonprofit works with over 2,000 businesses around the world to develop and verify a business plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Gannett will share more information around the company’s sustainability goals in 2022, according to a spokesperson.
Hearst Tower, Hearst’s headquarters in New York City, is a “green” commercial building with a Platinum LEED Rating, a points-based certification system created by the U.S. Green Building Council for construction projects. There are four LEED certification levels, with Platinum being the best, and the levels are based on categories like energy and water efficiency, ventilation, location, materials and resources. Icefall, a three-story waterfall in the building’s atrium and lobby, circulates recycled rainwater collected from the roof, saving 1.7 million gallons of water annually that serves to cool and humidify the space and saves power.
The New York Times
The New York Times Company is reviewing its environmental impact and sustainability-related initiatives. No timeline has been set yet for when that review will be complete, a Times spokesperson said.
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