BBC hits 20% energy reduction target following relocation

The BBC has cut thousands of tonnes of CO2 and reduced its energy consumption by 20%, according to the broadcaster's Corporate Responsibility (CR) report released today (21 July).

The closure of Television Centre in west London and the relocation of staff to MediaCityUK in Salford and New Broadcasting House in central London have helped the BBC reduce office-related CO2 emissions by more than 21,000 tonnes in 2013/14.

The BBC has seen a 20% energy consumption reduction, meeting its 2015/16 target early, and an absolute reduction in CO2 emissions of 19% compared with the 2007 baseline. Consumption per staff member fell by 11% due to concentrating staff into fewer buildings.

Better design

The report explains the BBC’s plan to bring about further energy efficiency savings at its larger sites, deploying an energy monitoring system such as the one currently employed in Salford, which identifies anomalies in consumption. Property refurbishments are also being carried out, such as at the BBC site in Plymouth, which is introducing Solar PV panels.

The relocation also led to a significant fall in water consumption of more than 25%. The new buildings have been designed with water-saving measures such as low-flow taps and toilets.

Recycling rates fell slightly, from 65% to 64%, putting the broadcaster within reach of its 2015/16 target of a 70% increase in recycling rates compared with 2007/08. Overall, the BBC had reduced waste to landfill by 85% per full-time employee since the baseline year.

One area of concern highlighted in the report was the rise in absolute travel emissions. While building emissions fell by 21,000 tCO2e in 2013/14, business travel emissions rose in absolute terms by more than 3,500 tCO2e – an 11% increase on the 2007/08 baseline. The report puts this down to the growth of the broadcaster as a global organisation and stated it would be promoting video conference to try and tackle non-essential travel.

The report also details how the BBC is trying to make its production work more sustainable. Many of its productions monitor their work using a carbon calculator, such as Autumnwatch, which cut its carbon footprint by using low-emission vehicles.

BBC’s head of outreach and CR Diane Reid said: “Serving our audiences well is at the heart of everything we do, which includes careful consideration of the social and environmental impacts of the way we work – Next year, we aim to embed environmental sustainability even deeper into our business.”

REPORT: BBC CR performance review 2014

Matt Field

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