Hold the front page: The Guardian targets net-zero by 2030

The publisher has not yet outlined how it will get to net-zero. Image: GMG

In a statement today (16 October), Guardian Media Group said it is currently developing a detailed plan for meeting net-zero in a “meaningful” and “permanent” manner.

Its first step will be to conduct a full audit of its emissions, which will be used to identify carbon “hotspots” and to determine how “net-zero” should be defined for the company.

Guardian Media Group claims it is the first UK-based media firm of its size to set such an early net-zero deadline.

The new emissions target is being bolstered by a new environmental pledge to readers, which includes a commitment to “be transparent on progress”. In order to facilitate this transparency, Guardian Media Group has achieved certification as a B-Corp, and must therefore regularly report, in depth, on the ways in which it is going beyond incremental environmental and social improvements to drive positive change.

“We have a deep responsibility to our readers to live up to the values they expect of us and to have a positive impact on the world across our whole organisation,” Guardian News & Media’s chief customer officer Anna Beston said.

“Businesses around the world are increasingly realising that aiming for a positive impact is an essential part of any long-term strategy.”

Also detailed in the Group’s pledge to readers are a commitment toreport on how environmental collapse is already affecting people around the world, including during natural disasters and extreme weather events”, and another to “use language that recognises the severity of the crisis we’re in”.

In a first for a national UK newspaper, The Guardian this May refreshed its style guide in order to urge writers to stop using the term “climate change” and to swap it for “global heating”, “climate crisis” or “climate emergency”.

Since then, dozens of cultural institutions, PR firms and broadcasters have followed suit. The Columbia Journalism Review has also launched its ‘Covering Climate Now’ campaign, which has seen more than 60 news publications jointly pledging to “do justice to the defining story of our time” by “breaking the climate science”.

“We have always led the way in environmental reporting, whether it’s covering air pollution or wildlife extinction, threats to the oceans or the human and social costs that rising temperatures bring,” The Guardian’s editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said.

“But now more than ever, we believe the Guardian’s specialist team of reporters, editors and writers has a vital role to play in working with our readers to understand the unfolding climate crisis and all its ramifications.”

Sarah George

Comments (3)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    Let us hope that this augers a move to recognise the value of nuclear power as the sole non-carbon based source of energy which is able to supply electricity, up to its design limit, on demand, at any time; abilities for ever out of the reach of any renewable source.

    Richard Phillips

  2. Tim Beesley says:

    Richard, what on earth has your comment got to do with this article? In what way will The Guardian’s CSR policy influence government energy policy? Aside from which 70 yrs of investment in nuclear technology has given us a source of power accounting for 16% of output (gov’t figures 1st Qtr 2019) Vs 35.8% for renewables. Hardly the basis for hope, given the financial price to consumers (latest 40/Mw hr vs 80-odd/Me Hr nuclear) And that’s without going into the cost of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima etc. There will be technical solutions found to intermittency and other supply issues for renewables. I’m not aware of a successful solution for the mountain of radioactive waste that nuclear power produces. Are you? Or fall out from melt down of an atomic pile?

  3. Richard Phillips says:

    Hello Tim. Yes, I am aware of the solution to the "problem" of radioactive waste, it was with us well over 40 years ago, it lies in vitrification, sealing into stainless vessels, and then into geological disposal. The scientists and engineers involved understand it well, the problem lies with political go ahead. The political body responsible CoRWM, have kicked it down the road five times over decades, it scares them stiff, simple non-comprehension.
    That 16% nuclear was at one time 26%, but HMG simply will not invest, has not done so for over 30 years, so our old reactors go valiantly on for well over their design life. With no replacement when they close down. Wind turbines deteriorate after about 12 years or so, design life 25 years.
    I admire your totally unfounded optimism over a "technical" to intermittency, what will be doing the generation? Have you looked at the cost of storage of any sort, it becomes comparable with our GDP. And don’t forget the problem of over generation from wind turbines in very high winds. Absolutely no control over the weather.
    High proportions of renewables, over about 30% for wind will pose serious problems of instability.
    In the winter of 62/63 the whole of the UK was snow covered and temperatures never rose above 0oC for over five weeks. Coal to the power stations was heavily loaded with ice-problems. Our then new nuclear stations prevented blackouts, working at 98.5% of their design capacity for all that time. The lights and heating kept on. I was living in a prefab, with a wife and baby, on top of the Berkshire Downs at the time, well recollected. There is absolutely no prospect of renewables performing in such a fashion. I must not go on so!!!!!!

    Richard Phillips

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