BBC to outline net-zero target for 2030

The BBC's director-general Tim Davie has outlined ambitions to staff for the broadcaster to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, with further details expected later in the year.

The BBC is expected to flesh out the net-zero commitments over the coming months

The BBC is expected to flesh out the net-zero commitments over the coming months

Davie announced the intention to set a net-zero target for 2030 in a webcast to staff as part of a new year speech.

“For many reasons, we have not set a net-zero target before and I think we needed to,” Davie said. “So this is now a commitment and we’re going to go after it.”

The BBC was a leader in its sector in both driving action and awareness in combatting climate change and resource scarcity, receiving widespread praise for its role in creating the “Blue Planet” effect in spurring a change of attitudes towards single-use plastics.

However, broadcast rivals such as Sky and BT have both stepped up with ambitious net-zero commitments in recent years. BT has set a net-zero target for 2045, with Sky targeting a 2030 deadline.

In 2018, the BBC set out a new sustainability plan, which included commitments to achieve zero waste to landfill and source 100% renewable energy.

The Greener Broadcasting strategy set commitments to reduce carbon emissions in line with a science-based reduction target, improve recycling rates and help audiences better understand contributions to environmental stewardship.

Targets were set for 2022 to reduce emissions by 24%, energy usage and waste by 10% each and to reach a 75% recycling rate. The BBC aims to reach a zero-waste-to-landfill status in this timeframe and will also purchase 100% renewable electricity for all major sites.

No information has been provided as to whether these will act as intermediate targets for the net-zero 2030 ambition.

Awareness opportunity

More recently, the World Green Building Council (World GBC) announced a partnership with the BBC’s creative studio StoryWorks to deliver a landmark film series. The aim of the series is to showcase ways in which built environment businesses are innovating approaches to design and construction in order to lessen the sector’s impact on the planet, while improving the health and wellbeing for citizens across the globe.

As for the BBC, the media giant is hoping that the series expands the understanding of the impact that the built environment has in transitioning the economy to a resilient and low-carbon future.

The aim, the organisation says, is to bring innovative projects from across the globe to a global audience through mini-documentary style films that form part of an integrated digital campaign orchestrated by BBC Global News.

The broadcaster is also part of a new media consortium aiming to minimise the environmental impact of sports coverage, while raising awareness of the climate crisis to a massive audience.

The BAFTA Sports Consortium builds upon the BAFTA’s Albert initiative, which provides businesses and individuals across the broadcasting sector with resources to help them not only minimise the environmental impacts of their operations, but change the narrative around sustainability issues. The sporting consortium features Sky Sports, BBC, ITV, BT Sport, Sunset & Vine, IMG, Premier League Productions, AELTC, Formula 1, Aurora Media and Channel 4.

Matt Mace



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