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

Guardian Media Group - the publishing house behind titles including The Guardian and The Observer - has pledged to become a net-zero business by 2030.

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

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



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