Sky CSR report: Energy focus successful, water consumption on the up

BSkyB has slashed its relative CO2 emissions and is well on-track to hit its 2020 recycling targets, but water usage has crept up despite the company acknowledging it is an 'increasingly precious commodity'.

The home entertainment and communications company has reduced its emissions relative to revenue by 40% compared with a 2008/9 baseline, thanks to ‘continued investment in improving the efficiency of buildings, and investing in onsite renewable energy, despite growing significantly as a business’.

A new Building Management System (BMS) at the firm’s Scottish sites has allowed for better control and monitoring and led to reduced gas and electrical usage, while two biomass boilers installed this year have further decreased the gas usage at these sites by 70%.

Meanwhile, a commitment to renewable energy has also helped limit emissions, with 7% of energy requirements met by renewable sources last year, such as the 753m2 of solar panels fitted on a building at the Osterley headquarters.

However, there was a 2% increase in absolute emissions since last year thanks to ‘new leased, small sites in our portfolio, which we have no direct control over and the need for increasing capacity at our data centres as our business grows’.

Travel emissions also rose by 2% due to the growing business, but Sky says it plans to run more internet conference-calls in the future. Earlier this week, Skype was named as one of the greenest apps, thanks to its ability to provide this function.


Sky sent 5% of main office waste to landfill last year a 2% reduction from 2012 and a 31% drop from a 2008 baseline. The firm also achieved a recycling rate of 64%, just shy of its 65% target by 2020.

These advances were driven by various supply chain improvements, which included working with catering supplier Bunzl to find greener packaging alternatives.


The company’s sustainable success seemingly does not extend to water use, as absolute consumption increased by 6.4% over the past year.

The CSR document explained that the uptick was tied to the company’s growth, and that the new Sky campus would have low flush toilets, low flow taps and rainwater collections systems.

This year, Sky has provided a GRI Index for its reporting, using the GRI G4 framework for the first time. The firm hopes this will make it easier for stakeholders to understand its performance in relation to other companies inside and outside of the telecoms industry.

In September, telecoms rival Virgin Media reported that its total carbon emissions had risen by 2.6% since 2007, leaving the firm a long way from reaching its 2015 goal of a 15% reduction.

Brad Allen

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