Sky hits key sustainability goals three years early

Reductions in water, emissions and food waste are notable achievements in Sky's latest CSR report, which reveals that the TV broadcaster has hit half of its environmental targets three years early.

The Sky Bigger Picture report shows a 30% fall in emissions per employee from a 2008/09 baseline. Other successes in the past year include achieving zero-waste-to-landfill and recycling all food waste from Sky sites. For the second year in a row, water consumption levels have been kept below 8 metre squared per full time employee, while recycling rates jumped up 5% to 78%.  

Elsewhere in the report, Sky confirmed it is just 3% shy of reaching a 2020 target to reduce emissions relative to revenue. Sky is exactly halfway to hitting its goal to boost fleet fuel efficiency, the report claims.

“All of this is built from our desire to make a difference,” Sky group chief executive Jeremy Darroch said. “It’s good for our customers, our people, and for our business. That’s why we’re guided by clear values, and a clear point of view, leading to meaningful initiatives that make a positive impact for today and the next generation.”

There are some points of concern, however. Last year, Sky saw its energy efficiency fall by 4% across all buildings against a 2008/09 baseline. A fire caused by a system fault to a combined cooling heat and power (CCHP) unit is cited as the main reason for delaying progress towards Sky’s 20% energy efficiency target.

Despite investing in other onsite technologies alongside the CCHP unit, such as solar PV cells and wind turbines, the amount of energy obtained from owned or controlled renewable energy at Sky-owned sites in fact decreased slightly over the past 12 months. Only 6% of energy sources came from renewables last year, putting Sky some way off its 20% target for 2020.

Ocean Rescue

Sky also gave an update on its Ocean Rescue scheme, noting that more than five million people have actively engaged with the campaign since its January 2017 launch.

The firm used its Sky News outlet to place a particular focus on important ocean plastic waste reports published by the likes of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and has been offering tips and advice for consumers to alleviate the issue through dedictaed Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Earlier this month, Sky announced that all single-use plastics will be removed from its products, operations and supply chain by 2020 and will also invest £25m into an Ocean Rescue Innovation Fund to develop remedies to the amount of waste seeping into oceans.

Sky has since taken the Ocean Rescue campaign into the world of cricket. The broadcaster formed a partnership with the Kia Oval stadium to hand out around 20,000 refillable water bottles to fans during England’s match against South Africa in July.

George Ogleby

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