Sky Sports News certified as carbon neutral

After a hectic football Transfer Deadline Day, Sky Sports News has announced that it has been recognised as a carbon-neutral production.

Sky Sports News certified as carbon neutral

Image: Sky

Sky Sports News was recognised as a carbon-neutral production by BAFTA’s albert certification scheme and initiative. Albert 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.

Tools offered through albert include a carbon calculator and a digital platform which identifies high-carbon “hotspots”; a specialist education course; and advice on developing narratives around topics such as renewable energy, the circular economy and low-carbon transport.

Following on from its Transfer Deadline Day broadcast, which has received albert certification since October 2020, the entire channel has now been certified. Additionally, Sky Sports UK Host Broadcasts, Sky Original productions and Sky News have also earned albert’s carbon-neutral certification.

Sky Sports’ managing director Jonathan Licht said: “We’re delighted that Sky Sports News is now a carbon neutral channel and has received certification from albert. The dedicated team has worked tirelessly to improve the sustainability of our productions, reduce the environmental impact, and support Sky’s overall target of being net-zero carbon by 2030.

“We hope our progress will inspire positive change in the industry and that collectively we can use the power of sport to encourage sports fans to reduce their own carbon footprint.”

According to the broadcaster, Sky Sports News reached the certification requirements by using 100% renewables in the studio and galleries, improving energy efficiency and reducing employee travel, while offsetting the remaining emissions.

Sky’s the limit

Sky was a principal media partner at COP26 and set out new commitments concerning the environmental impact of its TV productions that will build towards the broadcaster’s ambition of becoming net-zero carbon by 2030.

Part of the net-zero target will focus on Sky’s building and facilities and its transport fleet. Sky is exploring how to add renewables to some buildings, both from procurement contracts and onsite installations. New studios, like Sky Studios Elstree, will also help deliver net-zero TV and film emissions due to the sustainability features added to those buildings. Since 2019, all Sky Originals in the UK have been certified as carbon neutral.

In 2020, the broadcaster joined the BAFTA Sports Consortium – a group set up to reduce the impact that sports broadcasting has on the environment. A few months later, Sky Sports confirmed that all Premier League and English Football League matches broadcast across its sports channels will be certified to sustainable production levels.

In September last year, Sky teamed up with Tottenham Hotspur to host the “world’s first” net-zero carbon elite-level football match.

Carbon emissions from the televised match were reduced as much as possible, with the remainder offset through natural projects. The club and Sky Sports are both signatories of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and are founding partners of ‘Count Us In’ – a global movement aimed at mobilising one billion people in the fight against climate change.

More broadly, the BBC, Sky News and ITV News were named among the first members of a new initiative designed to help the UK’s news broadcasting sector minimise its environmental impact and engage viewers on topics like climate change.

Convened by BAFTA’s albert arm, the new ‘News Consortium’ will support broadcast and production teams across the sector to measure and minimise their organisations’ emissions, waste and water footprints. 

UEFA net-zero

Last week, the governing body of European football, UEFA, signed up to the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework and committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

UEFA committed to net-zero through the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, which also commits the body to halving emissions by 2030.

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing society today and we have unfortunately witnessed how flooding and unseasonable weather patterns have lately devastated infrastructure across the world,” UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said.

“The transition to a thriving, green economy is imperative and UEFA must be part of the solution. Football can play an important role in implementing new standards in this respect and raising awareness across the globe. We commit to Race to Zero as part of our 2030 ambition to reduce European football’s carbon footprint.”

The new pledge follows the launch of the UEFA Sustainability Strategy 2030 last month. However, there are still some notable discrepancies with the strategy and UEFA’s own licensing and partnerships. Last year, it signed a new sponsorship deal with Russian state gas company Gazprom, while the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has faced mounting criticism over various human rights issues.

FIFA and the State of Qatar have jointly launched a sustainability strategy for the 2022 World Cup, headlined by a commitment to deliver carbon-neutrality across the event’s operations.

Matt Mace

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