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It is no brainer that Media and Entertainment Industry reaches billions of people. It educates, informs, transforms societies, connects communities, and impacts every aspect of our life consciously and subconsciously. When it comes to achieving sustainable development goals worldwide, Media and Entertainment Industry is expected to play a crucial role.

In the series of six articles focusing on Impact Strategies, this last article looks at the Sky Group, a British media, and telecommunications conglomerate, and its SKY-ZERO program devised to align with UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement Goals.

Background

In 2018, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, launched the SDG Media Compact “to inspire media and entertainment companies around the world to leverage their resources and creative talent to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.”

  • More than 100 media broadcasters, publishers, streaming services, and content creators have joined the program to date.
  • In 2020, UN and MIPTV launched the MIP SDG Awards, and Sky Group became the first company to win this award.
  • In 2021, the award went to A+E Networks (Article coming up on June 22)

As a prominent UN’s SDG Media Compact member, Sky Group is working tirelessly on all fronts. Let’s dive into its mission and action plan.

#GoZero

In 2006, Sky became the first carbon-neutral media company. For the past 15 years, this company has been committed to reducing its impact on the environment. In February 2020, Sky announced its plans – to go net-zero carbon by 2030 across its entire value chain.

Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), an organization that helps private sector companies set the target to reduce carbon emissions, validated Sky’s ambitious emission targets.

This approved plan includes cutting emissions created from the use of its products, its suppliers across the world by 50% and by its business and investing in natural carbon sinks to absorb the emissions it has not cut yet to reach net-zero by 2030.

Sky’s strategic maneuver to achieve Zero Carbon is a three-way approach

  1. Transforming the Business
  2. Using their voice to drive change
  3. Mobilizing millions to #GoZero

A comprehensive plan is in place within each of the three pillars. Here are some highlights.

Transforming the business:

Sky’s long list of activities targeted at transforming the business includes developing the world’s most sustainable film and TV studio – Sky Studios Elstree. The studio is set to open in 2022.

It also plans to make every TV channel, show and film a net-zero carbon. In the UK and Ireland, Sky is raising awareness through the BAFTA albert Consortium. Sky uses BAFTA albert’s carbon calculator to measure carbon emissions. Since 2019, all Sky Originals in the UK have been CarbonNeutral®.

On the supply chain front, Sky engages its suppliers on responsible sourcing, including energy efficiency and renewables. It also plans to invest to meet the net-zero carbon goal by working with suppliers to map an ambitious but achievable program.

Its product portfolio offers a range of options with different energy consumption profiles, from Apps to TV sticks, broadband routers, Sky mobiles, and Sky boxes. Sky introduced Active-Standby and extended its standby mode hours to save energy. Its Sky Q boxes are 50% smaller than our previous Sky+HD box, showcasing material efficiency.

In the past ten years, Sky focused its attention on its energy, travel, waste and water. It reduced its carbon intensity by 55% and cut its business travel emissions by 39%. It sent 0% of waste from Sky-owned sites to landfill. It recycles 100% of food waste at its main offices and has reduced water consumption per person. It increased fuel efficiency across its fleet by 15%.

Using the voice to drive change:

Authentic Information, awareness, and inspiration are the powerful assets of a media group that makes it a voice of reason to lead the change. With this pillar, Sky is capitalizing on these assets.

Due to its vast reach and a history of inspiring change through high-impact news coverage, documentaries, and other programming shows, its environmental campaigns – Sky Rainforest Rescue and Sky Ocean Rescue – are creating awareness and helping raise funds.

Authority in dispersing valued information also allows Sky to advocate for more significant action from policymakers. To ensure action in this direction, it became Principal Partner and Media Partner for COP26 in January 2021. The summit will take place in Glasgow in Nov 2021.

As a Principal Partner, Sky will support delivering a successful and ambitious summit working alongside the UK Government who hold the COP26 Presidency.

Sky has a network of 11,000 suppliers and broader partnerships with Business in The Community, WWF, and the UK Future Industrial Resource Efficiency Strategy and UN Global Compact. It uses the voice of all these connections and partnerships to impact companies and consumers alike significantly.

Mobilizing millions to #GoZero:

Using its voice Sky has mobilized millions to contribute to the efforts directed at protecting nature and our climate.

In 2009, it launched the Sky Rainforest Rescue Campaign with WWF. Through its TV channels and shows, it raised awareness of the issue, giving 7.3 million people a greater understanding of deforestation and global warming. Through this reach and the generosity of the customers, the campaign raised over £9 million that was used to protect 1 billion trees in the Amazon rainforest and support local communities to make a sustainable living from the forest.

In 2017 came Sky Ocean Rescue, a campaign designed to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean and encourage millions of people to act. As per the numbers on the website, 47.8million people are aware of the campaign #PassonPlastic, and £25 million are already invested in innovations to end the devastating flow of plastic into the sea across the world through Sky Ocean Ventures.

As a part of its commitment to mobilize millions with the correct info, Sky also launched The Daily Climate Show in April 2021. It is the first daily news program dedicated to climate change and the environment.

Sky’s strategy, approach, achievements, and commitment show that media companies can lead the world to make meaningful changes for sustainable living and a healthy planet.

What Can Media Brands Learn from Sky Zero?

  1. Goals, commitment, and scientific support are essential while setting the targets.
  2. Each effort matters – from reducing the size of the hardware products to educating millions with accurate and straightforward information.
  3. The media’s voice is heard by the public and policymakers alike. With a thought through initiative, it can lobby for and spearhead any change.
  4. People are generous if they are led by the correct information and an effective leader. Media can fulfil both these changes.
  5. Plan and get started.

To learn more, you can check the following resources:

Author’s Note: This article allows a segue into our next series of 6 articles focusing on Content strategies of prominent global Media and Entertainment companies. We know Media and Entertainment guides and influences public opinion; it is time to see how they are strategically contributing to making the real difference for sustainable development.

This article was the last in a series of 6 articles by the author to focus on sustainability strategies and the impact of global brands. Check out the first five below:

1st story: Be human. Be well. Be planet. Lululemon’s Sustainability Strategy

2nd story: Sustainable Cocoa. Delicious Chocolates. Lindt & Sprüngli

3rd Story: SheEO: Impact of Radical Generosity! A New Model. A Better World.

4th Story: Sustainability & Impact Design. Grassroot by Anita Dongre

5th Story: HP Inc – A continued commitment to Sustainable Impact


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Shilpika
Author

Shilpika is a part of the colourful world of Content Creation and Brand Marketing. With 15 years of video content development and marketing experience in three continents of Asia, Europe and Canada, she currently plays a dual role in the Canadian Market: A Managing Partner with a film and video content production start-up Diaspora Creative Inc. and a Marketing Manager with a full-service Marketing Agency - Crew Marketing Partners.

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