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January 12, 2021 |

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Sky expands environmental pledges with ‘preference’ for carbon neutral partners

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Gangs Of London

NBCUniversal-owned Sky has unveiled a series of expanded environmental commitments for its TV productions in the UK, which include a preference for working with producers “aligned” with its own net zero carbon ambitions.

The pay-TV operator’s new ‘sustainable production principles’ will apply to all UK originals, such as Gangs Of London, and builds on existing commitments that have seen all of its own shows receiving the CarbonNeutral classification since 2019. This involves reducing environmental impact and off-setting carbon.

Working with Albert

Sky said the new principles would ensure all its future productions, including original drama and comedy, would achieve the Albert Sustainable Production certification.

Earlier this week, Albert launched a new global version of its production carbon calculator and its certification toolkit, which allows companies to measure their carbon impact and offers advice to reduce it. The organisation, which first launched the calculator a decade ago, added that Fremantle – which supported the global version of the calculator – will roll the service out to its international offices later this year.

Sky, meanwhile, said its new ‘principles’ would see it “work with heads of production to provide guidance, find solutions and mitigate carbon emissions during production wherever possible – resulting in a ‘Green Memo’ for everyone in the production to follow.”

It added: “We prefer to work with producers and businesses who are aligned with our net zero carbon ambitions. That includes producers using third-party suppliers who are committed to net zero carbon.”

Jeremy Darroch

Planet Test

Sky will also now calculate and review its carbon use from the development stage and throughout production, while a ‘Planet Test’ will also be introduced. This will apply to each new original commission and production in the UK, ensuring its teams and third parties “check if our productions raise awareness of the issues and show positive action.”

Sky added: “While there is an expectation that all productions will produce responsibly, The Planet Test does not mean that every Sky Original must carry editorial activity to support the Sky Zero campaign. Rather, it’s a simple test to see if it easily could through things like incidental behaviour on screen.”

The company added that its soon-to-launch Sky Studios Elstree building, which is set to open in 2022, would also aim to be the world’s most sustainable film and TV production studio.

The new commitments were made as Sky confirmed it would be a ‘Principal Partner and Media Partner’ for the COP26 international climate change summit taking place in Glasgow, Scotland this November.

Jeremy Darroch, outgoing executive chairman at Sky, said: “At Sky, we believe that our voice and reach can play a vital role in empowering our customers, partners and industry peers to build a better world, because it’s the actions of business, the government and individuals, that will define our generation.

“I hope Sky’s new Planet Test and Sustainable Production Principles will spur others to make the transition to net zero with us.”

COP26 president Alok Sharma added that the Sky Zero campaign “shows how ambitious they are to take meaningful action for the future of our planet and I look forward to working together in the run up to COP26.”

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