UK broadcasters have announced new climate action commitments with an eye on COP26 in Glasgow this fall.
For commercial broadcaster ITV, those measures include ensuring all ITV produced and commissioned programs from this year onward go through sustainable certification, using ITV’s reach to support behavioral change in viewers, including delivery of climate action targets into senior leader bonus payments, linking delivery of ITV’s emission reduction targets to future debt financings, ensuring all ITV employees complete climate crisis training by the end of this year and reaching a completely sustainable supply chain by 2030.
The news comes after ITV announced climate action targets in August 2020, including a commitment to become Net Zero and using 100% renewable energy. ITV has also committed to interim targets of 75% of waste reused and recycled by 2025, and eliminating single-use plastics by the same year.
As part of ITV’s goal of a 100% sustainable supply chain, all of its suppliers with the highest environmental risk must meet ITV’s best practice sustainability criteria by 2025, or they will no longer be used by the network. By 2030, ITV plans to work with all other suppliers to reduce their environmental impact.
ITV will highlight environmental issues in its programming in the lead-up to COP26 this fall, including in factual commissions and current affairs programming. A behavior change campaign will also use ITV’s most popular titles to encourage forms of climate action from viewers. Also, ITV has said it will commit to only featuring electric or hybrid cars from spring 2022 onward.
“This new raft of measures shows how, at each touchpoint, ITV is working on how we can contribute to building a sustainable society, from how we incentivize senior leadership and set the terms of our debt financing, to the cars we give away in competitions,” said ITV plc CEO Carolyn McCall in a statement.
Meanwhile, BBC Bitesize, one of the public broadcaster’s educational support resources, is launching The Regenerators, an initiative to inspire 5-to-16-year-old children across the UK to live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle. The program is supported by broadcasters Konnie Huq, Cel Spellman and Dr. Amir Khan.
The campaign will support primary school teachers to deliver lessons on the environment and sustainability, with online resources such as videos, quizzes, activities and advice. The campaign is also collaborating with professional partners working in science and the environment to bring their expertise directly to young people.
On World Science Day, Nov. 10, TV presenter Naomi WIlkinson will offer a live lesson on climate change aimed at KS2 students that will broadcast live on CBBC and on the BBC Teeach website. Starting in January, The Regenerators will offer other lessons in partnership with the Natural History Unit.
“We know our young audiences want to know more about the environment, the challenges we all face, the practical steps we can take and how they can empower themselves to make their voices heard,” said Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC Children’s and Education.
“The Regenerators is an essential part of our long-term commitment to educate, inspire and celebrate the difference young people are making to create a more sustainable future.”