This year Sky celebrates ten years of being carbon neutral, having become the world’s first CarbonNeutral® media company in 2006. Since then, Sky has offset close to one and half million tonnes of CO2e. Sky chooses to offset because tackling climate change is an integral part of how the business operates - reducing its own impact on the environment and inspiring others to take action.
To be carbon neutral, you must measure your own carbon footprint and then work to reduce your emissions. Some of the ways Sky has reduced its emissions include developing more sustainable products and investing in low carbon efficiency projects. Sky is proud to own Europe’s most sustainable broadcasting facility with its own on-site combined cooling and heating plant and wind turbine. However, there will always be some emissions that Sky cannot avoid and so the business has chosen to offset the carbon emissions that remain. The end result is zero CO2e emissions for the business, demonstrating Sky’s commitment to leading action on reducing climate change.
Through its offset programme Sky is able to make a social and environmental contribution outside its own direct business footprint. For every tonne of gross CO2e emissions that Sky emits (Scope 1, 2 and selected Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions), it’s reducing a tonne of CO2e somewhere else in the world, through renewable energy and forest conservation projects. Sky works with Natural Capital Partners (formerly The CarbonNeutral Company) to purchase carbon credits that have been verified to the Verified Carbon Standard. This is a recognised international standard for voluntary greenhouse gas offsets, guaranteeing the quality of what Sky buys and ensuring the programme is making a difference.
Through its carbon offset programme, Sky has supported 31 projects in seven countries, and these projects have enabled the generation of 874,584 MWh of renewable energy – enough to boil 18 million kettles. With Sky’s support, these carbon offset projects have also protected or restored forested land the size of 25,000 football pitches, and many have helped stimulate economic and social development by benefiting biodiversity, along with increasing access to clean drinking water, and improving school and hospital facilities for local communities.
Offsetting is not a ‘cure’ for climate change, rather it should be a complementary action to internal emission reduction efforts. If done in the right way, offsetting can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and deliver a range of sustainable development benefits to households, communities and ecosystems. Through the offset programme Sky is able to have a positive impact on an important global issue.