Posted on 22nd July 2019

Jo Finon: Contracts Manager, Sky Sports

I joined the Operations team in Sky Sports in 2012, moving into its growing Contracts team in 2017 where I focus on managing third party and outside broadcasts (OB) facility contracts.

In 2017 Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign launched, which highlighted the amount of single use plastic (SUP) in our oceans and encouraged us all to make changes to remove SUP from our lives. We chose to focus on the World Matchplay Darts in Blackpool as Sky Sports first SUP free OB event in support of this campaign. We removed all unnecessary plastic, including cutlery, sachets, bowls, cups and polystyrene from our production.

After the success of this event we rolled out this SUP policy across all our sports OB’s, ensuring that the alternative solutions proposed by our facility companies and caterers are sustainable. The figures demonstrated the impact our initiative was having – by the end of 2018 our efforts had avoided the use of 120,000 SUP bottles of water at our OB events.

The success of these changes strengthened my passion for making Sky Sports a more sustainable broadcaster and we next focused on 2018/19 football season which saw more fantastic changes and has had a ripple effect throughout the industry. At Sky we now look at all our events holistically, ensuring that we are a responsible broadcaster, employer and client.

Additionally, all the Heads of Sports at Sky were trained on the ‘albert Carbon Literacy’ course in November 2018. This engagement has helped start conversations around re-evaluating the way we work; including remote productions where the amount of onsite crew can be reduced. More recently I was able to move most of Sky Sports generators to GTL (Gas to Liquid) fuel, which reduces the amount of pollutants which our onsite generators expel.

We have implemented some significant changes within our tender process for OB facilities and third-party suppliers by introducing sustainability criteria. In November 2018, for the first time, suppliers were asked to answer questions on how sustainable they are as a business; environmentally and regarding their workforce. As a result, suppliers are now scored not only on their commercial and technological proposal, but also on their responsible business strategies and initiatives. This helps us ensure that we choose the right companies to work with and who we can work in partnership with to implement further changes.

My passion for sports, and for making this industry sustainable, highlights the importance of sharing our experiences at Sky Sports so that we can work together to accelerate positive changes. For example, I met Sarita Neto, Production Executive at Premier League Productions, at the BASIS (British Association for Sustainable Sport) conference in February 2018, where I was able to share with her and other broadcasters the changes Sky Sports had implemented. We now have regular meetings with the Premier League and other broadcasters to discuss our development plans and further opportunities.

I am always happy to talk to broadcasters and share more about Sky Sports experiences because talking to each other really does help us all make a difference.