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ITV commits to net-zero emissions by 2030

ITV has built on a recent science-based targets announcement by committing to reaching net-zero emissions across the business by 2030.

ITV reaches more than 40 million viewers in the UK every week

ITV reaches more than 40 million viewers in the UK every week

ITV has confirmed that it will work with employees, suppliers and its programme makers to reach net-zero emissions by 2030 across its Scope 1 and 2 emissions, business travel and produced and commissioned programmes.

ITV’s chief financial officer Chris Kennedy said: “I am proud of the efforts of the business so far, and committing to net-zero by 2030 is one of the positive changes we will make to improve the environmental impact of not just ITV, but of the industry as a whole.”

In August, ITV confirmed that it will aim to reduce scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 46.2% by 2030 and scope 3 emissions by 28% by 2030, both against a 2019 baseline. The targets will be approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

ITV will also join the RE100 later this year, as part of a commitment to power the business with 100% renewable energy by 2025. ITV’s owned buildings in the UK are already powered completely by renewables, accounting for 55.4% of its global electricity consumption.

In 2018, the organisation became a carbon neutral business, having reduced emissions by more than 52% over a five-year period and offsetting all direct emissions from business operations, travel and energy use.

As part of the net-zero commitment, ITV will require all programmes it produces and commissions to meet Albert certification. BAFTA’s Albert initiative provides businesses and individuals across the broadcasting sector with resources to help them not only minimise the environmental impacts of their operations, but change the narrative around sustainability issues. The Albert Creative Offsets programme will be utilised to invest in certified tree planting projects.

ITV’s senior manager of Social Purpose Julia Giannini recently appeared on edie’s SustyTalk video series to discuss the new targets and how they were formed during lockdown. Watch the interview here.

Christiana Figueres, founder Global Optimism, and former UNFCCC executive secretary commented: “We have delayed climate action way too long.  Now we all have to continually over-deliver; increasing climate ambition at every opportunity.

“Non-state actors have a critical role to play in reducing emissions, shifting culture and creating new normals. This net-zero by 2030 pledge from ITV is timely, exciting and will surely create necessary change in the entire broadcasting arena.”

Matt Mace

News

InfoSaaS and Axora partner to transform the processes and costs of ISO management system certifications for oil, gas and mining sectors

Cloud-based solution enable remote audits for far-flung, difficult-to-reach or even quarantined sites London – 15th September 2020 – InfoSaaS and Axora have concluded a partnership agreement intended to transform the processes and costs of achieving and retaining information security, data protection and business compliance ISO management system certifications for companies operating in the oil, gas and mining sectors. Companies in these sectors are subject to the same compliance requirements as other organisations, but the very… Source: RealWire

News

Net Zero

Former Cabinet minister Justine Greening is calling on UK businesses to back a net zero target, insisting corporate action to cut emissions will boost jobs and help the planet. Ms Greening, who served as Secretary of State for Education under Theresa May, and held the International Development and Transport briefs under David Cameron, launched the One Planet Pledge last week. Speaking to i, she said the Pledge is an opportunity for businesses to make a “public commitment” to get to net zero emissions. To join, companies must promise to reach net zero emissions by a specific date. The initiative already counts Barratt Developments, Direct Line, and National Grid among its signatories.

iNews 14th Sept 2020 read more »

News

Scottish Water

Scottish Water has detailed its plans to ramp up its reliance on renewable energy in its net zero roadmap. The company – one of the country’s largest electricity users – has already completed a number of solar installs, including its most recent project, the 297kW system installed at The Finmont Service Reservoir. Having unveiled its intentions to reach net zero by 2040 at the same time it announced the completion of this system, the utility has now committed itself to operating all of its assets, including 239 water treatment works and 1,827 waste water treatment works, using renewable power only. Alongside this, Scottish Water is to reduce the carbon intensity of its £700 million a year investment by 75%, as well as pledging a similar reduction in its supply chain. This will be done by adopting a zero-emissions design and using low carbon construction materials.

Solar Power Portal 14th Sept 2020 read more »

News

Google offsets lifetime carbon emissions

Google has “eliminated” its entire carbon legacy, offsetting all operational emissions generated before it achieved carbon neutrality in 2007.

Google's parent firm Alphabet recently launched a multi-billion-dollar round of sustainability bonds

Google’s parent firm Alphabet recently launched a multi-billion-dollar round of sustainability bonds

In a blog post published today (14 September), Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai states that the milestone has been achieved through investments in “high-quality carbon offsets”. Google’s most recent Environmental Report states that the tech giant has backed more than 40 offsetting projects to date, all of which created additionality.

While some companies rely on nature conservation and restoration schemes for offsetting, or purchase credits which facilitate the shift to renewable electricity, Google prioritises projects which work to capture gases from landfills, animal waste and food waste, turning them into clean energy, the report explains.

Pichai’s blog states that Google is the “first major company” to offset its entire lifetime emissions.

The trend towards offsetting for lifetime carbon neutrality or carbon negativity has gained momentum in recent months, however. Microsoft is striving to reduce its emissions by more than 50% across its entire business and supply chain by 2030 while investing to remove more carbon than it emits annually. It will capture one million metric tonnes of carbon from the environment by 1 October as a first step. Elsewhere, Velux has pledged to offset 100% of its carbon emissions in the future and to capture the equivalent of its historical carbon footprint using nature-based climate solutions by 2041.

Clean energy commitment

To pair with its offsetting announcement, Google has set a new 2030 goal to operate all of its data centres and campuses on 100% carbon-free energy. The company has been matching its annual energy consumption with renewable energy purchases since 2017 but claims that shifting to direct sourcing will be “far more challenging” and a “sustainability moonshot.”.

Pichai outlined plans for a multifaceted approach to meeting the target. Google will invest in co-locating battery storage, wind and solar and apply artificial intelligence (AI) to help develop flexible energy approaches as a starting point.

“Not long ago, it was hard to imagine a 24/7 carbon-free electricity supply—at a simple level, the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t shine at night,” his blog states. “But thanks to trends in technology, and with the right government policies, the promise of 24/7 clean energy will soon be within reach… we think our work can accelerate the availability of clean energy in communities worldwide and help to solve challenges that have held back its ability to become an around-the-clock source of energy.”

According to the International Energy Agency, about 1% of the electricity produced annually is used in data centres. With streaming and cloud-based technologies set to play an increasingly prominent role in society and the economy in the coming decades, this proportion is only set to increase.

The announcements from Google come shortly after its parent firm, Alphabet,  issued $5.75bn (£4.4bn) in sustainability bonds, in what it claims is the largest sustainability or green bond issued by a corporation to date. Funds raised through the bonds will back projects relating to energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, clean transport, circular economy and design, affordable housing, racial equality, and support for small businesses in the wake of Covid-19.

Google had been facing mounting pressure to increase its ambitions and actions in many of these fields, particularly from its own staff.

Sarah George

News

The AA’s EV service and OXO’s planetary sales donation: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

This weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

This weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Published every week, this series charts how businesses and sustainability professionals are working to achieve their ‘Mission Possible’ across the campaign’s five key pillars – energy, resources, infrastructure, mobility and business leadership.

Despite the economic shockwaves being felt globally as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, projects and initiatives which empower businesses to play their part in achieving a sustainable future, today, are continuing to launch and scale-up. 

ENERGY: Ricoh switches to 100% renewables at Telford site

Earlier this year, Japanese electronics firm Ricoh had a new target to reduce emissions by 63% by 2030 approved by Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) as aligned to the 1.5C ambition of the Paris Agreement.

Ricoh will prioritise the use of renewables to help decarbonise its operations and push towards the science-based targets. It was the first Japanese company to join the RE100 – the global initiative steered by the Climate Group to encourage companies to commit to sourcing 100% renewable energy.  The company has this week signed a contract with Danish energy provider Ørsted to power Ricoh’s Telford site with 100% renewable electricity.

Ricoh UK Products’ managing director Colin Weaver said: “We have embarked on a journey of reducing our carbon footprint in every possible way. Having a sustainable energy provider is a key part of our efforts, but it is by no means the only thing we are doing as a business to be environmentally responsible.”

RESOURCES: Tesco to trial recycled food-grade packaging

It’s been a big week for packaging announcements, with the 80+ companies joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s HolyGrail project to improve post-consumer waste recyclability one of the major news stories we’ve published at edie. Another big development has been Tesco’s confirmation that it will use recycled content in its soft food-grade packaging.

Retailers use soft plastics for food packaging, including, meat and cheese and pre-prepared salads. According to the 2019 UK Household Plastic Collection Survey, the UK uses almost 400,000 tonnes of soft plastics every year, but less than 21,000 tonnes of that is collected.  In response, Tesco has worked with Plastic Energy, SABIC, Sealed Air and Bradburys Cheese to trial food-grade packaging made from recycled soft plastics.  Cheese in packaging from this trial will be on sale in Tesco stores this week. The packaging will contain a minimum of 30% recycled material from this new recycling process.

Tesco’s head of packaging James Bull said, “We are removing all excessive and non-recyclable packaging from our business and will ensure everything that remains can be recycled as a part of a closed-loop. This exciting new partnership has the potential to show that every piece of plastic we use can be recycled. If we can roll out this approach at scale throughout our industry it could be of enormous benefit to our planet.”  

MOBILITY: AA launches dedicated EV service

Demand for all forms of electric vehicles (EVs) whether battery, plug-in or hybrid has grown this year, despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus. Data from the SMMT found that EVs accounted for 25% of the new car market share in July.

To help with this transition, roadside support specialists, the AA has launched a new EV support service. The service will support drivers if they need help at the charge point, handling calls about both the electric car and electric charging infrastructure. The AA will support drivers who are accessing the UK’s first electric forecourt, which opens in November.

AA’s EV new business development  manager Dean Hedger said: “We have a deep and continued commitment to ensuring the availability of both the expertise and technology to meet the needs of fleets and drivers throughout their vehicle lifecycle. With more EVs on UK roads, it is important that we deliver a service that ensures excellent driver experience, for new users and EVangelists alike.”

BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Washington University sees multiple buildings awarded highest green standard

Green building certification is becoming a norm both in Europe and the US, but it is very rare that an organisation can celebrate five certifications to the highest standards for sustainability in the built environment. However, Washington University in St. Louis has this week had five buildings on its Danforth Campus reach US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification.

Sumers Welcome Center, Weil Hall, Schnuck Pavilion and Jubel Hall all achieved the certification as part of a £360m transformation project. Additionally, the renovation of January Hall, originally built in 1922, also achieved LEED Platinum certification. The buildings are designed to be 30% more efficient than standard buildings and feature heat recovery technology, onsite renewables and living green walls and roofs.

“This new distinction from USGBC is a testament to the university’s action on its core value of sustainability, which threads throughout all facets of our campus,” Chancellor Andrew D. Martin said. “This includes designing and renovating buildings to reduce carbon emissions, conserve natural resources and support the health of the people who work, teach and learn inside them.”

 

BUSINESS LEADERSHIP: OXO to donate 1% of sales to environmental non-profits

Consumer products brand OXO has this week forged a new partnership with 1% For the Planet, which will see the company donate 1% of annual sales to non-profits that are focused on addressing key environmental issues, including creating more sustainable food practices.

Currently, 1% for the Planet member brands are represented across 60 countries and have raised more than $265m to support environmental non-profits. Thousands of non-profit partners have based on referrals, track records and environmental focus to tackle issues such as air and water pollution, environmental degradation while also striving to empower societies and communities.

Helen of Troy Housewares’ president Larry Witt said: “At this time in history, we acknowledge the fragile state of our planet, and the impact individuals and companies have on the earth. We’re striving to be better environmental stewards, and this initiative is a big step in our journey of reflection and action to become more environmentally responsible.”

Matt Mace

News

Climate Assembly

When the UK’s first national citizens’ assembly on climate change was announced in 2019, no one could have imagined that its results would be revealed as the country was reeling from a health crisis and a huge shock to the economic system. But much like the neighbourly support our communities have seen during the past six months, Climate Assembly UK has shown that, when a determined group of people come together to deal with something much bigger than them, amazing things can happen. The theme of collaboration and co-operation runs throughout the citizens’ assembly process and Climate Assembly UK saw 108 members from all walks of life come together over five months to provide detailed recommendations on how the UK should cut carbon right across the economy to mitigate climate change. Together, the group was a microcosm of the UK population, not just in terms of age, gender and ethnicity, but also educational level, where in the UK they live, whether they live in an urban or a rural area, and varying levels of concern about climate change. In his first speech to MPs after the 2019 general election, Boris Johnson pledged that he would deliver a “people’s parliament”, whatever the PM intended by that phrase, the Climate Assembly UK has put people at the heart of policy and they have spoken: they want action on climate change now. The government already has the goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Today’s report reveals that people in the UK recognise that this cornerstone climate policy offers a roadmap to a more secure, healthier future for them and their families, and that there is a strong public mandate to pursue it boldly. And let’s hope Downing Street is paying close attention to what they have said because the challenges of Brexit and Covid-19 economic recovery means the UK is crying out right now for truly transformative, popular ideas that will make the UK a prosperous nation in future.

Green Alliance 10th Sept 2020 read more »

News

Citizens’ Assembly

The first UK-wide citizens’ assembly on climate change, Climate Assembly UK, has issued a list of recommendations as to how travel, diets, power generation and building use can be revamped to help society transition to net-emissions by 2050.

Edie 10th Sept 2020 read more »

MPs have promised to monitor how quickly the government implements recommendations of the UK’s citizens’ assembly on climate change. The findings of the assembly, published this morning, included support for wind and solar power, investment in low carbon buses and trains, bans on gas boilers and polluting cars and taxes on long-distant and frequent fliers.

Drill or Drop 10th Sept 2020 read more »

Citizens’ assembly backs EVs and low-carbon heat, but unsure on nuclear and CCS. A ban on the sale of internal combustion engine cars and gas boilers should be brought forward to as soon as 2030, the pioneering citizens assembly set up to help chart the UK’s route to net-zero emissions has recommended. The first report from the 110-strong Climate Assembly UK also expressed strong support for on and offshore wind generation and solar but was considerably cooler on nuclear and fossil fuels with CCS.

Utility Week 10th Sept 2020 read more »

Solar proved a winning technology for the UK’s first ever Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, with 81% supporting it. In a report released by the assembly today, it details 50 recommendations for the UK for meeting its net zero targets. These are the result of 100 members meeting six times over the first five months of the year. The Citizens’ Assembly is designed to be representative of the UK, with members from different demographics proportionate to the population itself. As such the support for solar is particular important, showing not just a willingness from the UK public to adopt solar, but an eagerness. In particular, the flexible nature of solar made it attractive to the group, which valued the fact it can be located in multiple different locations.

Solar Power Portal 10th Sept 2020 read more »

The core message of the Citizens’ Assembly is “get on with it”. Precisely the same message as from business groups, investors. MPs and campaign groups. It’s 12 years since the Climate Change Act, five years since the Paris Agreement and 12 months since the UK put net zero on a legal footing. The UK’s decarbonisation plan doesn’t even put the UK on a path to meet the old 80% target and the President of COP26 has failed to reassure MPs that the updated climate action plan would appear before the end of the year.

James Murray 10th Sept 2020 read more »

News

Flextricity

Parent company Alpiq Digital has divested Edinburgh-based Flexitricity as it exits the UK demand response market. Alpiq has signed a share sales agreement with Reserve Power Holdings, which in turn is owned by investment manager Quinbrook, for the sale of Flexitricity in a CHF 18 million (£15.2 million) transaction. Alpiq stated that this is a result of a review of its portfolio of subsidiaries and products, which it does on a regular basis, and cited its strategical and geographical focus, being a Swiss company focused on energy generation through hydropower and nuclear in its home country, and renewable energy plants and gas-fired combined-cycle power plants in Europe. As such, it has now exited the UK demand response management market. Flexitricity has reached several milestones as of late, including becoming the first virtual lead party (VLP) to trade in the UK’s Balancing Mechanism (BM) after it was opened up to allow independent aggregators to take part. It also operates a virtual power plant (VPP), which reached 500MW of capacity in June 2020. The company appointed a new CEO in December 2019 in a bid to “trailblaze a new age”.

Current 10th Sept 2020 read more »

News

Citizens’ Jury

A frequent flyer tax, phasing out polluting SUVs and banning cars from city centres are some of the climate change solutions members of the public have come up with. A citizens’ assembly – of 108 people from all walks of life – published its report after weeks of discussions. They suggested road-building limits and to use the pandemic to cut emissions. MPs said the report offered a “unique insight”, but activists Extinction Rebellion said it didn’t go far enough. The report says the government must show leadership on climate change and insists climate policies must be fair to all – especially the poorest in society. Its radical conclusions may offer political cover to ministers who’re typically nervous of a public backlash against policies that affect lifestyles.

BBC 9th Sept 2020 read more »

A key part of the UK government’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been opposed by the first citizens’ assembly on climate change. Ministers and their advisers have previously said the UK would continue to use natural gas for “many years to come” and that carbon capture and storage (CCS) would have an “essential role” in meeting the target of net zero emissions by 2050. But the UK Climate Assembly has voted strongly for a move away from fossil fuels and against the use of CCS. The assembly, commissioned by six parliamentary committees, published its recommendations this morning on how the UK could reach net zero. The 556-page final report, The Path to Net Zero, was the result of six weekends of assembly sessions, involving 108 members selected to represent the UK population in age, gender, ethnicity, home area and level of concern about climate change. Many of the 50 recommendations, covering issues such as travel, home heating, electricity generation, greenhouse gas removal, shopping and food production, were in line with advice from the government’s adviser, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). But the assembly’s votes on fossil fuel use and carbon capture went against the CCC’s latest recommendations and government policy.

Drill or Drop 10th Sept 2020 read more »

The first UK climate assembly made up of members of the public is calling for a tax on frequent flyers, a ban on selling SUVs and a cut in meat consumption as part of the Covid-19 economic recovery. The assembly was made up of 108 people from all walks of life, who took part in meetings to discuss reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A final report of the assembly said recovering from Covid-19 should be used as an opportunity to hit net zero carbon emissions and drive different lifestyles to tackle the climate crisis, including a frequent flyers tax and a reduction in meat and dairy consumption. A large majority, 79% of the assembly, strongly agreed, or agreed, that economic recovery after the pandemic must be designed to help drive the country to its 2050 net zero target, which was signed into law last year. These steps should include limits or conditions on investment in high carbon industries, and government encouragement for lifestyles to become more compatible with reaching net zero. The assembly, which met for 6,000 hours across six weekends over 2020, said strong and clear leadership was needed. Key recommendations in the report included: Frequent flyer tax for individuals who fly furthest and most often; Increased government investment in low carbon buses and trains; An early shift to electric vehicles; An urgent ban on selling heavily polluting vehicles such as SUVs; Grants for people to buy low-carbon cars; A reduction in the amount we use cars by 2–5% per decade; Making wind and solar energy a key part of how the UK reaches net zero; Greater reliance on local produce and local food production; A change in diet – driven by education – to reduce meat and dairy consumption by between 20% and 40%. In its final recommendations, the UK climate assembly said there were key themes for the country as it moved towards net zero. Education and information about climate change and the steps to tackle it was needed for individuals, businesses, government and others. And any measures taken to cut emissions needed to be applied fairly. “Fair to people with jobs in different sectors. Fair to people with different incomes, travel preferences and housing arrangements. Fair to people who live in different parts of the UK,” the assembly said.

Guardian 10th Sept 2020 read more »

Tax the most frequent flyers, ban new gas boilers and demand carbon labelling, UK Climate Assembly tells politicians.

iNews 10th Sept 2020 read more »

There was also very strong support for renewables – particularly offshore wind power – as well as for deposit return schemes to boost recycling, and projects to restore forests and peatland to help drive down emissions, all of which feature to some extent in the government’s existing policy plans. In other areas, however, support was somewhat lower, with Assembly members expressing doubts over the costs and benefits of nuclear and bioenergy, for example, as well as advocating for a conservative approach to some cutting edge clean technologies, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and direct air capture (DAC) systems.

Business Green 10th Sept 2020 read more »

The assembly’s final report, published today, recommends changes across a broad range of sectors, from meat-and-dairy consumption and air travel through to zero-carbon heating and electricity generation. Measures receiving high levels of support from the assembly include: a levy for frequent fliers; a ban on the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2030-35; and a switch to a more biodiversity-focused farming system. However, some measures for stronger climate action did not receive strong support. For example, the assembly did not recommend reaching net-zero emissions earlier than 2050. In this in-depth Q&A, Carbon Brief walks through the assembly’s recommendations for every sector of the UK’s economy.

Carbon Brief 10th Sept 2020 read more »

Climate Assembly UK’s report, ‘The Path to Net Zero’, shows how a representative sample of the population believe the UK should go carbon zero – it turns out people want renewables not nuclear.

Climate Assembly 10th Sept 2020 read more »

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