News International Ltd has announces that it will be the first major newspaper company in the UK to take its operations carbon neutral. This is an important first step in the company’s ongoing commitment to reduce its impact on climate change.
Over the past 18 months, News International has developed a wide-ranging energy programme that involves tracking its own greenhouse gas emissions annually, pursuing operational efficiencies and renewable sources of power, and engaging audiences, employees and business partners on the issues of energy use and the environment.
In February 2007, News International switched its electricity supply to green energy, 70% of which is now from renewable sources and 30% from Combined Heat and Power. The switch to a low-carbon energy source has had a significant impact on NI’s carbon emissions. Together with other energy reduction measures, such as better facilities management systems and energy-efficient information technology improvements, NI’s carbon footprint has been reduced by 21% year on year from 58,977 metric tons of CO2 equivalents in fiscal 2006 to 46,567 metric tons of CO2 equivalents in 2007.
News International’s energy reduction programme is part of parent company News Corporation’s Global Energy Initiative, a company-wide effort to play its part in solving the climate problem by transforming its operations’ use of energy, by engaging its millions of readers, viewers and web users on environmental issues and by involving its employees and business partners in the effort.
To reach carbon neutral – net zero carbon emissions – News Corporation has invested in renewable energy projects that reduced an amount of carbon from the atmosphere equivalent to News International’s unavoidable emissions. These carbon offsets come from a portfolio of wind energy projects in India. The carbon reductions were verified by an independent expert third party and the projects were certified under the Voluntary Carbon Standard, a standard developed by the Climate Group, the International Emissions Trading Association, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia, News Corporation said: “This is a major milestone for News International, but it is only a beginning. The key to any company’s environmental programme is to improve energy efficiency and we have a lot more to do in this area. But this is a good start and I am glad to say our suppliers are working hard to implement best energy practices as well. As a major media company we reach a wide audience both in the UK and worldwide. It is important that we get the message across to our readers, advertisers, business partners and staff that we are making good progress on an issue we, and they, care a great deal about.”
News International’s carbon footprint was measured by ICF International for fiscal 2006 and by Clear Carbon Consulting for fiscal 2007. The analysis was verified by independent expert third-party Environmental Resources Trust for fiscal 2006 and will go through the same verification for fiscal 2007.
In the measurement of its carbon footprint, News International included all Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions, as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. From Scope 3, News International included all business air travel.