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Sustainability in the media industry: 10 ways public broadcasters are reducing their environmental impact

27 October 2021
Sustainability in the media industry: 10 ways public broadcasters are reducing their environmental impact

Media organizations face unique sustainability challenges – for instance, did you know that even distributing and streaming video leaves a carbon footprint

But public service media are taking concrete steps to become greener. Take a look at these 10 ways our public broadcasting Members are becoming more sustainable:

1. Sustainable Productions

The UK’s ITV is aiming for all programmes they produce and commission to be albert certified by the end of the year. To receive albert certification, media organizations need to complete a Carbon Action Plan and offset all their emissions.

Irish public broadcaster TG4 also uses the albert Carbon Calculator on all of their productions. Producers are gaining better awareness of their carbon emissions and can take action to make productions more sustainable by cutting single use plastics, implementing smart waste management systems, and more.

Our German Members ZDF and SWR are committed to making productions greener with a number of sustainability criterion.

2. Sustainable Supply Chains

The UK's ITV has committed to running a 100% sustainable supply chain by 2030.

German public broadcaster SWR has sustainability criteria included as part of their procurement documents.

3. Green Heating and Cooling Systems

Our Finnish Member YLE’s cooling energy is 100% emission-free. And 30% of its heating energy is produced without any emissions.

Swiss public broadcaster RTS uses water from Lake Geneva to help cool the server rooms in their Geneva building.

4. Using Less Water and Eliminating Single-Use Plastics

Austria’s ORF uses water from its own well. Wastewater is saved and used for toilets, car washing, green irrigation and more.

In addition, their canteen has adopted more ecological food choices and banned single use plastics.

5. Educating Staff About Climate Change

The BBC has offered bespoke sustainability training for editorial roles to over 1,000 staff across all Divisions. It has led to a much deeper understanding of the issue of climate change and its relevance across the organization.

6. Green Buildings

RTS’s new building is reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as its waste, water and heat emissions and employing efficient equipment and renewable energy.

7. Renewable Energy

Our Italian Member Rai has committed to procuring green energy from renewable sources – 97% of their energy consumed is from green energy sources. ITV has also committed to purchasing 100% green energy for all their buildings and operations, where possible.

8. Organization Transport for Staff

RTVE offers a bus service for employees in its Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia locations. This transport service helps improve energy efficiency and reduces the organization's carbon footprint.

The BBC also has their own bus services running between their different buildings.

9. Incentives for Using Public Transport

ARD/RBB, as well as other ARD members, support their employees with a contribution to vouchers for public transport and sharing solutions for bikes and cars. 

As far as business travel is concerned for RAI, the goal is to promote the use of trains rather than airplanes.

10. Commuting by Bicycle

ZDF actively supports employees who choose to make their daily commute to the company by bicycle. There are numerous parking places for bicycles, as well as a charging station for e-bikes at its headquarters in Mainz.


Want to learn more about ways our Members are taking a lead on climate actions? Visit our new Knowledge Hub.

Relevant links and documents

Written by

Hemini Mehta

Operations Manager

Relevant Links