BBC sets out path to Net Zero by 2030

The BBC has had its plan to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 approved by the globally-respected Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

This accreditation is an endorsement of the BBC’s credible strategy to significantly reduce its environmental impact by the end of the current decade. 

The BBC will pursue a ‘deep decarbonisation’ strategy to achieve net zero, a plan focussed on targeting and eliminating fossil fuel usage across its operations to drastically reduce the amount of carbon produced by the organisation. 

In January this year the BBC confirmed it would be pursuing a strategy to reach net zero by 2030.  

Details of the strategy include: switching to renewables and electric vehicles; reducing business travel; continuing to implement more sustainable production methods, such as BBC Studios’ use of hydrogen and battery powered generators on Winterwatch; and working collaboratively with the BBC’s suppliers to reduce emissions within their own organisations.  

 The SBTi approved targets commit the BBC Group to reducing emissions for scope 1 and 2 – direct operations such as those from buildings and general energy use – by 46% by 2030. In addition, the BBC’s plan is to reduce scope 3 emissions – such as business travel and those of its suppliers – by 28% over the same time frame.

In validating the BBC’s targets, the SBTi commended the BBC’s ambition to adhere to a 1.5°C trajectory, currently the body’s most ambitious designation available and the limit which climate scientists argue is needed to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change, as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, says: “At the start of the year we shared our ambition to reach net zero by 2030. Since then, there’s been a huge amount of work to put in place a credible and achievable plan. We are now converting that plan into action.  This will be a huge collective effort. It won’t be easy, but we must act, and act now, to reduce our environmental impact.” 

The BBC has already taken steps to reduce its environmental impact, introducing a mandatory requirement for all new BBC TV commissions, and recommissions, to reach albert certification from January 2022, while the BBC Group has aligned to Taskforce of Climate Risk Disclosures (TCFD) governance and reporting requirements. 

In August the BBC appointed Danielle Mulder as its first Director of Sustainability tasked with directing a corporation-wide approach to sustainability and principally leading on the development and implementation of the 2030 net zero strategy.  

Danielle Mulder, BBC Director of Sustainability, says: “We are pursuing deep decarbonisation to achieve our net zero goals as this is what the science is telling us we need to do. Our approach will be transparent while working collaboratively with our supply chain and industry partners to drive the change that’s needed.” 

Christina Figueres, founder Global Optimism, UNFCCC executive secretary 2010-2016, says: “I am delighted to see the BBC apply the same scientific rigour to sustainability that they’ve applied in their programming and content, by adopting science based targets. Aligning to the science and demonstrating leadership by example is very welcome at this critical time.” 

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