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Climate Accountability: Have Media Businesses Done Enough?

Climate Accountability: Have Media Businesses Done Enough?

We sat down with our very own sustainability ambassador, Saunders Carmichael-Brown, to get his view on where the industry is and what else can be actioned in order to generate real change.

There’s much more the industry could be doing towards the climate emergency. The same goes for all industries, especially those that have a big impact and reach. Some are beginning to understand the environmental impact of their operations, us included, and are working to reduce whilst continuing to grow and develop, but many are still simply ticking boxes when it comes to sustainability and science-based targets rather than being part of the movement that will have a positive effect. 

In the same way that changing habits is difficult for individuals who are trying to play their part, it’s even harder for businesses with employees, clients and partners/shareholders to please. But the difference that an organisation can make by taking any positive action is huge when you look at how much business related operations contribute to overall emissions and impact. The right things are being said but actions aren’t quite meeting the expectations set. I’m really proud of what Little Dot Studios has achieved, we’re one of the first agencies of our kind to be verified as carbon neutral to Future Net Zero Standard for our operational output. Not only that, but we backdated and offset our emissions since inception (back in 2013), with a clear plan set to achieve our future ambitions. We’re also taking inspiration from some of our clients, including Extreme and Formula E, who are leading in this space and we choose to work with social impact partners such as The Earthshot Prize, a global initiative incentivising solutions to help repair our plant over the next ten years. I hope to see others, especially bigger companies with more accountability, following suit. 

For those in the media industry, the role is even more important as there is the ability to educate, encourage and bring others on the journey both within the programming and content that’s made. Take CNBC for example, we’re currently working on Series 3 of their Building a Sustainable Future strand in partnership with Schneider Electric. This series features global thought leaders discussing the path to sustainability and net zero; we’re hugely proud to be partnering with organisations of this calibre to drive the narrative forward. Policy and backing that comes from the top down inspires the change needed without companies feeling like they are doing all of the hard work. Our parent company All3Media is great at this, the conversations being had, ideas and learnings being shared, are encouraging. 

It takes a change in thinking, less profit and growth driven and more long term sustainability with awareness of impact playing a huge role. We’re seeing this more with things like B Corp but believe there is still a lot more to do to help businesses understand their accountability and incentivise those who need it more to change policies, tweak operations and build climate targets into the company objectives and structure.

Enjoy this interview? Find out more about our sustainability commitment here.

extreme e truck driving in the desert