The recent COP26 discussions signal a renewed push towards more sustainable business practices as global leaders and campaigners fight to keep the planet habitable.
In light of this event, here are some sustainability initiatives that the largest tech & media companies have been adopting to help the collective effort.
Google banned all ads that deny climate change from running on YouTube videos. This demonetisation means that creators are not able to earn advertising revenue from any content that refutes well-established scientific findings on the existence and causes of climate change. This came alongside the banning of ads themselves that spread misinformation on these issues. Google has previously banned ads from running on videos that refer to sensitive content such as guns and traumatic events, but this was their first step in disincentivising those who seek to profit from downplaying the climate emergency. Google’s affiliated company google.org recently helped launch a platform called Climate Trace, using satellite technology to accurately measure the greenhouse emissions of companies. Instead of having to refer to companies’ self-reported emissions data, Climate Trace provides the public with access to the information needed to hold the companies they support accountable for their carbon reduction efforts.
Sky launched the Ocean Fund Rescue Initiative, placing ocean recovery at the forefront of their climate action campaign. This project has already entailed planting a million seagrass seeds in the ocean – a plant that absorbs carbon dioxide faster than trees, and the UK’s first use of underwater robot cameras, to observe and protect marine wildlife. Alongside playing a crucial role in campaigning and petitioning the government to act on ocean recovery, Sky became entirely paperless as of 2020; they successfully eliminated all single- use plastics in their operations.
In partnership with COP26 organisers, Netflix released ‘Together for Our Planet’ – a collection of stories hoping to spark an appreciation of nature and incite action to preserve it. This encompassed a variety of pieces, from Oscar-winning documentaries like ‘The Octopus Teacher’ to child-friendly animations like ‘The Lorax.’ On top of this, Netflix promised to reach net zero carbon emissions by the end of 2022. To achieve this, they plan to continue investing in conservation of at-risk green areas and helping the revival of critical eco-systems; this involves the restoration of grasslands, mangroves, and healthy soils.
As the technology & media sector ramps up its efforts, with companies like Facebook and BBC pledging to reach net zero emissions by 2030, the Market Research industry has also taken action with the MRS Net Zero Pledge. Several agencies such as Ipsos MORI and Opinium have already enlisted alongside MTM. The key goal of this pledge is to reduce greenhouse gases produced to a minimum and offset any remaining emissions. This will be accomplished through investing in conservation and restoration projects, collaborating across sectors, and encouraging accountability among employees and clients alike regarding environmental concerns.