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Sky Sustainability Report: 2020 Carbon Target Met Early

British Sky Broadcasting has met its 2020 carbon reduction ahead of schedule by achieving a reduction in normalized carbon emissions by 31 percent over 2008/09 levels in 2011/12, according to the company’s latest corporate sustainability report.

The company had set a 2020 target of a 25 percent reduction in this metric over 2008/09 levels. From 2010/11 to 2011/12 the company improved its carbon efficiency by 17.3 percent, from 17 to 14 metric tons of CO2 per £1 million ($1.6 million) of revenue, according to figures from the company’s sustainability web site.

Over the last year the company’s absolute scopes 1 and 2 emissions fell by 10 percent while Sky continued to grow as a business, the company’s web site says. In 2010/11, Sky produced 109,042 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. This figure fell to 97,904 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2011/12, figures from the company’s sustainability web site show.

Scope 1 emissions account for 20,972 metric tons of the 2011/12 total and over three quarters of the company’s scope 1 emissions come from vehicle fuel. The remaining 76,932 metric tons of CO2e come from scope 2 emissions in the form of electricity, the web site shows.

The company says its improvements in carbon efficiency reflect long-term investments it has made in buildings, fleet and travel. Sky is also trying to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. The company recently flipped the switch on a combined cooling heat and power plant and it has completed the construction of a wind turbine at its site in west London. Both the cogeneration unit and wind turbine will supply heating, cooling and electricity to Sky Studios, the company’s newest broadcasting facility. The company currently draws 9 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. It has a target of sourcing 20 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020.

In 2011/12 Sky’s carbon neutral status was achieved through the voluntary purchase of verified offsets from The CarbonNeutral Company. The company offset its total gross CO2e emissions, including Scope 1 and 2 and selected Scope 3 emissions from waste, business air and car travel, the company’s sustainability web site says.

The company’s energy efficiency improved just over 3 percent year-on-year, from 15,613 kWh per £1 million in revenue to in 2010/11 to 15,120 kWh per £1 million of revenue in 2011/12. This represents a 26 percent improvement over the 2008/09 baseline level. Sky met its 20 percent reduction target over 2008/09 levels in 2009/10.

Improvements in energy efficiency were evident at the company’s Scotland and west London sites. thes have been a reflection of Sky’s work to increase efficiency through developing technology and growing staff awareness on what they can do to reduce energy use, the company says.

There was an 18 percent increase in energy use at Sky’s Chilworth and Fairoak, England, site which is its uplink for television broadcasts and also houses its data centers. As the company has grown over the last year the amount of equipment has increased at this site accounting for the increase in energy use, the web site says.

In 2011/12 Sky diverted 85 percent of its total waste from landfill up from 81 percent in 2010/11. (See graph below) The company narrowly missed diverting 90 percent of its waste from landfill by 2012. Sky recycled 73 percent of its total waste in 2011/12 compared to 68 percent in 2010/11. This means the company has met its 2012 target of recycling 70 percent of its waste.

The remaining 12 percent of Sky’s waste that wasn’t sent to landfill or recycled was sent to a waste-to-energy facility.

The company’s water efficiency improved from nine cubic meters per employee full time equivalent in 2010/11 to eight in 2011/12. Sky uses technologies such as rainwater harvesting in its new buildings which uses recycled rainwater to flush the toilets and sensor taps to ensure that only the water required is used, the web site says.

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