ITV launched its social purpose last year and recently set an ambitious net-zero carbon emissions target. We were delighted that Julia Giannini, Senior Manager, Social Purpose at ITV could join us at the launch of the Financial Reporting Council’s Climate Thematic where she provided an insightful overview of the company’s experiences to date and plans for the future.

 ITV’s social purpose strategy 

ITV’s social purpose strategy focuses on the four areas that it identified as material to ITV as a business: Better Health, Diversity & Inclusion, Environment and Giving Back, with clear targets and goals for each.


ITV Social Purpose Strategy

Before going into detail on the specifics of ITV’s environmental pillar, Julia shared an overview of internal and external activation campaigns and initiatives developed for each of the other pillars, to help contextualise ITV’s impact:

  • Better Health
    Britain get talking’ is ITV’s campaign for mental wellness. This year it reached 6.5 million viewers. ITV is also focusing on mental and physical health internally, with a number of colleague initiatives.
  • Diversity & Inclusion
    ITV launched its ‘Black voices’ campaign in October. It has also launched a new internal diversity and inclusion acceleration strategy.
  • Giving Back
    ITV raises a large amount for good causes, including through its biggest on-air charity fundraiser, Soccer Aid for UNICEF. All colleagues are also encouraged to volunteer for three days every year.

Environmental targets

ITV Environmental Targets

For ITV’s Environment pillar, Julia detailed how the business has spent time understanding its baseline data to help it set targets:

  • Net zero carbon emissions by 2030
    ITV’s targets commit to a reduction of almost 50% Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and a reduction of almost 30% in Scope 3 emissions, underpinned by science-based targets that are currently being validated by the Science Based Target Initiative. It’s also aiming to power its entire global business with renewable energy by 2025.
  • Zero waste by 2030
In the UK ITV is committing to 90% of all waste being reused or recycled by 2030, with additional interim targets.
  • 100% sustainable supply chain by 2030
ITV’s suppliers are crucial to making progress and meeting its own targets. The business works closely with them, especially on productions – helping to drive progress by ensuring they’re committed to ITV’s expectations.
  • 100% environmentally trained and certified by 2021
    Culture, including making sure that colleagues understand how ITV needs to take action to act on the climate crisis, and building decision-making into all of its business areas, is extremely important to achieving this goal. ITV is providing training to all UK staff on the climate crisis. It is also the first broadcaster to mandate that all programmes it produces and commissions, must be Albert-certified by the end of 2021. Albert certification, hosted by BAFTA and funded by the television industry, is a commitment from programmers that they will reduce the impact of their programmes over the production period.

How ITV is delivering against its targets

Having launched its targets in August this year, ITV is on a journey to make sure that it understands what’s expected of it, that it’s equipped with the right governance structure to deliver against what is needed, that it’s reporting in the right way, and making sure it has the most robust data and the most robust processes in the business.

Julia outlined the specific actions ITV is taking to make sure it will deliver on its targets:

  • Climate Crisis to Action training
    Businesses can’t expect colleagues to act and know how to act on the climate agenda unless they really understand that it’s everyone’s responsibility in a business. ITV is rolling out training to all colleagues, including the Board – ITV’s Chairman has already completed it. Over two thousand colleagues completed the training this year, and there are plans to reach them all by the end of 2021.
  • Climate scenario analysis 

    ITV is embarking on conversations with key areas of its business to understand what the impacts of global warming will be on the operations of different departments. It is flipping the conversation on its head from ‘how are we contributing to climate change?’ to ‘how is climate change going to impact our business?’.
  • A new governance structure to drive delivery against environmental targets and manage climate risk
    ITV has launched a Climate Change Delivery Group, chaired by its CFO. The Group is made up of directors from business areas responsible for the progress against ITV’s targets. They are accountable for those targets and ITV is exploring how these could be built into their objectives. Underpinning this is the ‘ITV Green Team’ steering group which has representatives from every part of the business, with a focus on creating the necessary change on the ground.
  • Signatory to TCFD and respondent to CDP Climate disclosure
    In addition to being a signatory to TCFD, ITV also responded to the CDP’s climate disclosure requirements this year. Julia explained how the process of disclosure against CDP helps unlocks conversations with the business that might not have happened otherwise – facilitating conversations about the way climate has been factored into financial forecasts for the coming years. Raising that question has put it on the radar. ITV has found the disclosure against CDP a brilliant part of the climate change transition, the journey it is on internally to make sure this is front-of-mind in every business decision.
  • Implementing a new global environment data platform
    ITV conducted an internal audit earlier this year to review how its climate data is being calculated and how it is gathering global emissions data. The audit’s recommendation was to implement a global data platform which is being prepared for launch in January 2021.
  • ‘As a content creating business, ITV has a brainprint, not just a footprint’
    For ITV, it’s not just about what it can do internally. It has recently launched a prime time ad ‘The shows we never want to make’ that explains what ITV is doing to support its commitment to its ‘net zero by 2030’ target. The ad encourages viewers to measure their own carbon footprint and directs them to advice on how they can reduce it. ITV recognises that beyond its responsibility to get its own strategy right, it’s just as key for the company to use its voice to influence viewers.

Answers to participants’ questions

You can see Julia’s answers to the audience’s questions in part one of our event blog series here.

Julia also kindly answered additional questions from attendees that we ran out of time for in the session: you can read her responses here.

Find out more

Click here to view a recording of the full launch event, including presentations and a Q&A from the FRC, BlackRock, ITV and Conran Design Group.

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