New Sports Consortium to help broadcasters share green best practices, as sports industry strives to curb environmental impacts
BAFTA has today announced the launch of the albert Sports Consortium, extending the reach of its pioneering green broadcasting scheme in a bid to curb the environmental impacts of the UK's sports broadcasting sector.
The group brings together a host of key broadcasters and self-producing sport federations, including BT Sport, Sky Sports, BBC, ITV, Sunset & Vine, IMG, Premier League Productions, The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), Formula 1, Aurora Media, and Channel 4.
The move builds on the success of the albert scheme, which has seen broadcasters share environmental best practices and sign up to a certification scheme that allows them to display the albert label at the end of shows if they adhere to a range of environmental standards.
The Sports Consortium - which hosts its first meeting today - aims to extend this approach to sports broadcasting, which faces a number of specific environmental challenges, particularly relating to travel and energy-related emissions.
The group will also look to build on the progress made by a growing number of sporting bodies in attempting to curb the industry's outsized environmental footprint.
As such, the Sports Consortium will work alongside SVG Europe, the industry association which supports sports content producers and distributors, and Sport Positive in collaboration with UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework. It also aims to aims to align with the broader goals of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, to which AELTC, Formula 1 and Sky Sports are signatories together with some 135 sports teams, organisations, and governing bodies around the world.
It also hopes to showcase the recent on-site power sharing agreement between Premier League Productions, Sky Sports and BT Sport, which has reportedly led to a carbon saving of around 50 tonnes in six months.
Aaron Matthews, albert's head of industry sustainability, said there were compelling reasons for launching a dedicated sports-focused group alongside the scheme's wider work.
"The challenges faced by the television sports community are quite unique when compared to those of our core Consortium members, not least because sports producers are at the behest of the sporting calendar and have to broadcast events from all over the world," he said. "We wanted to create a separate group that could discuss the challenges they face and work on tailored solutions that can help them achieve net-zero carbon emissions."
There has also been growing demand from within the sports industry for initiatives that can enhance its environmental credentials.
"We believe that the AELTC and The Championships has a meaningful role to play in helping to protect and enhance the environment, today and for the future," said Bethan Evans, broadcast manager at the AELTC. "It is encouraging to see such a strong and influential group of organisations coming together and we are really looking forward to working collectively to share best practice and find ways to raise the bar for the sports broadcasting industry through the formation of the albert Sports Consortium."
Alongside the launch of the Consortium, BAFTA said it would make its albert Calculator and Certification tools available to the sports industry, while new modules will be created to complement albert's free training programmes.
The new initiative was welcomed by Jake Humphrey, BT Sport's lead football presenter, who argued that "sports broadcasting, like every industry, has a part to play in climate change and today's news is a positive step".
"I know how important this is as part of BT's ongoing efforts to become a net zero carbon business by 2045 and for BT Sport to become the greenest broadcaster in the UK," he added.
His comments were echoed by Steve Smith, executive director of content at Sky Sports, who said the new group would help the broadcaster meet its ambitious emissions goals.
"At Sky, we've set the ambition to be net zero carbon by 2030, two decades ahead of government legislation, because the world can't wait," he said. "The BAFTA albert Sports Consortium gives sports broadcasters a forum to work together collectively and share best practices that will help us #GoZero together."
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