|A focus on the selection of fleet cars has accompanied News Limited’s announcement that it has become ‘carbon neutral’ and was on track to reduce its emissions by a fifth of 2007 levels.
John Hartigan, chairman and chief executive of the Australian News Corporation subsidiary, says the company has cut the vehicle emissions of its national fleet by almost 30 per cent. Critical selection of new fleet vehicles has led to 24 per cent of new cars purchased emitting less than 150 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
Since News embarked on its ‘One Degree’ energy efficiency mission in 2007, low-emission (and low fuel consumption) vehicles have been added to its fleet including the Australian-made Toyota Camry Hybrid. It also has Toyota Prius Hybrids, Honda Civic Hybrids and diesel passenger cars including Hyundai i30 and Mazda6.
Environment and climate change manager Dr Tony Wilkins, says the performance of some petrol-fuelled cars – such as the Volkswagen Golf TSI, with its 149g/km CO2 – had also helped bring down the fleet's carbon footprint since 2007 by 24 per cent.
In total, News Limited has reduced its emissions by 18.4 per cent in 2009-2010.
Efficiency measures introduced over the past three years had reduced carbon emissions by 8.4 per cent (from 146,166 tonnes of carbon dioxide to 134,880 tonnes) with an additional ten per cent reduction coming from renewable energy certificates.
Hartigan says the One Degree campaign, launched in June 2007, set aggressive targets to cut carbon emissions across every part of our operations: "We started with one idea and a singular commitment, auditing over 85 per cent of operations and identifying 179 carbon reduction projects to change how we approach every aspect of our business,” he says.
"As a result we have cut almost 30 per cent of vehicle fleet emissions, business travel is down by 22 per cent through the use of video conferencing and we have invested in more energy-efficient equipment to reduce emissions from lighting, cooling and printing."
Staff efforts across the company's metropolitan, regional and community mastheads include recycling more, powering down computers at day's end and turning off lights.
"One Degree has become part of the way we do business," he says. "We are saving money by using less energy, it's an issue our employees are interested in and it's an issue our readers continue to want debated."