UN climbs aboard News Limited’s ‘climate neutral’ campaign

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Dr Tony Wilkins – 'payback gets shorter'
With its ‘One degree’ brand and website ahead of some of the environmental activities of its US parent, News Limited has scored a world first by being invited to join the UN Environment Programme's Climate Neutral Network.

This aims to bring organisations, city councils and governments together on climate control. Sydney and Brisbane city councils are among other participants.

News Limited – the Australian operations of News Corporation – expects to be carbon neutral next year.

Chief executive John Hartigan says every small change adds up and “sharing our experience through CN Net is a logical extension of that approach.”

At the Single Width Users Group in Albury last weekend, manager of News Limited’s environmental and climate change department Dr Tony Wilkins, asked delegates to “imagine your personal health is questionable, and unless you change your lifestyle there will be issues to face”.

You’d do something about it and with “unequivocal” evidence of global warming, Wilkins is right behind Rupert Murdoch in agreeing the planet “deserves the benefit of the doubt”.

Explaining the issues and mechanisms behind becoming ‘carbon neutral’, he says carbon dioxide is the greenhouse “we’re having most difficulty controlling”, although methane was more dangerous.

Although a company can become ‘carbon neutral’ by buying offsets equal to your carbon use, Wilkins says his preference is to move first by becoming more efficient. With a target of a 20 per cent reduction, two-thirds of projected schemes are already complete and the remaining third “likely to go ahead”.

Success, he says, is due to staff engagement, led from the top. “Saving the planet is saving jobs in the company,” he says. Office projects had typically yielded better paybacks than print centres, with the average currently 2.6 years and this is likely to become shorter as the price of energy rises.
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