Originally published in Paramount's 2021-2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report
NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / July 24, 2023 / The impacts of climate change continue to accelerate around the world and are projected to worsen each year unless we take serious collective action on a global scale.
As a global media company, we are not a major emitter of GHG and we do not consider climate change to be a discretely material issue for our company. However, we cannot separate ourselves from the growing need for collective action. The impacts of climate change - from worsening storms, wildfires, and droughts to biodiversity loss and sea level rise - will profoundly affect the ways we live and how we must adapt in the future.
Our environmental strategy is focused on continuing to understand and mitigate environmental impacts across our company and value chain, and to use our content platforms to further raise awareness and inspire global action in response to the climate crisis. We work to address the unique challenges and opportunities present in the content and operations of each area of our business, from CBS Sports to Nickelodeon consumer products to Paramount Pictures and the Paramount Pictures Studio Lot. This work includes setting targets, reducing our emissions, engaging members of our value chain, and making our TV, film, and event productions more sustainable.
Understanding Our Impacts
Our direct climate impacts consist of the GHG emissions from our operations and facilities, which include our leased and owned office buildings, broadcast television transmitters, data centers, and production studios. We also generate a combination of direct and indirect emissions when filming on location or in spaces that we do not directly own or lease. Other business-related activities - such as releasing our content to theaters and via streaming services; employee commuting, corporate and production-related travel; and the manufacturing and distribution of our licensed consumer products - also result in indirect emissions, some of which we track as part of our GHG inventory.
The effort to collect and estimate carbon emissions across our global portfolio is a process we will continue to improve upon and manage. In 2021, we expanded reporting on emissions sources in several areas, including by capturing commuter emissions data for the first time and working to better understand our supply chain impacts. We also began to include emissions estimates for our content production globally; previously we gathered these estimates for domestic brands only.
We are restating our emissions from 2019 and 2020 because of improved methodologies. This includes updating emissions factors and identifying more vendors or data sources. Our methodology of Scope 1 emissions calculation is partially based on consumption data and partially estimated as spend. Our spend on fuel increased significantly in 2021. A likely reason for the increase in emissions is an increase in fuel use on productions. We also see some increases in Scope 3 emissions from 2020, in categories like Purchased Goods & Services, Capital Goods, and Business Travel, for example. This is likely because they rebounded from 2020 lows.
Science-Based Emissions Targets
Setting long-term emissions targets is a crucial part of our environmental strategy, as well as a mechanism for accountability. We plan to set these goals in line with the latest climate projections, and the Paris Agreement, working through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We reinforced our public commitment to this work in 2021 by joining the Business Ambition for 1.5° C, a global coalition of United Nations agencies and business leaders calling for science-based net zero emissions targets.
Also in 2021, we completed a reassessment of our 2019 emissions baseline, which will be used as the foundation for our SBTi goals. The updated analysis harmonized emissions inventories across legacy Viacom and legacy CBS, which used different calculation methodologies prior to the 2019 merger into ViacomCBS (now Paramount).
Working Toward Emissions Reductions
In 2021, we launched a greenhouse gas emissions initiative pilot in the UK. This process has resulted in a holistic environmental sustainability strategy for the UK that aims to address our key environmental impacts across our ESG pillars: on-screen content related to climate change, workforce and culture through employee engagement and education, as well as setting targets and key performance indicators for a net zero strategy, beginning with a Scope 3 data assessment.
Simultaneously, we will use the findings from this ongoing pilot to assess the feasibility of scaling our net zero efforts to our company-wide, global emissions footprint. In 2021, we began mapping a matrixed emissions reduction strategy across brands, business units, and regions to account for the unique challenges and opportunities at these levels.
Measuring and Managing Our Climate Risks
In 2021, we took major steps to better understand our exposure to various climate change risks. While we understand our environmental impacts to be less material to the company than our social impacts, we believe these risk assessments are an important element of our company-wide ESG strategy. We began a climate risk assessment - a three-phase process covering physical risks, transitional risks (such as changing regulations and requirements, like carbon taxes), and financial implications - to understand Paramount's exposure to climate-related impacts to our global infrastructure and value chain. Working with S&P Sustainable1 (formerly S&P Trucost), a third-party consulting firm with expertise in this area, we received risk data for 100 sites, including owned-and-operated facilities, as well as several key sites within our value chain. In 2022, we will share the results of this analysis with relevant stakeholders, including members of our senior leadership team, and leaders in key business functions like facilities and real estate, finance, and risk - and will work with them to incorporate the results into our business practices where appropriate.
How We Are Reducing Our Emissions
We are pursuing a range of strategies to reduce our direct and indirect GHG emissions across our global operations, from our offices to production-related activities.
One key area of focus is direct and indirect emissions associated with our television and film productions. Emissions from on-set energy use are mainly driven by fuel use from production vehicles and generators, followed by utility use for heating and cooling, lighting, and other equipment. We are working to improve productionlevel emissions tracking, renting hybrid or electric production vehicles, and utilizing grid tie-ins and batteries to reduce reliance on diesel generators. We continue to encourage the adoption of sustainable production guidelines across our brands and productions.
Production-related and other employee travel is another key driver of our overall emissions profile. In 2021, our travel emissions remained well below pre-pandemic levels, because travel was still largely restricted throughout the year. Even so, we continued with efforts to improve our footprint through enhanced data tracking and encouraging electric and hybrid vehicle rentals. Paramount's Travel & Expense Policy now incorporates language to encourage travelers to book and travel more responsibly.
Learn more in Paramount's 2021-2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report
Paramount Pictures employees participate in an e-waste drive
View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Paramount on 3blmedia.com.
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