On 5 and 6 October, the EU hosted the Our Ocean Conference in Malta. The conference brings together world leaders to look forward and respond to the issue of ocean health through collaboration and high-level commitments. 

Sky has committed to transform its business operations by eliminating all single-use plastics from its operations, products and supply chain by 2020. 

All new Sky products will have packaging that is free of single-use plastic. By the end of 2017 all new products will be made without any single-use plastic. In addition Sky will help its business partners and supply chain transform their operations.

Sky will also use its experience in innovation, entrepreneurship and harnessing capital to help solve the wider problem of plastic use, identifying businesses and start-ups that are developing technology to eradicate single-use plastics from supply chains and stop plastic from ending up in the ocean.  Through a commitment of £25 million, over five years, Sky will launch an Ocean Rescue Innovation Fund to invest in these new ideas. 

In addition, Sky has announced a partnership with WWF to safeguard Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around the coastlines of its major European territories - the UK and Ireland, Germany and Italy.  Marine Protected Areas are defined as areas of ocean and coastline that are an essential tool in the recovery and protection of our ocean and the vital services it provides. Sky and WWF will encourage members of the public to join them in adopting, protecting and enhancing these coastal areas through a campaign to be launched later this year.

Sky’s Group CEO, Jeremy Darroch, discussed these three new commitments at the EU Our Ocean Conference in Malta yesterday. Ahead of the conference, Darroch said:

“At Sky, we care about the environment and believe we have a responsibility to act on issues that matter to our customers. Ten years ago, we were the first media company to become carbon neutral and looking to the next 10 years, we want to use our voice and our reach to have a positive effect on ocean health. We’ve been raising awareness through Sky Ocean Rescue but we want to go further, so today we are committing to eradicate single-use plastics from our own business operations by 2020, establish a new innovation fund to help solve the wider problem of plastic use, and partner with WWF to safeguard Marine Protected Areas. We want our actions to be ocean positive.”

On Sky’s commitment, WWF-UK Chief Executive, Tanya Steele, said:

“Our oceans are critical for all life on Earth. Yet these precious places are more threatened now than ever before because of pollution, overfishing and climate change. Businesses, governments and individuals all have a role in reversing the shocking decline in the health of our oceans – for our own wellbeing, as well as for future generations.”

Sky Ocean Rescue has already engaged with over 6 million people and seen ‘Plasticus’ - a 10 metre whale made from the same amount of plastic that enters the ocean every second - tour the UK.  

Since January, Sky has also removed plastic water bottles, plastic straws, cups and cutlery across its European sites and as a result has reduced its plastic bottle usage by more than 300,000.