ViacomCBS Commits To Climate Action in Sports
By Nicole Bitette
Ahead of Super Bowl LV on Sunday, Feb. 7, ViacomCBS signed the United Nations’ Sports for Climate Action Declaration, as the company continues its commitment to transparency and environmental sustainability.
The declaration outlines five key areas of climate-related commitments, including reducing the impact of sports on climate change. ViacomCBS’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report team, in partnership with CBS Sports, will promote greater environmental responsibility and increase awareness of the effect of sports on the climate, especially as it relates to greenhouse gas emissions and how they are generated through activities like media production and travel. ViacomCBS’ letter of commitment to the UN solidifies its continued commitment to reporting on its impact on climate and mitigation strategies.
ViacomCBS is the first American broadcast company to get on board. The Chairman of CBS Sports, Sean McManus, and Julia Phelps, EVP chief communications officer and corporate marketing officer, ViacomCBS signed the letter. Other signatories include NFL Green, BBC Sport, Sky Sports, Channel 4, the New York Yankees, the NBA, and the International Olympic Committee.
Earlier this year, ViacomCBS published its first ESG report highlighting three areas of focus: On-Screen Content and Social Impact, Workforce and Culture, and Sustainable Production and Operations. By working in tandem with CBS Sports and NFL Green, the ESG team will work towards increasing the sustainability of sports production and operations in particular starting with Super Bowl LV.
At the big game, some of the initiatives will include banning plastic bags and straws and making vests from recycled plastic in order to protect Tampa Bay, as well as working with a local solar power provider, renting hybrid vehicles when available, and donating to local food banks in the area.
“This is a commitment to be transparent about our impact as a media company and its extension to the sports component of our business. So, in our annual ESG report this year, we will put an even greater emphasis on CBS sports and its connection to ESG leadership,” explains Crystal Barnes, SVP, corporate social responsibility, environmental, social and governance (ESG), ViacomCBS.
“We want to be a leader in ESG, and that is what makes us really proud to be the first to sign onto this. We hold ourselves to a very high standard and know that we have an important role to play in sports because of CBS Sports.”