ViacomCBS Releases First Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report
NEW YORK, December 2, 2020 /3BL Media/ – ViacomCBS today released its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, Action: ESG at ViacomCBS, highlighting how the company is addressing the ESG impacts that are most important to its business and stakeholders.
The report, released nearly one year after the merger of Viacom and CBS in December 2019, focuses on data through 2019 and the company’s global ESG priorities to date in three core areas: On-screen Content and Social Impact, Workforce and Culture and Sustainable Production and Operations. The report also provides select data and details on ViacomCBS’ efforts thus far in 2020, including the company’s strong response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and events of racial injustice in the United States.
“ViacomCBS is focused on how we use the power of our platforms as content creators to meaningfully impact the issues that matter to our employees, audiences, partners, communities and investors," said Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS. “As we all continue to cope with the ongoing impact of COVID-19, as well as a racial reckoning in the US, we recognize and embrace our unique role as a global content powerhouse that shapes culture, social attitudes and societal outcomes. We’re committed to the opportunity and responsibility that comes with this reach and are proud to share how our company is taking action in our ESG report.”
The ESG report expands on ViacomCBS’ first materiality assessment, published earlier this year, and is guided by external ESG frameworks, including the Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. It also outlines the company’s alignment with relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth and Climate Action.
Among the priority areas addressed in this report, actions by ViacomCBS include:
Responding to COVID-19:
- Committed $100 million to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for non-staff employees on ViacomCBS productions and other entertainment industry workers through third-party organizations and relief funds.
- Worked to keep employees and the public safe and at home during the pandemic by leveraging ViacomCBS brands and on-air talent to amplify official health guidance through the #AloneTogether campaign, which consisted of 174,000 television spots, social media posts and other content across company platforms.
On-screen Content and Social Impact:
- Responded to nationwide protests over victims of racial violence and police killings by donating an additional $5 million to social justice and criminal justice reform organizations, participating in the industry-wide “Blackout Tuesday” day of reflection on June 2 and honoring the death of George Floyd by going dark for eight minutes and 46 seconds on ten networks. The monetary donations build on the company’s standing contributions each year to a range of community organizations.
- Set several new goals to increase diversity behind the camera, including at least 40% representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in the writers’ rooms of CBS and Showtime Network shows during the 2021-22 programming season.
Workforce and Culture:
- Expanded company-wide efforts to strengthen ViacomCBS’ diversity and inclusion, including through its commitment to publicly disclose the diversity data of its workforce.
- Continued to hold its annual Global Inclusion Week, an expansive multi-day experience featuring speakers, immersive sessions and interactive workshops designed to raise awareness and foster conversation about diversity and inclusion, and inspire a sense of engagement and belonging across the company.
Sustainable Production and Operations:
- Committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in line with the requirements of the Paris Agreement, continuing a declining trend that saw GHG emissions at legacy Viacom drop by 20% from 2014-2018.
- Increased the number of productions following the Green Production Guide to minimize the environmental impact of filming and derived 10% of the company’s global energy use from renewable sources.
“Whether we’re amplifying diverse voices, championing inclusion and equity in the workplace or crafting a new, more sustainable path for our productions, ViacomCBS is committed to using our reach in the best way possible,” said Crystal Barnes, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG. “While we know we have more work to do, this ESG report reflects our dedication to greater transparency and disclosure as we continue to develop our ESG strategy and strengthen our impact in these areas going forward. This is just one of the many steps ahead on our ESG journey.”
To learn more about ViacomCBS’ ESG efforts and to view the full report, please visit https://www.viacomcbs.com/sustainability.
ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC; VIACA) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, its portfolio includes CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, CBS All Access, Pluto TV and Simon & Schuster, among others. The company delivers the largest share of the US television audience and boasts one of the industry’s most important and extensive libraries of TV and film titles. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions for partners on five continents.
For more information about ViacomCBS, please visit www.viacomcbs.com and follow @ViacomCBS on social platforms.