The DPP, the media industry’s business network, announced in March 2022 that more than 50 organisations have now been awarded the DPP Committed to Sustainability mark.
The initiative was launched at the Leaders’ Briefing 2019 to promote environmentally sustainable practices among suppliers and content providers.
And sustainability has been the common thread linking the DPP’s recent work.
Poignantly, in the DPP Predictions 2022 Sustainability returned as a one of the five pieces of Mood Music which DPP members felt best described the underlying macro trends shaping the industry - the context in which media companies perceive themselves to be operating each year.
Previously in the 2021 Predictions, Sustainability had been included in the broader scope of Values. But expert contributors to the 2022 edition were almost unanimous that Sustainability had to be included as a macro theme in its own right, such was the necessity and desire to make green improvements.
Our experts then went further, formulating and voting in a prediction for how embedded sustainability practices would become in the media supply chain. They expressed:
“Procurement decisions will be decided by sustainability.”
“There is a strong sense that 2022 will be the year that companies need to be able to demonstrate their contribution to emissions reduction,” DPP CEO Mark Harrison wrote in the report.
One contributor summarised how they expected sustainability to become a key part of the partnering and sourcing process.
“For companies that haven’t really invested in this space yet, this is the year I think regulations are coming down the line. For companies like ours that work with a lot of clients, it’s only a matter of time before those clients are going to say: ‘If we’re going to work with you, we need to see your sustainability policies’. So to keep ahead it’s going to be a major push this year.”
Sustainability driving consumer trends
The prominence given to sustainability in the DPP Predictions work followed on from outcomes shared in our CES 2022: What consumer trends mean for the media industry report.
One of the headlines of the DPP’s CES 2022 report was that sustainability has gone into production and the supply chain. Mark described how he felt bold commitments made at CES 2022 were sincere, and not a corporate box-ticking exercise.
“Environmental sustainability has been the theme waiting to happen at CES for over a decade. In 2021, several major companies foregrounded their commitment to be carbon neutral. But this year, a major shift took place. Companies admitted how much they contribute to global warming and how manufacturing and supply chain processes had to change if emissions are to be reduced.”
These public statements will also have a knock-on benefit in the broader media supply chain, Mark added.
“The more companies make these commitments, the more reputationally damaging it becomes to go back on them. It also makes it easier to make supply chain changes, since there is a common goal that benefits all parties.”
Mark Harrison, DPP CEO
Sustainability and the leaders’ agenda
Sustainability is a leadership priority, and was discussed as such at the DPP Leaders’ Briefing 2021. Together with business values it was cited by one in six organisations as one of their top three priorities.
More recently, the DPP convened media companies and suppliers at the inaugural European Broadcaster Summit in March 2022. One of the questions asked was how the whole media supply chain could work together to realise their sustainability objectives. And in particular to tackle their Scope 3 emissions - all the carbon created in a company’s supply chain - with attendees finding common ground and understanding in how they could approach this challenge as a group with shared goals and responsibilities.
The DPP too has been working hard to reduce its own carbon footprint and emissions, in its work and its events.
Corinna Mason’s write-up Going green at the DPP Leaders' Briefing provides an overview of how sustainability was considered while designing and delivering the DPP Leaders’ Briefing 2021, and offers advice to other organisations undertaking similar activities.
Corinna and Abdul Hakim, the DPP’s sustainability lead, are already thinking about improvements that can be made for the Leaders’ Briefing 2022.
About Committing to Sustainability
The DPP Committed to Sustainability programme provides a self-assessment checklist that enables companies to record their progress in implementing sustainability policies, and awards them a score out of five. Completion of the assessment entitles a company to display the Committed to Sustainability mark, and to publicise their engagement with the Programme.
The score is private to the company concerned, but it can be used in procurement submissions, in marketing, and as a motivating force for further improvement. The DPP will monitor the average score for the media industry as a whole.
Seven DPP member companies made up the initial Committed to Sustainability cohort, including Atos and Red Bee who enable the programme. In January 2022, both companies renewed their commitment to supporting Committed to Sustainability.
You can contact Abdul below to learn more about the programme.
To find out more or to get involved with this work, please contact:
Business Development Manager