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Sustainability in Media: An interview with Jay Doyle, Chief Procurement Officer at ITV - Part 2

In part two of this interview, Jay Doyle, Chief Procurement Officer at ITV and Lucy Harding, Global Head, Procurement & Supply Chain Practice at Odgers Berndtson, continue the discussion on sustainability in the supply chain.

Read part one of our interview with Jay Doyle here, where Jay explores what sustainability means in the media sector and to ITV

You mentioned that the procurement function has a key role to play, what are your biggest challenges?

Becoming a genuinely sustainable business is obviously not something that we will achieve on our own. ITV need to continue to work closely with suppliers, the broadcast, streaming and production industries, as well as our commercial partners, to ensure we’re playing an active role in building a net zero media sector.

Over 95% of our emissions are scope 3 and decarbonizing our production, broadcast and streaming supply chain remains a key priority. Gathering accurate and consistent scope 3 data continues to be a big challenge for everyone across all sectors. At ITV we’re investing in improving our scope 3 data, but in the meantime, we won’t let data challenges distract us from focusing on actions that deliver real impact.

We have been working with some of our highest emitting suppliers to help them develop targets, reporting and action plans.

Supplier selection decisions are also increasingly being determined by sustainability factors. Embedding sustainability criteria into our selection processes and contracts is focusing everyone’s mind on working with suppliers that align to ITV’s long-term goals.

We accept that not all suppliers will be at the same level of maturity, but taking no action is no longer an option. Our sustainability criteria will keep evolving as leading practices develop and we will work with suppliers to help them continually improve as well.

Is having a more sustainable supply chain more expensive? Is it true that there’s a cost to change?

It’s about having a robust business case and balanced decision making. Innovation is key. There’s clearly opportunity to reduce consumption, costs and carbon. For example, our global studios division have been piloting virtual production on a number of shows.

We found that virtual production can have a dramatic impact on reducing emissions and costs, particularly when it’s used to avoid overseas travel.

What is certainly true is that there’s a long-term cost to inaction. This year we will deepen the integration of climate action within the business by publishing a climate transition plan. This will help ensure that ITV is taking the necessary steps to thrive in a sustainable economy while playing an active role in the transition. We are working with our suppliers and partners to do the same.

Is it the case that the focus on ESG (or social purpose) has slipped as a result of more pressing issues such as supply chain continuity and inflation?

This has not been my experience within the media sector. As I alluded to earlier, creating positive social change has become an increasingly important goal not just for our people and those who watch our shows, but also for our partners, our advertisers and our shareholders.

How do you embed climate action throughout the organization and incentivize your teams?

We have a brilliant social purpose team who help to shape our approach and galvanize action across the organization. Through training and events, we ensure that all colleagues are equipped to bring climate awareness into their roles.

This year, 94% of our staff completed our online climate action training module, learning climate science fundamentals, what the solutions look like, what ITV is doing and what they can do to contribute.

Beyond the training, we ran a series of events throughout the year to bring the topic of sustainability to life in a range of different ways. We’ve also created more solid accountability structures to achieve key targets and ensure ownership across every area of the business. The Climate Action Delivery Group (CADG) comprising executive leaders from across ITV is accountable for developing and implementing the climate action plan. They are supported by green leads and green teams across all business units to ensure that ITV colleagues are empowered to drive change.

In terms of incentives, the remuneration package of our management board is now linked to achievement of our key targets. Senior leaders across the organization also have individual bonuses linked to specific climate action objectives, based on the action plans monitored by the CADG. We’ve endeavored to make climate action everyone's job, including the organizations we do business with!

What next for ITV and what changes need to be made this sector as a whole?

The work we’re doing off-screen (within ITV and with third parties through our collaboration agenda) must continue and gain momentum. We have all the foundations in place to drive more progress with more pace. I will continue to ensure this remains a strategic priority for the procurement function and I know my colleagues across the organization will be doing the same for their respective business areas.

More broadly, the sector recognizes viewing habits continue to change and this creates opportunity. For ITV, the successful launch of our new free streaming service ITVX provides new ways to connect and engage with our audience. It’s a brilliant platform to target specific social-purpose content at different audiences, and this is something we’ll be exploring further this year. 

With special thanks to Jay Doyle, Group Procurement Director and Chief Procurement Officer at ITV PLC media company. Jay is a member of the ITV Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and has accountability for both the group procurement organization and the group's overall cost transformation agenda. Prior to joining ITV, Jay held a number of leadership roles in large-scale procurement and supply chain across aerospace
and defense, banking, logistics and consumer electronics.

To discuss your supply chain and procurement leadership requirements, contact Lucy Harding, or get in touch with us here. You can also find your local Odgers Berndtson contact here.

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