In part one of this interview, Jay Doyle, Chief Procurement Officer at ITV and Lucy Harding, Global Head, Procurement & Supply Chain Practice at Odgers Berndtson, discuss sustainability and supply chains within the media sector.
This is the latest article in our Sustainability Matters series, where our Partners interview leaders in their sectors about why sustainability matters to them.
Why does sustainability matter in the media sector?
Over recent years, we’ve seen sustainability rise up the agenda across most sectors. It’s great that we’re talking about it today. There’s definitely growing interest and expectation from a wide range of stakeholders, from investors and customers to employees and regulators. These stakeholders increasingly want to see organizations take responsibility for their impacts; at the very least to understand and mitigate negative impacts. Sustainability is quite a broad term, as organizations talk about Responsible Business, CSR, ESG, and so on. In the end, it’s about understanding where your sector and organization can make the biggest difference and taking positive action.
As you know, ITV is a producer, broadcaster, and streamer, and as our strategy suggests: “we are more than TV.” We entertain and connect with millions of people globally, reflecting and shaping culture with our content. This not only gives us the opportunity to change ITV for the better, but also to use our platform to reach to inspire positive change in the wider world. We talk about our social purpose. We’re taking action and making progress across four key focus areas: better health, diversity & inclusion, climate action and giving back.
Do you actively ensure these focus areas are included in your programming?
Absolutely, we have a huge opportunity to make a difference through our on-screen programming across all genres and for all audiences. For example, over the last year alone we’ve championed diversity across our biggest shows, introducing a range of new voices on-screen.
On mental health we’ve worked with charities Mind, YoungMinds, SAMH and CALM on campaigns resulting in millions of people taking positive action and on giving back, we’ve played a part in helping those affected by tragic humanitarian circumstances.
Our Concert for Ukraine with the DEC and our annual charity football match, Soccer Aid for UNICEF, raised a combined total of over £29 million. ITV also uses its huge reach and talent to make relatable, entertaining and inspiring content that helps audiences understand the need for climate action, how it is relevant to our lives and how we can all be part of the solution. Through the climate content pledge (signed at COP26), ITV has made an editorial commitment to report on the issues, normalize sustainable choices and tell optimistic stories of change. You can see this every day in everything from our drama to our factual and news programming.
So, we’re doing lots on-screen but what we do off-screen is just as important. This is of course about how we conduct our own business within ITV and also the third parties we can influence across our value chain. In this context, the procurement function has a really important role to play. We know ITV can ultimately only achieve its social purpose goals and other high standards we set by working in partnership with third-party producers, partners and suppliers, particularly in areas like climate action.
Do you measure progress against delivery of your social purpose goals?
Yes. We have ambitious targets around better health, diversity & inclusion, climate action and giving back. We measure our progress (on and off screen) against these targets through research commissioned from YouGov and other partners, regular board-level scrutiny of diversity and inclusion data alongside new, wide-scale data-gathering processes for environmental data.
Annual objectives, plans and progress are formally reported to the management board three times a year and annually to the PLC board. ITV also publishes a social purpose impact report every year which sets out the progress we’re making.
You mentioned climate action. This is an area of particular focus for many organizations, can you tell us more about the ITV program?
I understand why this is an area of particular focus for many. It is widely recognized that the impacts of climate change and the interlinked biodiversity crisis are worsening and more action is needed.
We’ve made efforts to ensure ITV’s climate action is grounded in science and we endeavor to be ambitious, robust and transparent as we drive change towards net zero. We’ve been building solid foundations for climate action over recent years, setting the targets, establishing the governance, and engaging all key stakeholders (colleagues, industry peers, suppliers, advertisers, audiences etc.) to drive meaningful change. ITV submitted additional targets to the science-based targets initiative to align to the most ambitious standard on net zero. We have now committed to reducing our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 90% by 2050. This year ITV has been recognized by the Financial Times as one of Europe's Climate Leaders. It has also been awarded an A by CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) meaning ITVs climate action approach is rated among the top 2% of disclosing companies in the world. We’re proud of this but we recognise we still have much work to do.
Be sure to read part two of our interview where Jay will explore the role that the procurement function plays in creating a sustainable organisation.
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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