Joining us on episode 48 of The Tech That Connects Us was Darren Long Group Operations Transformation Design CT&I for Sky. Darren has been working for Sky for the past 32 years across News, Sports Entertainment and Production, as a director in a range of different capacities, such as Group Content Processing, Production and Services and Operations.
Darren joined Tegan Valeny and Henry Johnson where they discussed diversity, inspiring a healthy culture, the future of content creation and the importance of owning a dog.
One question Tegan and Henry put to Darren was ‘How can the broadcast media industry have a positive impact on the environment?’ Here’s what he had to say.
“At Sky, we’re now committed to becoming carbon neutral. Last weekend we did our first carbon-neutral football match in conjunction with Tottenham and the supporting staff and infrastructure.
If we look at these opportunities, we’ve got an important role to play. We are a broadcaster, and all broadcasters need to ensure that we lead by example. That’s something that Sky has always wanted to do and we’re very lucky because we own the whole supply chain, everything from the customer buying the equipment through to making and distributing the programmes. This gives us a unique opportunity to own that whole customer journey from an environmentally friendly perspective. So we can ensure that from a carbon-neutral point of view we tick every single box along the journey.
We took a really strong lead on this and Jeremy Darroch was instrumental in ensuring that everything we do going forward is “do we reduce our carbon footprint?”. From the packaging, we use to the way we recycle our equipment. Traditionally people would hold on to the equipment and never give it back, so of course, it went to landfills and various other things. Now, technically, you never own that equipment personally, it’s owned by Sky so that means once your contract finishes and you no longer want it then we take that back and recycle.
Everything we do going forward will be about actually how can we minimise the environmental impact. All the Sports we’re at, we ensure that the people who are working on the sports are doing so in a way that’s very economical and reducing the carbon footprint. From how they get to the venues, all the way through to the distribution platform minimising the power that we’re using.
The key thing we can do is sending the message around why this is important and making sure that message is strong. So every single day we have a climate report which is on Sky News. It’s about educating people, not just preaching, but trying to give people an understanding of why we’re doing this. We believe in this wholeheartedly, and from an industry point of view if you look at all these productions now that whether they be for Sky or other companies they are trying to measure every single part of the impact of those productions. Traditionally you’d build sets and then destroy them, you’d use plastic cups and all those things. So whilst some of these things are very small, you know what? From small things grow large trees.
Sky is not just doing this as a tick box exercise, we really do believe in what we’re doing 100% and everything we do going forward around the way that we deliver our services and the way we recycle our services is going to be measured. That in itself is important, people should hold us accountable for our actions. It’s important that when products arrive that customers know that packaging isn’t just thrown in the bin but can be brought back to Sky, recycled and used again.
From an industry point of view, it’s time for us to lead the charge. There are lots of good broadcasters, filmmakers, and TV production crews who are doing this now. So we have a responsibility to keep doing this, keep improving and keep supporting companies and industries that bring innovation in this area as well.”
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