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The commitment will also see the creation of an Ocean Rescue Innovation Fund and partnership with WWF to safeguard Marine Protected Areas

Sky has today committed to transform its business operations by eliminating all single-use plastics from its operations, products and supply chain by 2020. This is a new commitment under its Sky Ocean Rescue campaign, which launched in January this year to raise awareness and help address the dire problem of single-use plastics in the ocean.

From today, all new Sky products will have packaging that is free of single-use plastic. By the end of 2017 all new products will be made without any single-use plastic. In addition, Sky will help its business partners and supply chain transform their operations.

In addition, Sky will use its experience in innovation, entrepreneurship and harnessing capital to help solve the wider problem of plastic use, identifying businesses and start-ups that are developing technology to eradicate single-use plastics from supply chains and stop plastic from ending up in the ocean. Anchored by a commitment of £25 million over five years, Sky will launch an Ocean Rescue Innovation Fund to invest in these new ideas. Further details on the proposed fund will be announced in due course.

Sky will also partner with WWF to safeguard Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around the coastlines of its major European territories – the UK and Ireland, Germany and Italy. Marine Protected Areas are defined as areas of ocean and coastline that are an essential tool in the recovery and protection of our ocean and the vital services it provides. Sky and WWF will encourage members of the public to join them in adopting, protecting and enhancing these coastal areas through a campaign to be launched later this year.

Sky’s Group CEO, Jeremy Darroch, will discuss these three new commitments at the EU Our Ocean Conference in Malta later today. Ahead of the conference, Darroch said:

“We need to tackle one of the biggest man-made environmental disasters facing our planet – plastics in the ocean. The statistics are shocking – by 2050 the amount of plastic in the ocean will weigh more than all the fish*. At Sky, we care about the environment and believe we have a responsibility to act on issues that matter to our customers. Ten years ago, we were the first media company to become carbon neutral and looking to the next 10 years, we want to use our voice and our reach to have a positive effect on ocean health. We’ve been raising awareness through Sky Ocean Rescue but we want to go further, so today we are committing to eradicate single-use plastics from our own business operations by 2020, establish a new innovation fund to help solve the wider problem of plastic use, and partner with WWF to safeguard Marine Protected Areas. We want our actions to be ocean positive.”

On Sky’s commitment, WWF-UK Chief Executive, Tanya Steele, said: “Our oceans are critical for all life on Earth. Yet these precious places are more threatened now than ever before because of pollution, overfishing and climate change. Businesses, governments and individuals all have a role in reversing the shocking decline in the health of our oceans – for our own wellbeing, as well as for future generations. Sky has shown great leadership on environmental issues for more than a decade, including going carbon neutral as a business, helping WWF protect a billion trees in the Amazon rainforest, and supporting the greatest mass expression of concern for the health of our planet; Earth Hour. I congratulate Sky on its bold ambitions to reduce stresses on our oceans, and look forward to supporting them in making a real difference to ocean health, for people and the planet.”

Today’s announcement builds on the work of Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign, launched in January 2017. The campaign has already engaged with over 6 million people and seen ‘Plasticus’ – a 10 metre whale made from the same amount of plastic that enters the ocean every second – tour the UK. Since January, Sky has also removed plastic water bottles, plastic straws, cups and cutlery across its European sites and as a result has reduced its plastic bottle usage by more than 300,000.

Millions more have been made aware of the breadth and severity of the plastic pollution problem through Sky News’ investigative reporting and documentaries, including A Plastic Tide and A Plastic Whale.

Sky will continue to develop consumer campaigns and programming to help educate and inspire its customers to make changes to their own single-use plastic consumption.

Sky Ocean Rescue follows the successful Sky Rainforest Rescue campaign which, with the support of its customers, raised over £9m to help save one billion trees in the Amazon rainforest. Ten years ago, Sky became the world’s first carbon neutral media company and is currently listed in the top 8 of sustainable businesses in Newsweek’s Green Rankings, Silver Class in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and included within the FTSE4Good.

Live coverage of the EU Our Ocean Conference in Malta will be broadcast on the specially commissioned Ocean Rescue pop-up channel.

For more on Sky Ocean Rescue visit skyoceanrescue.com 

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