Sky has published its Group-wide Impact Report looking at the bigger picture of the societal and environmental progress the organisation has made in the period January to December 2020.
The report outlines how Sky supported its customers, people, and local communities as well as the industries it operates in, through the Covid-19 crisis. It also highlights the Sky initiatives that are driving impact, such as employee volunteering programme Sky Cares, its inspirational digital skills programmes for young people, and the Sky Zero ambition to be net zero carbon by 2030. Furthermore, the report details Sky’s action on diversity and inclusion.
Dana Strong, Sky Group Chief Executive, said: “Our new Impact Report shows how Sky supported our people, customers and communities during the pandemic. Because in a year like no other, access to trustworthy news, great entertainment, and staying connected to the things and people that matter most, became even more important.
“Despite these challenging times, our teams have achieved so much. Our employees volunteered 22,000 hours through Sky Cares; more than 18,500 young people took part in our digital programme for schools, The Edit; we made Sky Arts free-to-air to everyone in the UK; and we haven’t slowed down on our ambition to be net zero carbon by 2030.
“We have also made great strides in diversity and inclusion including setting ambitious targets for representation in our business, pledging £30million to fight against racial injustice and partnering to tackle racism in sport.”
Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, Sky has put people first.
For customers that meant keeping them connected to loved ones, advice services, news and entertainment including Sky Arts, which went free-to-air in the UK to ensure everyone has access to arts and culture.
Sky made sure its people and the industries they work in were safe and supported. While Sky’s business customers were given the chance to pause charges while they were closed, and SME’s were offered free TV advertising by Sky with AdSmart.
All 34,000 Sky employees can give back to their local communities on company time through the Sky Cares programme. As the impact of the pandemic was felt across Europe, Sky increased its staff volunteering days from two to five this year for employees volunteering for the NHS and HSE in the UK and Ireland respectively.
In spite of the pandemic, there was a 50% increase in employee volunteering totalling more than 22,000 hours for 69 charity partners and local services across Sky’s Group operations.
This included helping the elderly, those most at risk of loneliness during lockdowns, through Sky’s partnership with Age UK. Sky employees clocked up more than 600 hours of befriending calls with older people and have since developed this into full time programme, Time to Care.
Across Europe the Sky Group have supported charity partners through a difficult year. Sky Italia have given free advertising to charities for many years, but in 2020 stepped in to produce and create adverts to support those who could longer afford the production costs and were unable to raise funds through face-to-face donations.
The country-specific restrictions caused by Covid-19 meant Sky had to find new ways to deliver its educational programmes for young people.
Sky launched the #KeepConnected platform for young people to create and share news reports on their experiences during lockdown. These tools and resources were given to teachers and parents with over 100 schools taking part.
Sky launched The Edit in partnership with Adobe. With a focus on low-income areas of the UK, the free, ready-to-go, curriculum aligned on-demand toolkit offered teachers and students the resources to create a news report on climate change. During 2020 almost 530 individual schools got involved with over 18,500 young people in the UK and Ireland taking part. The programme continues into 2021 and recently extended its to diversity and inclusion.
In June 2020, Sky announced a series of commitments to improve its approach to diversity and inclusion. Sky committed to invest £10million a year across its markets for each of the next three years to improve representation and progression of minority groups, make a difference in communities impacted by racism, and use the power of Sky’s voice and platform to highlight racial injustice. The commitments included an ambition to create new targets to improve ethnic diversity and representation throughout the organisation.
Sky also launched a three-year partnership with Kick it Out as its key broadcast media partner in the drive for inclusion in football and the battle against discrimination in all its forms.
In Europe, Sky Deutschland have set new targets around gender, disability and nationality. And in Sky Italia the Diversity and Inclusion HR teams have launched a gender balance project to measure and foster better gender representation across all departments and levels.
In February 2020, Sky set an ambition to be net zero carbon by 2030 and has made significant progress on this transformative journey.
Sky has met its RE100 target of sourcing 100% renewable energy across the entire business, which in turn contributed to a 22.7% reduction in emissions across Scopes 1 & 2 from the 2018 baseline.
The Impact Report also includes the publication of Sky’s reporting methodology for Scope 3 emissions. By sharing this full approach, Sky hopes to enable, and inform others on the journey to net carbon zero, because transparent reporting is critical in the Race to Zero and staying on a 1.5° pathway.