New five-year plan aims to transform Canadian public broadcaster’s environmental footprint.

Greening our Story’ is a new five-year plan launched by CBC/Radio-Canada, which aims to reduce its waste and carbon footprint by ‘implementing environmentally sustainable thinking’ in its production practices, operations, and activities. The plan was launched alongside this year’s Canadian Environment Week.

By 2026, the public broadcaster aims to reduce its energy use by 15% while ensuring that at least one-fifth of energy consumed is sourced by either electric or hybrid alternatives. Other aims include reducing its carbon emissions by 25%; reducing travel by 25%, and to utilise a tool offered by albert – a media sustainability solutions organisation – to calculate the carbon emissions of its productions. The broadcaster hopes to ensure that 25% of its in-house productions are ‘albert certified’ while measuring the carbon footprint of at least 50% of independent productions. Other targets are expected to be achieved sooner, such as no single-use plastic by 2022.

CBC/Radio-Canada vows to work with industry stakeholders ‘to amplify solutions by promoting the responsible development of Canadian content’ and to ensure that audiences understand its role and contributions to sustainability. In a press release, Catherine Tait, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada said:

Greening our Story is an opportunity to transform CBC/Radio-Canada into a world-class, sustainable public service media company. This new strategy builds on our environmental work to date and takes our aspirations to the next level. It accelerates our commitments and encompasses everything we do, from how we produce our content and operate our business, to how we make the choices to avoid waste, reduce our energy consumption and limit our carbon footprint.”


Prior to the launch, CBC/Radio-Canada’s Senior Environmental Advisor, Tristan McIntosh, wrote that he was ‘proud’ that the public broadcaster is ‘so public facing with our environmental consciousness’.

CBC/Radio-Canada’s new environmental strategy is one of several similar initiatives introduced by public media in recent years. Others, like the ABC and BBC , have adopted similar targets and strategies to ensure more sustainable practices, and are increasingly publishing their environmental performance in their annual reports.

As trusted and publicly funded organisations, public service media have a critical role to play in informing audiences and leading the media industry towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. This can be achieved through the transparent monitoring of in-house production practices and workflows, like ‘Greening our Story’, as well as providing responsible coverage and raising awareness of the climate crisis.

PMA welcomes CBC/Radio-Canada’s new sustainability plan and encourages public media worldwide to lead by example by implementing high environmental standards.

Header Image: Toronto, On, Canada – May 16, 2020: Entrance to Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto, headquarters of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Credit: JHVEPhoto/iStock