Guardian Media Group, which owns the Guardian and Observer titles, has pledged to reach net zero carbon emissions as a business by 2030 amid climate protests by Extinction Rebellion in London.
The news organisation has also promised to “prioritise and give prominence” to its environmental journalism and never allow its reporting to be influenced by commercial or political interests.
The Guardian and Observer have also pledged that their wider environmental reporting will always be rooted in scientific fact, and to use language that recognises the severity of the crisis.
One of the core demands of climate activists who have blockaded parts of the capital throughout October, including BBC Broadcasting House, is for media to “tell the truth” by declaring a “climate emergency”.
The Guardian updated its style guide earlier this year to encourage reporters to refer to climate change as the “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown”, use “global heating” instead of “global warming”, and replace “climate sceptic” with “climate science denier”.
Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner (pictured) said the pledge was designed to “give the climate crisis the attention it deserves”, adding that it was the “most urgent issue of our times”.
She added that the organisation was taking steps to address its own impact on the environment, including undertaking an audit to work out how to reach the “challenging” goal of net zero emissions by 2030.
The Government’s own target is to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with Extinction Rebellion pushing for it to happen by 2025.
In addition Guardian Media Group has been given a “B Corp” certification, which means it is legally obliged to balance purpose and profit and consider the impact of its decisions on its workers, customers and the environment.
The group is believed to be the first major news organisation to achieve this status.
Guardian News and Media chief customer officer Anna Bateson said: “We have a deep responsibility to our readers to live up to the values they expect of us and to have a positive impact on the world across our whole organisation.
“Businesses around the world are increasingly realising that aiming for a positive impact is an essential part of any long-term strategy.”
Financial contributions from readers will enable the Guardian to continuing focusing on “delivering powerful reporting on the climate emergency, and its impact on people and the planet”, Viner has said.
“At the Guardian we believe it is vital to give people open access to factual, independent reporting on the climate crisis,” she added.
“For this reason, and thanks to generous financial support from readers in more than 180 countries, we can keep all Guardian journalism free of a paywall.”
Picture: David Levene/The Guardian