Fox News goes “carbon neutral”

Written by mark


Occasionally we see examples of how it should be done – the prototype of a corporate sustainability program that makes good business sense, articulates long-term goals (and sticks with them), and acknowledges the importance of environmental issues for companies across multiple industries. The fact that one such example is News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, may surprise you. But it shouldn’t.

A few weeks ago, Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of News Corporation, announced that the company and its subsidiaries had reached their goal of carbon neutrality. Mr. Murdoch stated that improving the energy efficiency of the company’s day-to-day operations had not only curbed emissions but also “saved millions of dollars.”

>Our efficiency projects pay for themselves in less than two years, on average, and span from simple solutions like lighting retrofits and automatic PC shut-down to systemic changes like installing telepresence and videoconferencing technology to reduce the need for air travel.

News Corporation began calculating and reporting its worldwide carbon footprint in 2006. Its 2010 report shows that its footprint is smaller today in absolute terms than it was in 2006, even without its escalating green energy purchases.

And as 2010 came to a close, the company made good on a commitment announced more than three years before:
>All News Corporation business units will become carbon neutral by 2010 — through energy efficiency, buying renewable power and offsetting otherwise unavoidable emissions.

When the number crunching was completed, News Corporation offset 110% of its FY 2010 unavoidable carbon footprint by investing in emissions reduction projects.

The irony of this, according to some, is that several of News Corporation’s media outlets consistently espouse conservative views on environmental issues—the most extreme of which deny that climate change is happening. Faced with this irony, I can only quote the philosopher John Locke: “I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.”

That ongoing attention to sustainability initiatives can produce meaningful business results should not come as a surprise. That conservative-leaning media outlets seek business results in their operations should also not come as a surprise. Clearly, News Corporation has seen value in carbon offsets and other sustainability initiatives and has publicized this widely. In addition, Rupert Murdoch published the results of the initiative in a memo to employees, suggesting that News Corp might see this as a means to enhance employee engagement. We urge other companies of all stripes to take heed; this is the way it should be done.

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  1. ryacoub

    Whoa…this perhaps answers the age-old question “what is the opposite of greenwashing?”

  2. K Chan

    Fox’s action is making a mockery of sustainability. Well known for attacking anything “liberal”, and even more well known for its support of Republicans’ efforts in wilderness exploitation, restricting clean air protection, clean water protection, better vehicle energy standards, Fox’s and News Corp’s window dressing action is laughable. Fox can save more energy by asking Bill O’Reilly to stop his senseless attacks on the Obama administration, or simply, go off air.

  3. Lornkanaga

    I’m not the least bit surprised. Going green is just plain good business.

  4. Lily Downing

    Wow, some folks are really bitter that not everyone thinks like them. It just goes to show, many liberals are more judgemental and intolerant than they will admit, and yet parade around wearing the mantle of “tolerance”.
    My hat’s off to Fox for achieving a neutral carbon footprint AND saving money – before the networks liberals love to love.

  5. Barb

    It is true. I am not very tolerant of those who are allowing corporations to destroy our planet for the purpose of profit. Those who do not see and understand this are believing the right-wing lies that are being spewed by stations such as FOX.

  6. Michael

    [Ed. note: This comment was deleted. Name-calling isn’t helpful commentary. Let’s keep things civil, even when we disagree.]

  7. Steve N.

    Barb has a point. It’s one thing to do things to reduce your own carbon footprint, and News Corp should be commended for it. However, the problem is when that same company gives a platform to global warming denialists and actively funds groups that are committed to tooth-and-nail opposition to any policies that will actually help the environment. It’s good to hear that they are reducing their footprint, but what else are they doing to add to the overall footprint by supporting flat earth types who think of global warming as a myth?

  8. Susan L.

    I commend News Corp for their commitment to carbon neutrality, although I am seldom in agreement with the views they present.
    I would be interested to know what the offsets are, and whether they are actually sufficient to make up for the company’s ongoing emissions.

  9. Mark Mondik

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I would agree that one positive deed does not necessarily absolve a negative one. Nonetheless, it is a little surprising that News Corp’s program on sustainability appears to go beyond that of peers that are considered to be more liberal.
    Also, I think it’s important to encourage healthy debate and multiple viewpoints on this issue. Sadly, both sides seem to have their extremists and propagandists, and this often has a negative impact on environmental progress as a whole.
    Susan, many of the details of News Corp’s program are publicly available. You can find them here:

  10. Doc

    Wow! Could they could hit 150% neutrality if they’d duct tape Glenn Beck’s mouth?

  11. N Drobny

    Important to know if this is tier 1 emissions only or tier 1,2 and 3.

  12. Yvonne

    @Mark Mondik
    “Sadly, both sides seem to have their extremists and propagandists…”
    Yes, but only one-side has its own “news” channel which lies, denies, distorts, misconstrues, and propagandizes about global warming and climate change science and information. The data is relevant to the world’s safety, health and even many human lives.
    NewsCorp/FOX News are hypocrites. They should be ashamed of themselves!

  13. Anonymous

    @ Yvonne
    “Only one side has its own news channel”, really? ever heard of PBS. Left leaning radio network, NPR and online media outlet Huffington post. And many more examples of left leaning media in ALL outlets and forms. I don’t see a problem with FOX News or The Washington post reporting news from their point of view. The problem is that liberals think an extremely left leaning reporter or newscaster is “unbiased” and they label anything and everything conservative as “bigoted” and “evil”. The issue of carbon emissions is not a left or right debate. I am fairly well right of center but I am very concerned about the environment. Fox News should be congratulated for the initiatives they have taken instead of lambasted by people who cannot see past political differences.

  14. Rob in NJ

    Wow, lot’s of useless political opinions…
    By reading, I would have expected constructive comments here. This is why I hate reading comments in youtube, emagazines, newspapers etc. I hope I don’t have to stop reading terrapass too!
    Kudos to Mondik for trying to rein-it-in, but I’m beginning to believe it’s a useless cause…

  15. Anonymous


  16. mhbraganza

    There is no natural conection between views on climate change/carbon neutrality and views on other issues. It is only for sheep-herding convenience that political groups adopt fixed stances on various subjects that have no real association with each other. Every subject/issue can be considered entirely independently and on its own merit by every thinking adult.

  17. Morgainele

    I have been trying to access the link you provided, to no avail….Am I the only one having difficulty accessing the link to the report?
    Is Terrapass saying they are verifying the data FOX provided to support their claim? I really would like to be able to access the info, but that link doesn’t work even when I type it into a new window.
    Can you please provide a working link -or is this only on my end?

  18. Tim

    I find it interesting (and telling) that it is Fox News’ parent company, News Corp, that decided to go carbon neutral. News Corp is a British company, and the Tory party in the UK (as with many European conservative parties) fully accepts the science behind global climate change and considers action necessary right now to protect against the serious downside risk of global warming.
    I’d like to invite commenters to take a step back from the heated argument around Fox News’ role in this particular situation (and that’s an implicit critique of the title of this post, since News Corp took positive action to mitigate its carbon footprint, by default including Fox News but not necessarily at Sean Hannity’s request). News Corp, and the many, many other companies with social and environmental responsibility policies, sets an important precedent: Everyone needs to take action to combat the terribly difficult problem of increased atmospheric CO2, largely from fossil fuel emissions. The corporate responsibility shown in this example is the right thing to do, even if it isn’t the sum total of all that is required.

  19. Mark Mondik

    Hmm, it works for me. But you can try simply going to News Corp’s website ( and clicking on the “Energy Initiative” tab in the upper right hand corner. That basically gets you to the same page(s).
    To be clear, TerraPass has not conducted any independent analysis or review of News Corp’s carbon inventory or activities and thus is in no position to verify or deny any of these claims. You will see from the News Corp site, however, that it indicates which third parties have analyzed, reviewed, or verified the program.

  20. Hiuno

    Fox News neutral about something.
    Congratulations News Corp.

  21. Chris Wise

    Its great that News Corp reduced energy usage and I hope that there were other waste minimization projects included in their effort to reduce their footprint. With the millions saved they bought offsets but if they used that money to create programming that would encourage their audiences to reduce their footprints, the reductions would be much larger than the offsets.

  22. Jeremiah Dolen

    Brett Favre is an unbelieveable quarterback. Who cares what he has done in his private life?