The UK's Guardian Media Group (GMG) has become the first major news outlet to become a certified B-Corporation and to pledge carbon neutrality by 2030. These changes come as part of the GMG's Climate Pledge, announced on 15 October 2019.
The GMG, responsible for producing The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, joins over 3,000 other B-Corp certified business from more than 70 countries across the world. The certification is awarded to businesses that use their power and profits to positively impact society and the environment. The GMG already lead the way in reporting on environmental issues in the language they use and the topics they discuss - becoming a certified B-Corp further cements the Group’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
As mediators of information between science, policy and the public, news outlets play a critical role in effectively communicating current issues. Historically, issues relating to the climate and environment have been poorly reported in news media owing to their often temporally and geographically indirect impacts. However, the GMG actively seeks to more adequately and more often discuss environmental challenges. And they’re trend setters.
Shortly after The Guardian announced their changes in language guidelines when discussing the climate crisis back in May 2019, the usage of terms such as ‘climate emergency’, ‘climate breakdown’ and ‘climate crisis’ rose across many national British newspapers. The GMG's Climate Pledge could be the start of a wider movement for more news outlets and commutators to commit to greater climate action and social responsibility. But, has the GMG been ambitious enough with these pledges, and how much impact can one news source have?