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Rupert Murdoch: News Corp Is Carbon Neutral

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WASHINGTON -- The corporate parent of Fox News, the cable network most closely associated with denying the dangers of climate change, has achieved its goal of becoming carbon neutral three years after making the commitment, its top executive, Rupert Murdoch, announced in a letter to News Corp employees obtained by The Huffington Post.

Fox News hosts have routinely ridiculed efforts to reduce the human population's carbon footprint and has mocked environmentalists and politicians for proposing more efficient light bulbs and better inflated tires.

Yet such measures helped News Corp reach its goal, Murdoch told his staff. "[W]e have saved millions of dollars by improving the energy efficiency of our day-to-day operations. 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," Murdoch wrote.

Murdoch also noted that some of his media properties have been recognized for their committed coverage to the threat facing the planet -- though Fox News did not make that list.

"Most important, throughout this endeavor we have continued to do what we do best: engage our audiences around the world with the most compelling content," he wrote. "Twentieth Century Fox's Ice Age franchise and the most successful film of all time, Avatar, prove that passionate environmental messages can be fodder for both blockbusters and real-world action, like the million trees planted in 2010 through the Avatar Home Tree initiative. National Geographic Channel offers scientifically rigorous programs, like Preserve Our Planet and Great Migrations, that are also visually stunning. The Times of London built on its long history of outstanding science coverage to launch Eureka, a monthly magazine supplement dedicated to science, innovation, and the environment. News Limited recently launched the public face of its award-winning employee-facing One Degree initiative. And The Wall Street Journal's fourth annual ECO:nomics conference, the leading forum for conversations at the intersection of business and the environment, kicks off tomorrow."

Murdoch hailed his company's leadership in the environmental sustainability movement. "I am proud to announce that News Corporation has reached its first major sustainability milestone: we have become carbon neutral across all of our global operations and we are the first company of our kind to do so," he wrote.

Read the full letter:

Dear Colleagues,

I am proud to announce that News Corporation has reached its first major sustainability milestone: we have become carbon neutral across all of our global operations and we are the first company of our kind to do so.

We made a bold commitment in 2007 to embed the values of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability into all of our businesses - for the benefit of our communities and our bottom line.

But achieving net zero carbon emissions was never our only goal. Less than four years ago, I invited all of our employees, business partners and audiences to join us in this exciting initiative - and your response has been extraordinary. Today, I'm pleased to share some of our successes across the Company, as well as our long-term commitment to environmental sustainability.

Together, despite some of the toughest markets our industry has ever seen, we have saved millions of dollars by improving the energy efficiency of our day-to-day operations. 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. The Company's global data center consolidation strategy alone will save approximately $20M per year and reduce data center emissions by almost 15% when completed.

Our support of clean energy - through on-site projects, renewable energy certificates, and carbon credits - spans the globe, from Los Angeles to India. Our UK businesses now procure 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. Dow Jones is close to completing a 4.1MW solar power system on its campus in New Jersey, which will be the largest solar installation of its kind in the United States; at peak, it will provide 50% of the site's electricity needs.

We have provided leadership in our industry, across our supply chain, and among the global business community. Fox Entertainment developed robust carbon footprinting standards and tools for film, television, sports, and event production, as well as a sustainable vendor guide. The standards we set helped lead to a new industry-wide consortium and the online, open-source Green Production Guide. Our initiative has even prompted major suppliers, like paper manufacturer Norske Skog, to set their own ambitious environmental targets. We have collaborated with business partners who were already leading the way, including our DVD supply chain initiative with Wal-mart, which pioneered an eco-case that reduced emissions from raw materials alone by 13% and has become the industry standard. Most recently, we became founding members of the UK-India Business Leaders Climate Group.

Most important, throughout this endeavor we have continued to do what we do best: engage our audiences around the world with the most compelling content. Twentieth Century Fox's Ice Age franchise and the most successful film of all time, Avatar, prove that passionate environmental messages can be fodder for both blockbusters and real-world action, like the million trees planted in 2010 through the Avatar Home Tree initiative. National Geographic Channel offers scientifically rigorous programs, like Preserve Our Planet and Great Migrations, that are also visually stunning. The Times of London built on its long history of outstanding science coverage to launch Eureka, a monthly magazine supplement dedicated to science, innovation, and the environment. News Limited recently launched the public face of its award-winning employee-facing One Degree initiative. And The Wall Street Journal's fourth annual ECO:nomics conference, the leading forum for conversations at the intersection of business and the environment, kicks off tomorrow.

News Corp.'s leadership in this area has been recognized by key independent parties, recently earning top marks in the Carbon Disclosure Project's leadership indices and winning big in the Environmental Media Association's 20th annual awards, with top honors going to Avatar and Bones.

We are well on our way to becoming the innovative, regenerative business we want to be. In the long term, we aim to grow our business without growing our carbon footprint, to power our operations with clean electricity, to minimize solid waste to landfill from our production operations, and to continue to engage our audiences on sustainability issues through partnerships and content of the highest caliber.

To help us realize this vision, I ask only that you apply the same creative thinking to sustainability that you already do to your jobs every day.

Congratulations and thank you for putting us on the right path. We have come a long way and we have much to do together.

Sincerely,

Rupert Murdoch

Watch a replay of the London announcement event on the Global Energy Initiative website, available after 1:00pm EST today. There you can also find information about our sustainability initiative and get involved."

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