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James Murdoch

24 April 2007
James Murdoch

James Murdoch is CEO of BSkyB, one of the 8 corporate partners who on 23 April 2007 launched Together, a campaign to provide consumers with compelling products and services that make it easier to reduce their {CO2} emissions. Watch this space for upcoming interviews with other CEOs from the partnership companies (B&Q, Barclaycard, British Gas, Marks & Spencer, O2, Royal & Sun Alliance and Tesco), and use the comment function below to send through questions you'd like us to ask them.

Why has Sky decided to become part of the Together partnership?

The partnership is an opportunity for some of the UK's leading brands to work with their customers to make a difference. As forward-thinking companies each of the brands in the partnership wants to send a message to consumers that every single person can find easy, simple ways to save energy in the home.

You have already made exciting progress on reducing emissions within the business. Is encouraging your customers to take individual action the natural next step?

Yes, reaching a mass audience is critical. We're in over one in three homes in the UK. Our research with The Climate Group shows that consumers want products and services that are good for the environment. They want simple, easy and affordable ways to save energy and do the right thing for the climate. We're responding to those demands and to the fact that we know consumers believe businesses should play their part.

What solutions is Sky launching as part of Together?

Sky is introducing smarter technology that automatically switches inactive Sky HD and Sky+ boxes into standby overnight. Two million customers will receive the new feature in the next few months. When the annual savings are added together, this new feature could cut carbon emissions by 32,000 tonnes a year. That's equivalent to saving enough energy to light all the homes in Nottingham for a year.

Is there scope to develop more climate friendly products and services in the future - if so, what are the key areas to look at?

Technology innovation. We have the know-how to introduce smarter technologies that reduce the amount of energy people use in their homes. It's at the heart of future plans for our business and we're excited by the challenge of finding ways to provide the most efficient products available.

Can consumers trust Sky's commitment on this issue?

Operationally and through the products and services we offer, each of our companies has already begun changing the way we operate in order to use less energy and cut our carbon emissions. Sky is committed to running its businesses in sustainable ways because it puts us in line with what our customers believe.

There is currently a lot of noise around different social and environmental issues - how can the media sector be most helpful in encouraging consumers to make positive choices?

As a media company, we've a special role in informing people and helping everyone to do their bit. Earlier this year, Sky News' Green Britain week reached millions of people and encouraged local communities. They sent us their own ideas about climate change.

Why promote your own low carbon solutions as well?

We're committed to the bigger picture. We've put our own house in order as a business, but we also have an impact on our customers' home energy consumption. We have a responsibility to act so we're reducing the amount of energy our products consume. Sky's R&D roadmap strongly reflects that.

Looking forward, do you believe that communicating with consumers on issues like climate change is critical for business success?

Being in tune with customer choice is critical. The Co-Operative Bank's Ethical Consumerism Report, which tracks the rise of consumer consciousness, found that one-third of UK consumers boycotted at least one product last year for ethical reasons. That should be enough to concentrate the mind of any chief executive who thinks they need not bother with their company's strategy around climate change.

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