Electric vehicles used to power low carbon BBC news programme

Electric cars and electric bikes were centre stage for BBC Look East’s historic broadcast as the show cut its carbon emissions by two-thirds.

The show became the first in the broadcaster’s history to undergo a “carbon makeover.” The team at Look East worked with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cambridge, to measure their carbon footprint, and found travel was their biggest carbon contributor.

As a result, reporters for the programme used electric cars and electric bikes to travel to different stories, whilst other measures, such as using a hydrogen fuel cell generator, were used to power the show.

The programme was also broadcast in the car park for natural light, as studio lighting was found to be a large carbon emitter.

Ian Kelly, Look East assistant editor and project lead, commented on the initiative: “We wanted to find an exciting, challenging way to engage with our audiences on what can seem a daunting subject, and share some of the local challenges and solutions.

“Using no carbon is really tough; offsetting is one way to achieve carbon neutrality but we hope the journey we have begun will help contribute to a broader understanding of the challenges.”

Look East has since become the first BBC regional news programme to be given an industry-recognised “Albert certified” sustainability accreditation by Bafta.

Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Nations, said it was “vital that all organisations look carefully at their impact on carbon emissions.”

“We’ll be assessing the impact of Monday’s broadcast to see what lessons can be learned across the whole organisation,” he added.

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