Channel 5 has announced ‘Everyday Sustainability’, an editorial drive to “inspire, encourage and support its viewers to live more sustainable lives”, by integrating environmental themes across its “entire programming schedule.”

The channel will adapt its approach to storytelling across all genres to include new sustainability angles in returning drama and factual tentpoles, like Dalgleish, Amazing Railway Adventures with Nick Knowles, Shop Smart, Save Money and the …On The Farm franchise. These will grow alongside Channel 5’s expanding library of programmes tackling environmental issues directly, such as Swimming in Sewage: Britain’s Water Scandal, Ice Age and new three-part series Into The Amazon With Robson Green (w/t) which follows the actor’s epic journey into the Amazon Rainforest.

‘Everyday Sustainability’ will also challenge the channel’s commissioners to find creative ways of incorporating on-screen references in programmes that don’t naturally lend themselves to discussion of sustainability issues, such as its slate of ‘blue light’ shows- “promoting green knowledge with a gentle touch.”

To support the rollout of ‘Everyday Sustainability’, Channel 5 will work with production companies to implement procedures designed to track environmental references on screen, pre- and post-production. At the start of each project conversations between commissioners and independent producers will explore where sustainability can best feature in programme narratives and  end of series reports will highlight where sustainability featured in the final show. This editorial tracking will complement work already underway to reduce the environmental impact of the broadcaster’s productions.

Ben Frow, Chief Content Officer, UK, at Paramount Global, said: “Our aim is to normalise environmental awareness across all our storytelling – through a line, a scene, a visual, a shot – anything that allows us to keep  this important issue front of mind for viewers, without lecturing. We are taking a natural approach to bring audiences along with us, in keeping with the tone and style of Channel 5. The support of our indie partners is critical to this plan, so we will work closely with them to embed these references until it becomes second nature across our schedule.”

The ‘Everyday Sustainability’ initiative builds on a commitment made last year by Paramount UK, Channel 5’s parent company, to integrate positive environmental themes across its UK output as part of its climate strategy.

Maria Kyriacou, President, Broadcast & Studios, International Markets, at Paramount Global, said, “As a global company and one with UK public service responsibility, we are harnessing the power of our content to influence our viewer’s behavior. With ‘Everyday Sustainability’ in the UK, we will be shifting our narrative approach in a way that fits in with Channel 5’s accessible brand and our deep connection with our audience.”


Jon Creamer

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