Our Planet

With the globe emblazoned on our logo and our longstanding commitment to tell stories about the natural world, we seek to protect the planet and ensure there will always be stories to tell. We acknowledge that climate change is a real threat to our world and business and Discovery is committed to curbing our own impact on the environment.

Jump to: Programming | Renewable Energy | Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

  • Programming

  • For over 35 years we have remained dedicated to using our platforms, reach, and influence to educate and raise awareness about the world. The very first program to run on Discovery Channel in 1985 was Iceberg Alley, which explored the impact of melting snowcaps. Since then, we’ve continued to air landmark programming including documentary series such as: Planet Earth, LIFE, Frozen Planet, Serengeti and North America; Discovery Impact documentaries including Sonic Sea, a film about ocean noise pollution, and Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman, a film about unlikely conservation heroes in America’s heartland; as well as other specials including Racing Extinction, a film that raised the alarm on pressing issues facing our planet and its creatures, The Story of Plastic, a film looking at the worldwide effects of the man-made plastic pollution crisis, and Great Global Cleanup, a special showcasing individuals cleaning up their hometowns. In 2021, Discovery will offer all in one place the definitive collection of science, nature, and environmental programming, headlined by exclusive streaming access to the BBC’s largest natural history offering. And with the premiere of Sir David Attenborough’s next blue chip natural history series A Perfect Planet, Discovery will be the home of the biggest collection of his work. Our global media portfolio also includes Group Nine Media with brands such as The Dodo and NowThis, which tell important stories about our planet and its animals to younger audiences. In addition to programming, we also build sustainability initiatives into our brands and business whenever possible. Two examples include the following:
  • We posted the Green Production Guide on our Producer’s Portal to encourage sustainable production practices by our production partners.

  • Eurosport, the #1 sports destination in Europe, launched PURE ETCR, the first all-electric multi-brand touring car championship. PURE ETCR, launched in 2020, aims to change attitudes towards electric vehicles and promote electric mobility. Through PURE ETCR, we’ve made a series of key commitments to achieve greater sustainability in motorsport which includes not using air freight in favor of sea freight, which is 100 times less detrimental to the environment, and using hydrogen-powered generators given their lesser impact than traditional internal combustion-powered units. We have also partnered with leaders in the space, including EARTHDAY.ORG, a global NGO driving positive action for the planet, as well as the United Nations working jointly with their UN Sport for Climate Action Initiative. As a result of our sustainability commitments, Eurosport was awarded the FIA’s Three Star Environmental Accreditation. For more information about PURE ETCR, click here.

  • Awards & Excellence

  • Updated: 09/24/2021  

  • Renewable Energy

  • Discovery is proud to support renewable energy and since 2017, we have progressively expanded our commitment to minimizing our environmental footprint.
  • In 2017, Discovery purchased Green e-certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset 100% of the annual electricity consumption across all of our U.S. offices.
  • In 2018, Discovery acquired Scripps Networks Interactive and while the footprint grew with this business change, we continued to uphold our renewable energy commitment by purchasing RECs to offset 100% of the annual electricity consumption across our U.S. and international offices.
  • In 2019, Discovery again offset 100% of its global electricity consumption through the purchase of RECs. In addition to progressively increasing our renewable energy procurement to offset electricity usage (Scope 2) from 2017 to 2019, in 2019 we purchased carbon offsets to account for our global Scope 1 emissions and certain Scope 3 emissions.
  • In 2020, in addition to purchasing carbon offsets and RECs to account for 100% of global Scope 1 emissions, Scope 2 emissions, and certain Scope 3 emissions, we refined our purchasing strategy by identifying renewable energy projects in regions closer to where facilities are located. In addition, Discovery reported to CDP for the first time to be transparent and share climate-related data and information with investors.
  • Updated: 09/30/2021  

  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

  • Discovery is dedicated to minimizing the organization’s carbon footprint and overall impact on the planet. To achieve this, we set three goals for 2021:
  • Goal: Disclose carbon emissions via CDP
    • Progress: Discovery completed CDP Climate Change Response in September 2021.

  • Goal: Conduct an updated survey of our global emissions to establish baselines and be able to set additional goals and objectives in years ahead
    • Progress: Discovery completed an updated inventory of global GHG emissions to establish a baseline, which will allow our teams to set additional goals in years ahead. The baseline may continue to evolve due to impacts from COVID-19 and other business changes.

  • Goal: Conduct waste, water, and energy audits in offices that we own and operate to identify opportunities for reduction
    • Progress: These audits are still a priority to Discovery but have been delayed due to the impacts of COVID-19 and reduced occupancy in our buildings. We plan to complete this goal in 2022, when occupancy is less uncertain and stable.

  • Discovery has operational control of approximately 130 facilities or spaces in the United States and the APAC, EMEA, Latin America, and Nordic regions. Most of these facilities and spaces are leased, and some are owned by Discovery. There are various types including office, warehouse, studios, TV on air, broadcasting, production, transmission, technology space, data centers, storage, and parking. The Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions inventory accounts for energy usage and vehicle fleets from these global locations.
  • Since 2017, Discovery has been progressively increasing its renewable energy commitments. In 2019 and 2020, Discovery purchased both RECs and carbon offsets to account for 100% of Scope 1 emissions, Scope 2 emissions, and certain Scope 3 emissions. By doing this, Discovery has achieved carbon neutrality and will continue to achieve this goal annually.
  • Although the world is experiencing unprecedented challenges from COVID-19, we believe there will be lessons learned and actions taken that will have a positive impact on the planet. We anticipate reduced travel and have updated our travel policy and booking process to strongly encourage virtual meetings, whenever possible. We are also considering a long-term increase in remote working that could result in reduced emissions. Similarly, we are moving toward a decreased physical footprint and adopting other innovative approaches stemming from having to do things in new ways during the pandemic, which could result in reduced emissions and waste.
  • We are also making our physical footprint as environmentally friendly as possible and have undertaken a number of initiatives to do just that, including:
  • Pursuing LEED & WELL certifications for our new New York City World Headquarters Building

  • Our National Operations Headquarters in Knoxville, TN achieved LEED Gold certification in 2010

  • Our previous World Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD was a pioneer in LEED certification and the 9th existing building in the U.S. to achieve LEED Platinum status in 2007

  • Continuing to install LED lights in over 25 of our global offices as well as low-flow controls in restrooms

  • Maintain on-going Gold membership with the U.S. Green Building Council

  • Installed car charging stations in our Sterling, VA office, with the aim to install in our Knoxville, TN office in 2021

  • Removing single-use plastics from our global offices through efforts including installation of refillable water stations and removing plastics from vending services

  • Launched “follow me printing” in nearly 50% of global offices to reduce printing and paper usage – in the U.S. alone, during a 7-month period in 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, we reduced paper usage over 30%

  • Composting in two of our New York City offices as well as our Los Angeles, London, and Paris offices, with the aim to launch composting in our Knoxville, TN office in 2021

  • In 2016, Discovery’s London offices began participating in food waste reduction efforts, including a compost wormery, collecting office food scraps and feeding them to the 100,000 worms in the London business park and contracting with no-landfill waste haulers

  • In 2017, Discovery’s London offices launched a “Meatless Monday” initiative in the office café, an initiative they have continued through 2020, to help lower the carbon impact associated with animal production

  • Expanded from 1 to 7 greenD employee interest group chapters across 5 countries (U.S., UK, Poland, Italy, France) over the last 4 years, with the chapters actively pursuing green initiatives in their respective offices

  • Updated: 09/30/2021