In the news
On March 2, Fox announced that its hit show 24 achieved carbon neutral status, making it what appears to be the first TV series to do so. Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox's parent company News Corp, has previously pledged that his company will become carbon neutral by 2010. The status of 24 was achieved through efforts like using green power for on-stage production and purchasing carbon offsets for all unavoidable emissions.
The show's popularity prompted Fox to use 24 as a platform to educate audiences about climate change, says Chris Alexander, SVP of corporate communications at 20th Century Fox Television.
Fox is spreading the word through traditional media relations and a series of PSAs featuring 24's stars. It also hopes to drive viewers to Fox.com and News CorpÆs global energy initiative Web site, gei.newscorp.com, where they can learn more about the companyÆs efforts and adjustments they can make in their own lives.
Why does it matter?
"The real impact will be with our millions of viewers," says Alexander. "Just getting a conversation started is a win."
Tyler Barnett, cofounder of Barnett Ellman, a PR and marketing firm that specializes in green PR, says TV is a good platform for Fox to spread its environmental message because of its strong reach.
Barnett believes the message will resonate among viewers. He adds that 24 is likely to generate a lot of coverage around this effort because of its status as the first series to be carbon neutral.
"It's a great PR move because now they're setting the bar for a story," notes Barnett. He also says regular viewers might tune in more closely to see if anything is different, while new viewers may emerge either out of curiosity or concern for the environment.
1. Fox TV show 24 reduced the carbon footprint of its seventh season by 43% through environmentally friendly production practices.
2. Fox reduced the show's overall carbon footprint by 940 metric tons of carbon dioxide through purchasing renewable energy.
3. Warner Bros. studios says its energy-efficiency programs save 9 million-plus kilowatt hours and $1 million a year, and prevent 6,471 tons of greenhouse gases.
4. Producers of the 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow reportedly spent $200,000 to offset the 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the filming process.
5. Via recycling, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Motion Picture Assoc. of America prevented 65,497 metric tons of greenhouse gases in '07.