Channel 5 launches sustainability programming policy

Channel 5 launches sustainability programming policy

Into the Grand Canyon with Nick Knowles Channel 5 is launching an editorial policy making sustainability a mandatory part of its programming output.

The ‘Everyday Sustainability’ initiative will see creative conversations between commissioners and independent producers at the start of each project to explore where sustainability can best feature in programme narratives – even in titles that don’t lend themselves to discussing sustainability issues.

C5 will work with producers to implement procedures to track environmental references on screen, pre- and post-production. A report at the end of the series will highlight where sustainability featured in the final show.

The aim is to make C5 and Paramount titles, including returning drama Dalgleish and tentpole factual series like Amazing Railway Adventures with Nick Knowles, foreground sustainability for viewers.

Everyday Sustainability builds on parent Paramount UK’s peak sustainability climate strategy – launched last October – which requires programmes to adapt storytelling to include sustainability angles.

Chief content officer Ben Frow said the strategy aims 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”.

He added: “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.”

Maria Kyriacou, president, broadcast and 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.”

Robson Green Amazon order

Alongside the policy, C5 is expanding its environment-focused programming slate with three-part Into The Amazon with Robson Green (working title).

The Coming Up Roses-produced series will see the Grantchester actor take viewers on a journey through the Amazon rainforest to explore one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems.

Beginning in the Brazilian state of Amazonas capital Manaus, Green will explore the city’s history and surroundings before sailing down the Rio Negro to meet indigenous tribes, pink dolphin conservationists and go fishing.

He has previously worked with the broadcaster on Extreme Fishing with Robson Green.


Into The Amazon was commissioned by Adrian Padmore for C5. Coming Up Roses creative director Oliver Wright is exec producing, with Grace Kitto as series editor and Jason Holmes as series director. The series will be distributed by All3Media International.


The title will sit alongside fellow environmental shows Swimming in Sewage: Britain’s Water Scandal and Ice Age.

This article first appeared on our sister site, Broadcast. 

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