Sustainability

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FX’s Legion drew praise from critics and audiences alike for its ambitious storytelling and visual style, and fans can now check out an exclusive video and case study detailing how the cast and crew brought that same level of ambition to going green behind-the-scenes. All departments made a concerted effort to save energy, reduce the show’s carbon footprint, and overall make the production as environmentally sustainable as possible, even piloting new technologies that could advance sustainability for the entire industry. The initiatives came as part of 21st Century Fox’s broad commitment to minimizing its environmental impacts, growing sustainably, and inspiring others to take action.

“This is the first production I’ve worked on where the conversation [about sustainability] started during our first production meeting,” said Kim Goddard-Rains, Production Coordinator. “I hope that it inspires people when they see the results and that they’re reminded of the little things we can all do. It feels good.”

Before shooting began, 21CF once again hired Zena Harris of Green Sparks Group, who previously oversaw green initiatives on The X-Files event series in 2016, as Legion’s sustainable production consultant. Harris worked directly with each department throughout the nearly six-month shoot to review best practices from the Green Production Guide, which Fox developed in collaboration with peer Hollywood studios, as well as identify opportunities to innovate new techniques for energy saving, such as partnering with Portable Electric to pilot their new mobile power stations.

“The studio was very supportive as we trialed battery power stations to replace the smaller generators that are diesel powered,” Harris said. “It reduces greenhouse gas emissions from generators and helps eliminate noise.”

These strategies, combined with every department’s goals to save energy and reduce waste, resulted in significant cost and energy savings across the board. The crew managed to divert 55% of the waste from landfill, avoid 252 metric tons of CO2 emissions, and collectively save nearly $48,000 USD, as well as purchase 70% Forest Stewardship Council-certified lauan plywood for set construction.

These achievements build on a long history of pioneering green production practices at 21CF. The company regularly works with production crews across its film and television projects to ensure environmental responsibility is integrated into each department’s daily operations, with previous series 24: Live Another Day and The X-Files event series each breaking new ground for the industry at large on lumber sourcing and recycling.

Learn more about environmental sustainability on Legion by reading our detailed case study and watching the exclusive video below.

Legion has been renewed for a second season, and the first is available to stream on FX, FXNOW, and Hulu.


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Xploration Station, Fox TV Stations’ three-hour block of STEM programming for teens and their families, has announced its first #StudentExplorer Contest, giving high school and college students across the U.S. the chance to explore the world with Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau and host of the Xploration Station series Xploration Awesome Planet. The contest winner will accompany Cousteau on an underwater voyage to locate and study whale sharks off the coast of Mexico. Students can apply by posting video entries to the Xploration Station Facebook page, which will accept submissions until Sunday, April 23.

“This is a unique opportunity to engage students in a real world experience that promotes both STEM and ocean conservation,” said Steve Rotfeld, president of Steve Rotfeld Productions, which produces all six series that compose the Xploration Station block. “We believe that contests like this can inspire those interested in pursuing careers in science.”

Students between 16 and 22 years old can apply by posting a video of up to three minutes long to the Xploration Station Facebook page. The video should explain why it is important to explore and understand how the planet works, how the underwater expedition would make them better explorers and citizens of Earth, and why they should be selected as the first ever #StudentExplorer. The winner will be announced on Facebook shortly after the April 23 deadline.

This is the third consecutive year Xploration Station has given young people enthusiastic about science and exploration the chance to pursue their interests through a hands-on learning experience. In previous years, the #StudentAstronaut Contest, which debuted during Xploration Station’s premiere season, allowed contest winners to train like an astronaut alongside Xploration Outer Space host Emily Calendrelli, a Harvard scholar and former NASA scientist.

Xploration Station comprises six series in total: Cousteau’s Xploration Awesome Planet, Calandrelli’s Xploration Outer Space, artist and futurist Chuck Pell’s Xploration Earth 2050Youtube star Steve Spangler’s DIY Sci, marine biologist Danni Washington’s Nature Knows Best, and Weird but True, hosted by Charlie and Kirby Engleman, produced in partnership with Nat Geo Kids.

Many of these series were recently nominated for this year’s Daytime Emmy Awards, and Fox TV Stations recently extended Xploration Station’s run through 2020. The entire block airs in more than 100 million homes nationwide on Saturday mornings and is available to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Yahoo View, and Roku.

Learn more about the #StudentAstronaut contest, including full contest terms and conditions, and watch the video below:


Unique Lodges of the World, National Geographic

Launched in 2015, the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World is a collection of 55 world-class hotels spanning 30 countries and 6 continents that offer guests rare experiences with parts of the world that not many get to know. Each lodge is deeply rooted in its community and dedicated to protecting surrounding ecosystems and cultures—and harnesses their vitality to safeguard them for the future. On March 27, National Geographic released the first Sustainable Tourism Impact Report, compiled from data from each of the member lodges that measures the impact of their practices, from use of renewable energy to protecting endangered wildlife. The report details this impact and highlights stories about some of the innovative sustainability projects at the lodges, and serves as inspiring proof that tourism—when done thoughtfully and carefully—can be a powerful force for good in the world.

To join the Unique Lodges of the World cohort, each interested property underwent a rigorous on-site inspection by the National Geographic Sustainable Tourism team, who reviewed their operations based on the four pillars of sustainable tourism: protection of natural heritage, protection of cultural heritage, support for local communities, and environmentally friendly practices. The launch of the collection and release of the report is particularly timely, as the United Nations recently designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The UN’s goal, embedded within the universal Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, is to motivate the travel industry and bolster tourism’s role in inclusive sustainable economic growth, resource protection, cultural conservation, and conflict resolution. The Unique Lodges of the World Collection’s core mission aligns with this goal, and the report demonstrates how tangible results are already being produced.

In less than two years, lodge collection members have rehabilitated and protected over 3.7 million acres of land and sea, referred to as their collective conservation footprint. They have given over $76 million in direct contributions to historic and cultural site preservation, which lies at the heart of National Geographic’s mission to embrace and protect all aspects of heritage, from language, music, textiles, and art to landmarks, architecture, and sacred sites. Having invested over $3 million in community initiatives, the lodges support education, health, and small business development, and they are actively engaged in reducing waste, recycling materials, and cutting carbon emissions—these efforts have diverted over 3 million pounds of waste from landfills around the world.

“When travel is done the right way—the sustainable way—then local people and visitors alike benefit from the power and promise of travel to alleviate poverty, protect nature, and safeguard cultural heritage for future generations,” said National Geographic’s Costas Christ, Senior Advisor for Sustainable Tourism.

Learn more about the  Unique Lodges of the World and read National Geographic’s Sustainable Tourism Impact Report today.


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Photo courtesty National Geographic

21st Century Fox’s National Geographic has selected three high school students as the recipients of the National Geographic Student Expeditions Inaugural Teen Service Award, a new program recognizing young people who have demonstrated a commitment to making a difference in their communities. Alexa Grabelle, Delaney Reynolds, and Kaimana Idica will each receive $500 college scholarships, and Grabelle, as the grand prize winner, will embark on a National Geographic Community Service Expedition to Fiji this summer. The awards program is one of the many ways National Geographic continues to empower the next generation of global citizens and explorers.

“Connecting with and benefiting communities around the world is a key focus of National Geographic Student Expeditions, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize students across the country who are making a difference in their own communities,” said Deb Friedman, vice president for independent and specialty travel for National Geographic. “We were blown away by the nominations we received for these awards.”

National Geographic received nearly 300 submissions for the award, for which parents, teachers, and local leaders could nominate middle or high school students investing time and effort into their communities. Following the submission period, judges at Nat Geo selected 16 finalists, each of whom were asked to write a short essay on the importance of community service and what inspires them to give back. The judges then chose the grand prize winner and two runners-up based on those essays.

Grabelle, 15, who attends high school in New Jersey, won the grand prize for founding the nonprofit Bags of Books at age 10 and continuing to work with volunteers to collect and distribute children’s books to low-income families. She has given away more than 110,000 children’s books to date, and in recognition of her work, National Geographic’s Kids Books will also donate 300 children’s books to her organization.

“Equality and justice means that all children, regardless of background, must have an equal opportunity to obtain the resources and skills they need to succeed in school and life,” Grabelle said. “Changing the world means helping children, one book at a time.”

Reynolds and Idica, high school seniors in Miami and Hawaii, respectively, both addressed climate change and environmental issues in their community service projects, for which they were recognized as runners-up. Through her work with the Sink or Swim Project, Reynolds aims to educate as many people as possible about the negative effects climate change is already having on ecosystems in Florida. Her efforts, including educational lectures, children’s books and more, have reached an estimated 35,000 people.

Similarly, Idica has partnered with several nonprofits to educate the public in Maui about the effects that plastics specifically have on the environment. He has created zero-waste local for public events, led film projects, and spoken at high schools across the state.

“Today our society has gotten lazy by living in a world of convenience,” Idica said. “I cannot just look the other way and say, ‘Someone else will do it.’ There are too many people saying that already.”

Learn more about National Geographic Student Expeditions.


Katie Couric, Courteney Monroe at the Cynopsis Media Social Good Awards, New York City

On Thursday, March 2, Cynopsis Media honored National Geographic with its inaugural Impact Award in the Network category at their third annual Social Good Awards in New York City. The Social Good Awards recognize brands, campaigns, and individuals for outstanding work in areas ranging from environmental initiatives to voter registration to combatting addiction.

Journalist Katie Couric presented the Impact Award to Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks, for the company’s commitment to programming that engages viewers in stories about the human condition and exploration of new frontiers, including documentaries Before the Flood and Gender Revolution, which is hosted by Couric and explores issues of gender identity. “I could not have found a better partner on this journey with me…. Under Courteney’s leadership, this truly iconic brand is reaching new heights. It’s broadened the definition of exploration to not only include geography but ideas and even our inner dimensions—the very things that make us human,” said Couric.

21st Century Fox businesses earned a total of ten nominations at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards. In addition to the Impact Award, 21CF and National Geographic’s social media campaign in support of the documentary He Named Me Malala was awarded Social Good Awards in both categories of “Facebook Campaign or Initiative” and “Partnership with a Celebrity/Athlete/Character.” The film tells the inspiring story of Pakistani education activist and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai’s fight for the educational rights of women and girls. The Stand with Malala social media campaign drew attention to the more than 60 million girls that are out of school around the world, and raised $50,000 for the Malala Fund to support education programs for Syrian refugee children.

National Geographic also won an award for best “Environmental Campaign or Initiative” for Before the Flood, a documentary from Academy Award-winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Stevens investigating the global effects of climate change. In addition to airing the film in 171 countries around the world, National Geographic made it available for free across streaming and on-demand platforms to ensure as many people could see it as possible. More than 60 million people viewed Before the Flood, making it one of the most watched documentary films in history. National Geographic also ran a number of campaigns around the film to amplify its message, including a series of screenings at colleges and universities in partnership with Rock the Vote to encourage students to register to vote ahead of the presidential election.  “It’s not enough just to create this type of important and thought provoking content. As leaders in media we need to be equally committed to making sure it reaches the widest audience possible in order to effect change…. In a world in which media is scrutinized like never before, we have a responsibility to be bold, to take risks, to be radical in our thinking and relentless in our pursuit of stories that matter,” added Nat Geo’s Monroe.

Other 21st Century Fox nominations at the Social Good Awards represented the variety of social issues that 21CF businesses work on, ranging from FOX Sports Supports’ efforts to help military veterans transition to civilian life to National Geographic’s on-air campaigns to preserve America’s National Parks. The “Find Your Park, Love Your Park” campaign from National Geographic and Subaru of America is geared toward teaching fourth graders across the United States about the importance of U.S. national parks by driving viewers to a host of educational resources available at National Geographic’s website. In addition, “Partners in Preservation: National Parks”, created with American Express, awarded $2 million in grants in 2016 to historic sites in need of preservation within national parks, as decided by popular vote on the campaign website.

“At National Geographic, we have a 130-year history of supporting and funding individuals committed to making a difference. Through the National Geographic Society, we invest in bold people with really transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, conservation and education,” concluded Monroe at the awards.

Get more information and check out a full list of the 2017 Cynopsis Media Social Good Award winners and nominees.