The Guardian has become the first major global news organisation to ban advertising from oil and gas companies.
The decision was announced on January 29 as part of the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and increase reporting on the climate emergency.
In a joint statement, Acting Chief Executive Anna Bateson and Chief Revenue Officer Hamish Nicklin said the ban would apply to all businesses primarily involved in the extraction of fossil fuels.
But they conceded that with 40% of the media group’s revenue coming from advertising, the ban would likely result in a financial hit.
They also revealed that some readers had wanted the company to go even further and ban advertising for any product that has a large carbon footprint such as cars, but that this was not financially sustainable and might have forced it to make significant cuts to the editorial resources of the Guardian and Observer newspapers.
They said: “The funding model for the Guardian – like most high-quality media companies – is going to remain precarious over the next few years. It’s true that rejecting some adverts might make our lives a tiny bit tougher in the very short term. Nonetheless, we believe building a more purposeful organisation and remaining financially sustainable go hand in hand.”