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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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BBC publishes annual Corporate Responsibility Report 2009/2010

The BBC today published its Corporate Responsibility Report for 2009/2010 detailing its approach to managing the BBC's business functions in a responsible way. The Report also describes the activities across the Corporation that underline the BBC's commitment to its six Public Purposes in terms of outreach and connecting with audiences.

"The BBC exists to serve the public," commented Caroline Thomson, Chief Operating Officer, BBC.

"Our Corporate Responsibility strategy connects us to our audiences and connects them to one another and the wider world, it brings another dimension to our output and demonstrates tangible ways in which the BBC can enrich peoples' lives."

In spite of the current economic climate, the BBC's viewers and listeners have continued to support the BBC's charitable causes. In 2009/2010 both Children in Need and Sport Relief (which alternates with Red Nose Day every other year) exceeded their previous fundraising totals, raising £39m and over £40m respectively.

In addition, the BBC Wildlife Fund and the BBC Performing Arts Fund raised money for two different causes. The BBC Wildlife Fund has raised £1m for wildlife both in the UK and across the globe following the success of the live show on BBC Two – Wild Night In – and the BBC Performing Arts Fund has donated over £3m to aspiring performers who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford to train, since its inception in 2003, making it the largest charitable funder of musical theatre training in the UK. This year's Choral Ambition Scheme awarded over £200,000 to various singing groups across the UK, benefitting almost 6,000 choir members across 98 singing groups.

The BBC has continued to extend its outreach programmes, connecting and inspiring young citizens, giving them platforms to participate in current affairs. In March 2010, 25,000 pupils took part in the School Report News Day, encouraging children to report local news for publication on their own school websites and linked to the BBC. Two-hundered-and-sixty schools also participated in a world record attempt for the "largest ever interactive weather report" and the Schools Question Time Project involved around 100 other schools and around 1000 pupils. As well as encouraging participation across the nation, the BBC also supported international initiatives that enabled UK schools to work with schools in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti and Africa.

Outreach also played a role in supporting key programming initiatives across the BBC platforms. As part of the BBC's Year of Science, BBC Learning launched a bespoke roadshow based on the popular programme Bang Goes The Theory. Travelling to seven cities across the UK, over 65,000 people attended the events which brought science to life in a creative and innovative way.

In line with the BBC's public purpose to communicate with audiences abroad, the BBC World Service Trust and BBC Learning English has launched a series of initiatives. In Bangladesh, two projects – BBC Janala and BBC Buzz – were launched to help the population improve or learn the English language. BBC Janala offers hundreds of low-cost, three-minute audio lessons via mobile phones or free online. In the first three months of launch more than one million lessons were accessed. BBC Buzz is a weekly youth TV show and is the country's first primetime magazine TV show, combining comedy sketches, cartoons and discussions. Within three months of the show's premiere, BBC Buzz was the second most popular programme in primetime and the first series was watched by five million people. Later this year the BBC will launch Bishaash, the first ever bilingual international drama to be set both in Bangladesh and the UK.

BBC World Class, in partnership with the British Council, has helped to twin schools in different countries. The aim is to inspire the schools to twin, facilitated by the British Council, and create global classrooms to help children to understand different cultures. For example, the Polesworth School in Warwickshire is twinned with Shen Zhen Shi Bi Bo Zhong Xue, in Shenzen, China. Pupils from both schools worked together to celebrate the Chinese New Year – creating a dragon and learning a dragon dance to celebrate this festival.

The report also shows the initiatives put in place to support talent and culture, encouraging people to develop their own talents into a hobby or a career. The BBC Proms Plus programme was designed to introduce classical music to new audiences and the 2009 Proms Season included concerts specifically designed do this – for example the Bollywood and MGM Musicals Proms.

The BBC also extended the volunteering opportunities for staff with Connect & Create. These initiatives enable staff to gain experience outside their own workplace and meeting with the audiences that the BBC serves.

In 2009/2010 Connect & Create ran 81 bespoke projects with charity partners. This involved 694 BBC volunteers who spent a total of 772 days in face-to-face situations with approximately 2,300 members of the public. It is estimated that in total Create & Connect reached 85,000 people.

As technology continues to develop and innovate, impacting on peoples' lives, the BBC has continued to harness new technologies to give audiences new platforms. The BBC's longest running community film making project, Video Nation, was relaunched in Autumn 2009, inviting members of the public to submit content that contributes to BBC series and features. In addition to this, the BBC became the first broadcaster to provide audio described TV programmes on BBC iPlayer for the visually impaired.

The BBC continued to make progress towards reaching the targets set in its 2008 Environmental Action Plan. The latest report shows reverses in last year's energy consumption with a 4% decrease in energy consumed per full-time employee and a 5.2% reduction in our CO2 emissions from energy over the baseline year.

In addition, we reduced emissions from transport by 8% compared to our baseline. Sustainability will become a key focus for the forthcoming year and the BBC will engage staff to think creatively about how to apply sustainability principles in the workplace. A series of guides are being developed for use by production staff and later this year the BBC will launch "Albert" the carbon calculator to help production teams assess and measure carbon emissions.

Alec McGivan, BBC's Head of Outreach, says: "This year's Corporate Responsibility Report demonstrates that the BBC has built on last year's success in terms of offering unique participation experiences across our Public Purposes. While the year ahead will present challenges, we remain committed to corporate responsibility.

"In particular, we will focus on the community impacts of opening a new BBC site in Salford and we will continue to improve the way we evaluate our outreach programmes. Another priority is developing our environmental plan into a wider sustainability drive across the organisation, to include how we make our programmes – as well as the way we run our business."

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