Dr Wilkins joins NewsMediaWorks from News Corp, where he has been head of environment since 1990. He is also chair of the NewsMediaWorks Environment Advisory Group, which was established in 2012 to continue the work of the Publishers National Environment Bureau.
NewsMediaWorks CEO, Peter Miller, said: “We’re thrilled Tony is joining us to continue NewsMediaWorks’ role in championing our industry’s impressive track record in sustainability and environmental responsibility. Australia’s newspaper recycling rate is 77%, positioning us as one of the world’s leaders in print media recycling.
“Tony’s credentials are unparalleled. His expertise and experience leading our industry’s approach to the environment have been gained at a time when sustainability has moved to the fore of business responsibility, so Tony is the ideal person for this role and we welcome him warmly.”
Prior to joining News Corp, Dr Wilkins was a scientist in medical and forest research for 12 years. At News Corp, Dr Wilkins’ role focussed on product stewardship and developing and leading the organisation’s environmental strategy.
Dr Wilkins assisted in the establishment of Australia’s newspaper recycling plant, which raised the country’s newspaper recycling rate to one of the world’s best. He also led the creation of the award-winning News Corp Environment Sustainability initiative ‘1 Degree’, and he chairs the NSW Environment Trust’s Community & Recycling subcommittee and sits on its Waste & Recycling subcommittee, as well as convening the Corporate Environment Managers Group.
Dr Wilkins said: “Having spent the majority of my career championing the news media industry’s approach to environmental responsibility, I’m very excited to be joining NewsMediaWorks to work with Peter and the team. NewsMediaWorks’ role in overseeing the industry’s approach to the environment and sustainability best practice is an important one and I’ll be working passionately to continue its good work.”
NewsMediaWorks’ environmental remit includes championing newspaper recycling and developing programs to keep newspapers out of landfill (they currently make up only about 1% of waste going to metropolitan landfills). This includes developing ‘Zero Waste’ goals for publishers, and already the majority of Australian publishers meet the International Business Alliance’s standard. It also works to reduce the industry’s greenhouse emissions, working towards an annual reduction in emissions of 4%, in line with global scientific goals under the Paris Accord.
Dr Wilkins’ appointment is effective immediately.