Hearst believes responsible environmental stewardship is not just an integral part of doing business; it is the core of who we are as a company.

Hearst Tower

Hearst Tower was the first occupied “green” commercial building in New York City to receive a LEED Gold Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. In 2012, it earned a Platinum LEED Rating for Existing Buildings — the first building to receive both Gold and Platinum certifications. In 2018, Hearst Tower achieved a second LEED Platinum Rating, becoming the first publicly acknowledged, triple LEED-certified building in the country. 

One component of Hearst Tower’s environmentally friendly design is Icefall, a three-story waterfall that commands Hearst’s atrium and lobby, circulating recycled rainwater collected from the roof. The collection of rainwater saves 1.7 million gallons of water annually that would otherwise be runoff waste. In addition, Icefall cools and humidifies the lobby and atrium space, saving additional power.  

Hearst Ranches, Central California

California Flats Solar Project at the Jack Ranch 

As of April 2019, Hearst’s Jack Ranch completed its California Flats Solar Project with Capital Dynamics, installing 1 million individual solar modules to produce clean, renewable electricity. The electricity is being purchased under long-term contract by Apple for their Cupertino headquarters and Pacific Gas and Electric. 

A new additional 60-megawatt battery storage component of the solar project is now under construction and expected to achieve commercial operation in late 2021. As of today, the California Flats solar project produces enough clean, renewable energy to displace over 109,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually — the equivalent of taking 22,000 cars off the road. 

Grass-Fed Free-Range Beef

Hearst Ranches are the nation’s largest single-source supplier of free-range, all-natural grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Hearst Ranches are certified as a top-rated producer by the Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating program. 

Since 1865, the Hearst family has raised cattle on the rich, sustainable native grasslands of the Central California coast. Hearst cattle are 100% grass-fed, 100% free-range and humanely raised. In this program, the animals on the Hearst Ranches are not given growth hormones or antibiotics, ever.

Hearst Ranches practice sustainable agriculture and managed grazing on its two ranches in Central California: the Piedra Blanca Ranch in San Simeon and the Jack Ranch in Cholame.

Conservation at San Simeon

This 83,000-acre Hearst Ranch property at San Simeon contains a diverse array of ecosystems, including coastal prairies, woodlands, forests and grasslands, and is home to more than a thousand native plant and animal species. It also provides a critical link connecting migratory pathways and habitat corridors to over 100,000-acres of adjacent state and federal lands.

In partnership with American Land Conservancy and working with the State of California, in 2005, the Hearst Ranch property was forever preserved as a working cattle ranch and protected from commercial development with a perpetual conservation easement, held by the California Rangeland Trust. Thirteen miles of coastline were also donated to the public and are today managed by California State Parks.

The Hearst Ranch Conservation Project won the California Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in 2006, which is California's highest environmental honor.

Avocados at San Simeon 

Hearst Ranch San Simeon seasonally distributes Hass avocados grown sustainably with no pesticides and herbicides to several local San Luis Obispo County sustainable markets and farm shops.

Hearst Forests, Northern California

Hearst’s 61,000 acre (95 square mile) working forest is located at the base of Mt. Shasta in northern California’s Cascade Mountain range. 

Currently, Hearst is the only timber landowner in California managing under a Programmatic Timberland Environmental Impact Report (PTEIR). This is a comprehensive ownership-wide, landscape-level, land management document that was approved in 1998 and state-certified as compliant with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The PTEIR establishes long-term sustainable timber harvest levels, environmentally friendly mitigation measures and commitments to implementation, effectiveness and validation monitoring regimes. 

Included as part of the CEQA approved PTEIR document, Hearst Forests has entered into several long-term agreements with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agreements specify resource management standards to protect special-status plant and wildlife species, including the northern spotted owl, and other species that are listed as threatened or endangered under both the Federal and California Endangered Species Acts. 

In addition, Hearst Forests has celebrated over 50 years of membership and recognition as a Certified Tree Farm under the American Tree Farm System. This independent third-party certification program sets high standards of land stewardship for our sustainable forest management activities.  

Hearst Forests have been properly maintaining forests for more than 100 years using methods to have a positive effect on climate change.

Sustainable Paper Sourcing & Use

Dedicated to responsible sourcing, Hearst requires that all paper mills the company purchases from operate under a third-party certified chain of custody program. This ensures that 100 percent of the fiber entering the mill is traced to its origin and complies with controlled logging standards, i.e., the fiber is legally harvested and does not come from endangered forests.

Hearst has partnered with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative on multiple projects to help protect and sustainably utilize forests, including working to make third-party forest certification more efficient and accessible. Criteria for certification includes the use of sustainable harvesting techniques, as well as protection of wildlife habitat, soil and water. These projects have led to the certification of over 10 million acres of land. 

In an effort to promote the conservation of paper, 95% of Hearst publications that do not reach the reader — print overruns, damaged or unsold newsstand copies — are recycled.

Additionally, in 2019 Hearst UK replaced all plastic magazine bags with sustainably sourced paper wraps on its subscriber copies.

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Building Green

In 2012, Hearst Tower became the first commercial building in New York City to be recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for achieving both LEED Gold for New Construction and LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings.