Producers can tackle climate change
by Birgit Heidsiek
- At the conference on carbon-free audiovisual productions in Paris, Ecoprod and Film4Climate drafted a common charter to fight climate change
Before the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) kicked off, Ecoprod and Film4Climate hosted a conference on carbon-free audiovisual productions at the Cinéma Le Balzac in Paris in order to discuss how the film industry could tackle climate change. “We have the tools, we have the solutions, and we have the companies that are able to deliver the services,” stated Olivier-René Veillon, a founding member of Ecoprod and chief executive officer of the Ile-de-France Film Commission.
With the Carbon Clap, Ecoprod has developed a tool that productions can use to measure their carbon sources, as Catherine Puiseux, Ecoprod founder and corporate social responsibility director at TF1 Group, pointed out. In Great Britain, BAFTA provides producers with Albert, a carbon calculator that is used by 320 production companies. “We have already completed 2,500 footprints,” reported Jeremy Mathieu, a sustainability advisor at the BBC. Furthermore, the organisation provides the industry with the Albert+ certification when they are embedding best practices in order to lower their carbon footprint.
Guidelines for green film production have also been developed by the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, the Flanders Audiovisual Fund in Belgium and via the Edison Green Movie protocol in Italy, which are inspired by PGA Green in the US. New York-based producer and PGA Green representative Lydia Pilcher explained how she is bringing her expertise in sustainability to other countries and continents. “When we were shooting Disney’s Queen Of Katwe in Uganda, we trained four local crew members as sustainability managers,” she said. One of the most important missions is to convince the director to go green, as he or she is the first one who needs to be on board to act as a positive role model. “He or she can't show up with a plastic bottle on the set of a green production,” Pilcher summed up; “that would be a no-go.”
The conference was rounded up with a declaration by Film4Climate and Ecoprod. The charter commits to eliminating the negative social and environmental impacts of film and other visual-media productions. “It strongly advocates the adoption of industry-wide incentives that will encourage socio-environmental practices including, but not limited to, biodiversity conservation, waste disposal and carbon reduction,” concluded Donald Ranvaud, creative producer at Film4Climate.