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Protecting the climate from behind the camera

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- For its first Sustainability Production Workshop, Green Film Shooting brought together representatives from film organisations, funds, broadcasters and production companies from six European countries

Protecting the climate from behind the camera
(Back row, l-r) Pierre Gernet, Richard Smith, Birgit Heidsiek, Aaron Matthews, Maaike Salverda, Jochen Korth, Diane Driessen, Maria Würth, Marcus Kreuz, Jeremy Mathieu, Luca Ferrario, Ina Hößler, Joanna Gallardo; (front row) Christiane Dopp, Phil Skolle, Catherine Puiseux (© Green Film Shooting)

As government leaders met at COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco, to prevent a rise in global temperatures above 2°C through the global implementation of the Paris Agreement, representatives of the European film and TV industry met at the first Sustainability Production Workshop, held in Hamburg on 7-8 November to discuss common strategies to lower carbon emissions from audiovisual productions.

Organised by Green Film Shooting, in collaboration with the BBC’s sustainability manager (Richard Smith), the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and the BAFTA albert consortium, the event welcomed participants from six different countries to discuss measures to make the audiovisual industry greener. The workshop was attended by representatives from broadcasters TF1 and WDR, the studios of Bavaria Film, Letterbox, and film funds such as Trentino, Copenhagen and Eurimages, the Council of Europe’s European cinema support fund.

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Although film and TV production is not as pollutive as the energy or automobile manufacturing industries, the level of energy consumption in media production is enormous. According to the British BAFTA albert consortium, the production of one feature film generates up to 1,000 tons of carbon emissions. At the BBC, which is the largest worldwide broadcaster, the carbon footprint of production activities adds up to 200,000 tons of carbon emissions per year, which can be reduced by as much as 25% when a sustainable use of resources is taken into consideration.

In France, a green action plan was implemented by Ecoprod, a consortium of broadcasters, film funds and environmental organisations, which is providing the audiovisual industry with tools and metrics to limit carbon emissions. Instead of heavily pollutive diesel generators, film/TV teams can access energy directly from the power grid because the local energy provider has installed electrical tie-in stations at 500 popular filming locations throughout Paris. In Germany, environmentally friendly film and TV productions have been awarded Green Shooting Card certifications by the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein since 2011. The next goal that the European working group has in mind is the development of common standards. 

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