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26 TVBEurope Feature


www.tvbeurope.com August 2014


The Stern Review, presented to the British government in 2006, claimed that the financial cost of climate change would be equivalent to the loss of at least five per cent of global GDP each year


a consultancy that helps productions toward more sustainable practice and now also has offices in LA and Australia. “We were disenchanted with the way our industry behaved toward the environment,” says Greenshoot’s Paul Evans. “It wasn’t in a desperate, eco, tree-hugging way. We were just appalled at the waste.” Universal was Greenshoot’s first industry partner. “Universal has a pretty big sustainability operation in LA. For Universal, it’s corporate policy, so it wasn’t a huge leap, but it was a big deal over here in the UK. We now do a lot of work with the BFI and with Sky, which is a very sustainability- oriented company.”


Facebook’s new data centre in Luleå, Sweden runs on 100 per cent renewable power


The business of sustainability


The most valuable asset the TV industry has is its future. Neal Romanek looks into how well we’re taking care of it


THE BROADCAST industry is by its very nature compelled to emphasise the now over the future. A broadcaster’s job is to get a project delivered to air on time, to the highest standard, come hell or high water. It’s an attitude that doesn’t always result in the most eco-friendly solutions. But broadcasters and production companies are starting to look seriously at their sustainability profiles — and are often finding that saving the future also means saving money. Climate change has many devastating consequences, not the least of which is the devastation of economies. The Stern Review, presented to the British government in 2006, claimed that the financial cost of climate change would be equivalent to the loss of at least five per cent of global GDP each year. And the poorest countries, the new markets that tech and media industries are seeking to expand into, would experience


an economic and human cost far above that. The Stern Report famously dubbed climate change “the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen”. Worse, Lord Stern recently apologised for his 2006 report, saying he had got the economics wrong — that the real outlook was “far, far worse”.


New Alberts


In 2011, BAFTA, in association with the BBC, released its free online carbon calculator, Albert. The award-winning online app helps productions calculate the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere during the production of a programme. The Albert initiative was one of the first industry-wide attempts


to address CO2 release by production companies. This June, BAFTA launched an updated version of Albert. “The new version of Albert is going to give production teams better insight into the carbon


footprint of their production,” says Aaron Matthews,


BAFTA’s industry sustainability manager. “They’ll be able to compare themselves more easily to the industry standards for their genre and their production methods. The new version also allows companies to look across all of their projects more easily.” BAFTA has also just


launched Albert+, a certification standard for productions. Albert and Albert+ work together as a package to aid productions in reducing their carbon footprint.


“The standard analogy is, if Albert is the weighing scales, then Albert+ is the diet plan,” explains Matthews. “With Albert+, productions have a number of questions they have to answer, and if they make the grade, they get our certification.”


The Albert+ certification has appeared on several projects already, including the BBC One drama From There To Here,


Matthews: “If Albert is the weighing scales, then Albert+ is the diet plan”


but the standards to which the Albert+ certification plan holds productions are a moving target. “The standards have to constantly evolve, and we have to keep upping our game,” says Matthews. “Albert+ is banded into one, two, and three stars, and we’ve graded it so that a production that is pretty good at the moment could only reach one star; or two, if they were really going for it. It’s unlikely that someone would get three stars. And we’ll review that process annually with our external auditors to make sure that it’s sufficiently challenging and aspirational for productions.”


Shooting green In 2009, four industry professionals got together and formed Greenshoot,


Greenshoot also works in Europe with Cine-Regio, the network of European regional film funds, and has just completed a survey for them on the state of sustainability in film and TV production in Europe. Evans notes that it can take effort for production teams to learn new tricks. “In film production, people work in a very specific way. It takes time


“The new version of Albert will give production teams better insight into the carbon footprint of their


production” Aaron Matthews, BAFTA


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