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ILLUSTRATION: GARY NEILL


environment


adds. “On-location film shoots often use a huge amount of energy for the period they set up temporary residence. Measures could be introduced to mitigate this, for example, if the production is able, such as by feeding back into the grid for the time they are on location.,” says Longley. “Sourcing energy is obviously somewhere any corporation


down to the smallest of small and medium-sized enterprises can address right away. There are measures you can take to source from sustainable producers of energy or at least maintain some sort of supply chain loop whereby you deliver excess energy back to the grid. A failure to at least investigate these options seems irresponsible.” With these issues in mind, many media companies are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Nate Camponi, co-owner of Leeds-based production company Hell Fire! TV, says: “We use sustainable practices from the grass roots up. We’ll have a total ban on single use plastics across each production, actively aiming to reduce general waste by keeping as many elements of the production renewable, reusable and digital. “Where we can, we use LED lighting, use bio diesel for


generators and keep Hell Fire!’s carbon footprint as low as we can by employing local crew and supporting the local economy in the north of England. We’re already looking into how each production can plant trees to work towards carbon neutrality and we’re researching how we can donate leftover or unused consumables to good causes.” The BBC and the Guardian have also set out plans. Over the next two years, the BBC wants to cut its carbon emissions by 24 per cent through using renewable energy, making its buildings and technologies more efficient, and educating staff and its audience. The Guardian anticipates becoming net zero by 2030. Like the BBC, it is working to reduce its carbon footprint and increase coverage of the climate crisis. Christian Toennesen, senior partner at consultancy Carnstone, says content strategies will have a bigger impact


Carbon emissions calculator


AS THE climate crisis continues to make headlines, it is encouraging to see action taken in the media industry. In January, the BBC, ITV


and Sky collaborated with academics at the University of Bristol on creating a tool to help the industry reduce its carbon footprint. Drawing on behavioural


analytics from user devices and energy consumption data from servers, the DIMPACT online calculator will help media outlets better understand and manage the


carbon generated by digital products and services. According to the


university, it will take the “complexity out of calculating digital carbon emissions” and “enable informed decision-making to reduce the overall carbon footprint of digital services”. Dr Daniel Schien, senior


lecturer in computer science at the University of Bristol, explains why companies find it difficult to work out the carbon footprint of their products and be more sustainable: “Because these


services are provided by a fast-changing, complicated infrastructure that is operated by many separate bodies, media organisations lack the knowledge of how to assess their own footprint. “This lack of transparency


is a real risk in the face of climate change. Based on our research with The Guardian and the BBC, in the DIMPACT project we are constructing an online self-assessment tool that is specific to media organisations. This will, first, enable them to report on their carbon footprints and, second, identify hot spots on which they can focus their attention during environmental design.”


than other measures. He says: “There is obviously an element of getting the house in order so you can’t do the interesting stuff relating to content before reducing the operational footprint. “The biggest environmental impact of a media company is in its brainprint, which is the intellectual, social and psychological impact on its readers, rather than its footprint – the carbon emissions associated with the production and delivery of its content.” Inaction on climate change could affect millions, so every organisation needs to do its bit, including media outlets.


theJournalist | 13


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