The post-COVID film industry is facing raised costs and delayed production schedules. At the same time, there’s a renewed demand for greener production practices. So, how can productions proceed efficiently while maintaining a safe and eco-friendly environment?
COVID’s Impact on Existing Sustainability Efforts
The film industry has been working overtime for the past decade to reduce waste, power usage, and transportation emissions. But when the pandemic arrived, many of those best practices went out the window. Reusable items became sanitary single-use products. Social distancing did away with shared spaces and transportation.
At the same time, remote work created new sustainability opportunities. Global pollution was measurably reduced as the initial lockdowns cut out daily commutes and shut down cities. Companies in all industries took lockdowns as an opportunity to upgrade facilities and revisit their work practices with a greener mindset.
Why Film Should Go Green
A push toward environmentalism makes social, ethical, and financial sense. ESG funds are more attractive than ever. And film productions have actually saved money while reducing waste—sustainability business Earth Angel has saved productions $1.2 million.
The industry holds a unique social responsibility to become sustainable. Film is an incredibly persuasive medium and an influential industry for many countries’ economies. It’s not enough to send the right messaging out about climate change; productions have to practice what they preach.
Major Film Studios Are Paving The Way for Climate Change
The Creative Industries Pact is an international coalition encouraging production companies, film schools, and individuals to take voluntary action toward sustainability. Among them, Netflix is pledging to become carbon neutral by 2022. Their 3-step plan includes reducing emissions, investing in carbon-offset projects, and removing carbon from the atmosphere. And Sony became the first studio to install solar energy technology on its studio lots.
Even actor Michael Keaton is going green. He’s investing in sustainability projects in his hometown of Pittsburgh and using his fame to vocalize climate change efforts outside of the film industry.
Michelle Whitehead, writer of the Screen New Deal, believes the film industry will achieve its net zero target by 2050. “People who work in film are incredibly creative. They will rise to the challenge.”