Entertainment Industry Risks Missed Budgets, Lost Value without Transition to Clean Energy, Guild Says

Sustainability in entertainment industry

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Oct 29, 2021

(Credit: Pixabay)

Organizations in the entertainment industry are being pressured to transition to clean energy and cut emissions. The Producers Guild of America is urging studio, streaming and production partners to innovate, invest in, and scale up clean power solutions to create the infrastructure necessary to dramatically lower the carbon footprint of content production across the industry.

In the industry, climate change is impacting productions. The health and safety of these organizations, and their filming locations, are being irreparably affected by increased pollution, wildfires, floods, storms, and droughts, the guild says. Climate change is also a threat multiplier, including setting the stage for viruses like COVID-19, which further add to uninsurable cost risks. The guild says organizations in the entertainment industry are only making sporadic changes that ultimately won’t be effective to lower emissions enough to keep productions within budget. Without taking more action in their attempts to transition to clean energy, organizations may risk losing production value.

Though some clean tech solutions are being successfully implemented, they are not yet available at the required scale and affordability for all productions. It is important to acknowledge that investment in clean energy infrastructure will result in long term savings, potentially eliminating thousands of dollars of fuel costs per shoot day, guild members say. 

Existing solutions to this problem include eliminating the use of diesel generators at sound stages, backlots and all production locations, installing EV charging stations, maintaining energy efficient and low carbon buildings, and updating equipment rental inventory.

The value of making these changes now will allow companies to continue to thrive, but if the changes aren’t made soon costs will continue to rise. But switching to smart building management can greatly increase productivity in productions, according to a 2020 study led by BFI, Albert and ArupGenerating renewable energy on site — something which few studios do — can reduce energy demand, along with green design solutions such as daylighting, natural ventilation, solar shading and solar gain, low energy lighting and using systems for heat recovery ventilation. The installation of micro renewable technologies mounted on roofs or building facades and wind turbines can also “help towards a zero-carbon economy,” the report says. “Trailers with solar roof installations, biodiesel or battery-powered generators, which can replace diesel generators in a number of situations, can help on location. Microgrids can match energy supply and demand reliably and are well-suited to production energy consumption patterns.”

As a leading force in the industry, Netflix has taken steps to achieve net zero emissions, and is a strong example of how sustainability can help productions save money and provide a healthier environment for those involved.

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