Senior executives from organisations including the BBC, ITV, Sky, Microsoft, Sony and Warner Bros attending BAFTA’s Greening The Screen event this week heard how BS 8909 was used during the production of Gambit, Les Misérables and Anna Karenina to help save money, while minimising the impact of the productions on the local environment.
BS 8909, the British Standard for film industry sustainability launched in Cannes in 2011 has been adopted by the BFI, which is now actively encouraging other film organisations to adopt the standard.
A report published to coincide with the event (http://bit.ly/SICAto) found that the most significant carbon impacts for productions are associated with travel (38% of emissions) and the production office (30% of emissions).
Kevin Price, chief operating officer at BAFTA, announced that Albert, the UK’s first carbon calculator for the film and television industry, is now suitable for use by film as well as television productions, and revealed that data collected from Albert shows that the production of each hour of on-screen content is responsible for an average of 5.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This is equivalent to the emissions of one UK citizen at work in one year.
Created by the BBC, Albert was officially launched in November 2011 as a free online tool (www.myalbert.co.uk) administered by BAFTA and run with the support of a cross-industry consortium consisting of television production houses and broadcasters: BBC, Boundless, Channel 4, Endemol, IMG, ITV, Kudos, Shine, Sky and Twofour. One year later, Albert has 800 registered users from over 50 television companies and has gathered data from 266 productions, totalling 1,297 hours of output.
Deputy ceo of the BFI, Tim Cagney outlined the various measures the BFI is putting in place as part of its commitment to leading the adoption of sustainable practices within the film industry. The BFI is leading a UK-wide Sustainability Group made up of representatives from across the film industry, including studios, trade organisations, national and regional partners and others. It has also undertaken an audit of its own sustainable practices across every area of the organisation, from BFI National Archive facilities at Berkhamsted and the film storage facility at Gaydon, Warwickshire, to BFI Southbank, and its HQ at London’s Stephen Street.
The BFI has refreshed and updated the www.greeningfilm.com website, integrating the Albert carbon calculator. Greeningfilm.com is now the go-to online resource for film industry professionals who want to minimise negative environmental impacts, providing practical case studies, examples of best practice and signposting to a variety of key support services to make adoption of sustainable practices as simple and streamlined as possible.
The BFI has also convened and leads the industry-wide sustainability group, uniting organisations from every area of the film value chain to share best practice and coordinate activity in order to maximise benefit. Sustainability Group members include Pinewood, BAFTA, BECTU, the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, Creative Skillset, the Mayor of London’s Office, National Screen Agencies, Directors UK, Film Export UK, Equity, the Production Guild, Film London and others, and the group welcomes and encourages new members who can bring new perspectives.
At Greening the Screen, actor and green campaigner Alistair McGowan chaired a panel discussion with leading figures from film, TV and games, representing organisations including Warner Bros, the BBC, ITV, Sky, Microsoft and Sony. Speakers shared the latest thinking on sustainable production and examples of business practices that are low impact in terms of carbon, finance and time.
Environmental management consultancies Greenshoot and Eco Consultancy presented case studies that brought to life in practical terms how companies adopting BS 8909 – the comprehensive standard for ‘sustainability management’ in the film industry – can switch to more sustainable ways of working without setting unrealistic goals or creating unnecessary administrative burden.