How the Global Film Industry Spearheaded the Integration of Sustainability Actions

Studios and film production centers of the global movie-making industry have been incorporating sustainability into their policies and methods of operations. In Los Angeles, London and Vancouver, film producers are following sustainable production practices that take into consideration social, environmental, and economic concerns.

Yet despite the high visibility of the film industry, the efforts exerted in carrying out sustainable film production practices have gone unnoticed. Only a few have been written or publicized about such undertakings.

How the Green Movement Has Been Taking Place in the Film Industry

The green movement toward achieving sustainability goals, has been taking place in Los Angeles at the studios of NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox and at Sony Pictures several years ago.

In the filming and production of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” Sony Pictures employed Earth Angel to divert 52 percent of the movie’s wastes out of landfills. In addition, the movie donated about 50 tons of construction materials e.g. glass, lumber and steel for reuse on future projects. The movie was able to earn a carbon neutral certification by donating around 6,000 meals to Los Angeles community shelters.

In Canada, particularly in British Columbia, the Green Movement began in 2006 through the creation of the Reel Green an agency independent from British Columbia’s Creative BC.

Reel Green specifically develops tools and resources for use by the province’s green creatives. The latter refers to companies involved in the production of films, music, sound, books, magazines, interactive and digital media, to help them grow and develop in an environmentally responsible manner.

Other non-profit green companies also in Vancouver, BC are the Green Spark Group and Keep it Green Recycling. They help creative productions account their greenhouse gas emissions and in redirecting the production wastes out of landfills.

Walt Disney Pictures’ 2015 “Tomorrowland” is an example of a creative production guided by environmental stewardship. Following a comprehensive zero waste program, the film was able to divert 91 percent of the wastes produced away from landfills.

Although not widely publicized in media channels for movie entertainment, the green screen sustainability actions of creative companies in London have created a ripple effect in the European film industries.

The Need to Implement Advanced Methods of Integrating Sustainability in Film Making

In the 2021 Les Arcs Film Festival, the discussions pertaining to sustainable actions in the European film industry included specific technical requirements and conditions. The topics took into account the complexity in determining the carbon and overall environmental impact of digital workflows, the related data transmissions and resolution of the digital content. The need to address this matters is in line with European Union’s renewed call to corporate leaders, for them to commit to integrating policies and practices that will reduce their respective carbon footprints.