Carbon Smart works with BAFTA to improve what’s ‘on the box’

Have you ever stopped to wonder what’s being done about the environmental impact of the programmes on television?

The environmental impact of producing media is huge – from the fuels used, power, lights, heating and visual effects, to the emissions associated with logistics, not to mention the waste produced from catering, props and costumes. Rest assured; a consortium of industry frontrunners, including the major broadcasters and production companies, are making huge inroads into sustainability in the production and broadcast industry.

The BAFTA albert Consortium actively encourages broadcasters and media producers to understand and reduce the impact of the shows they produce; and grasp the opportunity to influence audiences towards a more sustainable future.  One way the Consortium do this is by hosting the albert carbon calculator tool.  Production companies use albert to collate their environmental data and enable them to understand the carbon emissions associated with each show they make.  This allows them to identify the areas of their carbon footprint they can reduce the most and kick starts their sustainability journey.  Those that show high levels of commitment will receive a Sustainable Production certification.

To assist BAFTA in driving forward the quality of the environmental monitoring already underway; Carbon Smart verifies the data that productions submit via albert, benchmarking production performance and spotting any data anomalies early in the process.  Carbon Smart also appraises the ambition of the environmental actions each production company takes forward – ensuring that the requirements of the certification process are met.  We ensure high environmental reporting standards are maintained across the media community and provide the required independent adjudication of the certification scheme.

A few standout examples recognised by albert certification include:

  • Red Dwarf used hybrid vehicles during the production of their UKTV show and engaged their crew, cast and audience using videos that explain their green actions
  • ITV’s Loose Women source their energy from a 100% renewable tariff and have halved the amount of paper they use
  • BBC’s Have I Got News For You use low energy lighting, which reduce electricity and cooling demand during production

‘People who make TV are not environmental experts, but remain crucial components of the carbon reduction process for their industry. To ensure the data we collect is credible and useful, we need an external check on all project data. Carbon Smart’s verification is an integral part of our processes, providing the whole industry with confidence and reassurance on which the project stands.’  – Aaron Matthews, Industry Sustainability Manager at BAFTA

Through the Consortium’s work it is clear that momentum is growing – the BBC is one of the leaders – recently announcing that all of the programmes they commission must use albert – a noteworthy statement of the BBC’s commitment to helping content producers improve both the environmental impact of making TV; but also increasing exposure to green issues within the actual content.

The influence of TV and film on audiences is considerable and poses a huge opportunity to change the actions of generations of viewers every day.  A round of applause is due to BAFTA’s albert Consortium for leading the way.