Big, low-budget feature films have a carbon footprint of more than 3,000 metric tons, says new report


A new report has revealed that every big-budget feature film has a carbon footprint over 3,000 metric tons. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that equates to more than seven million miles driven by a regular car.

Source: TEDx/YouTube talks

The report of Sustainable Production Alliance (SPA) outlines how the industry could become more sustainable. They found that the smaller films had a footprint of around one million metric tons, which equals one million miles traveled. The report says the biggest contributors to these large numbers of shows were fuel, mainly for generators and vehicles. The report also considered housing, air travel and utilities for a full number of carbon dioxide emission. They found that the use of fuel in television series was also responsible for more than half of their emissions.

Forbes reported that the SPA has now prioritized the initiation of procedures, including the promotion of more renewable energy sources such as hybrid and electric vehicles.

Deforestation is also a huge problem in the film industry. Building a soundstage can lead to 4,000 hectares of deforestation. Lightweight plywood called lauan is incredibly sought after in the industry. It is easy to move, making it easy to build and move sets. However, regulations surrounding lauan are sub-par. Usually, lauan is harvested from rainforests rather than carefully controlled and monitored forests, which would help regulate and monitor the film industry‘s excessive lumbar consumption.

Amazon Studios, Disney, NBC Universal, netflix, and Sony Pictures Entertainment are all part of the Sustainable Production Alliance and have documented their efforts to change their procedures to reduce their carbon footprint. Netflix, for example, has released its goal of net zero carbon emissions by the end of 2022.

Source: WeAreNetflix/YouTube

It’s not unusual for an industry to impose its environmental responsibilities on the consumer, but when it comes to the entertainment industry, it has very few places to hide. It will be interesting to see how the industry minimizes its environmental impact…or if it will at all. We may begin to see a significant change in the way films are produced, or we may be bombarded with carefully marketed advertisements greenwashing.

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