Sustainability in Video Production: The Climate Crisis is an Urgent Call for Action

By Fergus Dyer-Smith, Founder & CEO, Wooshii

There’s no shying away from the fact we’re in the throes of a climate crisis and we’re running out of time. Recently, the COP26 world climate summit took place, with world leaders looking at how to tackle the current issues and work towards a greener, more sustainable future. As it stands, to limit the crisis, human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide need to fall by 45% by 2030, reaching net zero by 2050.

Even with a large percentage of companies already looking to become more sustainable, it is imperative that all businesses take action on tackling climate change. This includes the advertising and marketing industry, and in particular, video production. With the market expected to reach $318.2 billion by 2025, and $410.6 billion by 2030, video production is an increasingly growing sector. Consumer habits have also changed to be more video focused, and with advancements in smartphones, tablets and streaming services, video has become an essential format for businesses to engage with their audiences.

The industry needs to take action

Video production of the past involved moving crews and heavy equipment around the world, meaning companies now need to look at innovative options that can help reduce such travel.

One solution  is to activate local crews and manage each campaign centrally through a global network of creators and global resources. This allows them to create creative and authentic campaigns around the world that not only cut down on carbon emissions, but reduce costs and time spent on campaigns.

If this option is not feasible, production companies should look to travel in the greenest way possible when shooting. By selecting electric vehicles or choosing sustainable airlines or hotels it will help keep  carbon footprint down. Furthermore, keeping a record of a company’s carbon footprint when travelling is a great way to monitor emissions and work towards lowering them.

The small actions can make an impact

Even small actions taken whilst filming can help reduce emissions associated with the three worst offenders- travel, energy and waste. Using low-energy lighting, electronic call sheets, on-set recycling and solar generators, for example, can all help towards reducing a production company’s carbon footprint. If these basic changes are embedded in a company’s practices, together, the industry can start to look at the big-ticket items.

How to make a difference

One initiative which has already been adopted by 130 brands, advertising agencies and production companies is the AdGreen’s carbon calculator. Launched in October this year, the calculator allows production teams to collaboratively measure the carbon footprint of production and take active steps to reduce it. The calculator enables teams to see where changes can be made in order to reduce a project’s carbon emissions. This will enable businesses to build up a clear picture of its carbon impact at all stages of a project, helping them make more informed decisions when it comes to internal reduction targets.  For example, a project we ran for a hotel chain saw 154 films for 32 international properties across 18 different countries being created. The Adgreen calculator showed that the traditional production model meant the impact of this project would have been 58 tonnes of CO2e. The Wooshii model reduced this to just 3 tonnes, which could then be further offset for a small fee.

Initiatives such as AdGreen’s carbon calculator are enabling  the industry to work towards more sustainable practices and to help reach the goal of being zero net by 2030. But there won’t be change unless the entire industry leans in together. By heeding the warning signs and putting stringent tools and initiatives in place, the industry can make sure it’s doing enough to lessen its carbon footprint, step by step.

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