Bectu welcomes BFI research setting out green route map for future film productions

4 September 2020

Bectu has welcomed a British Film Institute report that sets out a route map to help film productions make the transition to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Video camera with a green background (for story about BFI sustainability report)

The report is a collaboration between the BFI’s Research and Statistics Fund (supported by the National Lottery), the BAFTA-led consortium albert, and technical specialist company Arup.

Arup analysed sustainability data from more than 19 productions filmed in the UK and the US in the past five years to assess resource consumption patterns and carbon emissions.

It found that transport has the largest impact in terms of carbon emissions, accounting for approximately 51% of total emissions for tentpole films (budgets over $70m). Of this 30% is associated with air travel and 70% with land transport.

The report recommends a series of solutions, some of which are seen as relatively simple and others as needing structural industry-wide shifts.

The researchers suggest potential innovations in five key areas – production materials; energy and water use; studio buildings and facilities; studio sites and locations; and production planning.

Harriet Finney, director of external affairs for the BFI, said the aim is to help kick-start a more sustainable production ecosystem. Though commissioned last year, its release is timely in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our film and screen production industries are facing an undeniable period of change as we enter a world which is responding creatively and economically to harsh impacts of the pandemic,” she said.

“Arriving now – just as productions restart and introduce new ways of working on set and on location – there is an opportunity to consider how we create efficiencies in our approach to materials and resources and learn how innovation is working for other industries.”

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said: “The climate emergency is real and it is a trade union issue. Our members know what is at stake and Bectu and our parent union Prospect are in the forefront of campaigning to encourage employers to take necessary action to reduce carbon emissions.

“We welcome this report and its timing as an important part of the conversation about how to recover from the coronavirus pandemic sustainably and build back better for the future.”

More information

Screen New Deal events

BAFTA albert, the BFI and Arup are hosting a number of events in the coming weeks to discuss practices and models that could be adopted to meet net zero emissions by 2050 – the first is on 9 September. Register here.