– BERLINALE 2022: He talks about arriving at some point in the misurazione delle emissioni di carbonio e le etichette per la produzione green sono al centro delle tante iniziative private e pubbliche
This article is available in English.
On Monday 14 February, the European Film Forum organized a panel discussion entitled “Towards a climate-neutral audiovisual sector” as part of this year’s European Film Market (10-17 February). When introduced, AC Coppens spoke about the commitment of the European Commission to adopt a media and audiovisual action plan, made up of ten different initiatives, including action 6 entitled “Towards a climate-neutral audiovisual sector”. This discussion comes at a time when the measurement of carbon emissions and green production labels are at the heart of many private and public initiatives.
First of all, Coppens introduced the Head of the Audiovisual Industry and Media Support Programs Unit Lucie Recalde, who welcomed all initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint and said that the dialogue between the EC and the audiovisual industry on green issues has intensified since last June. These discussions led them to focus their efforts on the development of a common carbon measurement system.
Coppens presented the first responders, namely producer and green consultant Maximilien Hohnleleader of the European green screen project and representative of Promálaga Luz Molinaand international director of BAFTA albert Roser Canela Mas.
Among other topics, the speakers highlighted how difficult measuring the carbon footprint becomes when it comes to co-productions, since each country adopts its own system and its own thresholds. The three panelists agreed on the urgency of creating a system that could align all these figures and find a common methodology to collect them. Molina spoke about EURECA, a very ambitious project to develop a carbon calculator that can be widely applied across the European audiovisual industry. Meanwhile, Canela Mas revealed that her tool is used by more than 2,000 companies in more than 20 countries and that her database includes 11,000 registered fingerprints over the last year. Höhnle insisted that not all productions are interested in implementing green policies. One of the tasks of funding bodies and public funds is therefore to raise awareness of the subject, right from the pre-production phase. Molina also cautioned that data is important but the focus should always be on quality over quantity. Not all numbers carry the same weight, she argued, so understanding is key to properly measuring their impact. For example, the impact of single-use plastic is minimal compared to that of transport and electricity. She added that it will be crucial to reach out to all actors, “from the BBC to small producers” as well as awarding them special stamps to certify the quality of their work – from a “basic” green to silver, gold or platinum for the most virtuous.
Later director, producer and expert in green film production Philippe Gassmann was invited to talk about the European CO2 calculator currently in preparation. He explained that he had carried out a study on the footprint of European productions and the difficulty of collecting data in the different countries, but also noted that it was essential not to leave anyone behind, because the level of knowledge and preparation for the subject varies considerably. . He cited the example of Germany, where there are currently 300 green consultants, while in some other countries there is not even one available. In detail, the new online measurement tool is not intended to replace existing national calculators but will provide each European audiovisual production with comparable CO2 data. Some parameters will be the same for all countries, while others such as electricity will be adapted country by country. Among its features, it will allow users to compare fossil, green and renewable CO2 data as well as perform an immediate footprint/footprint assessment. Data will be easily collectable for further analysis and downloadable in PDF/Excel documents. Among the largest CO2 impacts, Gassmann cited travel, transportation, accommodation, energy, catering and set construction. Focusing on these key “big wins” would allow productions to not obsess over “trash bag weighing” and other lower impact activities.
In the last part of the event, Coppens presented the responsible business, sustainability and social impact of the Sky Group Fiona BallManaging Director of the European Producers Club (EPC) Alexandra Lebret and Polish producer Tomasz Morawski. Lebret said EPC was among the first bodies to draft a “green charter” and was inspired by Sky’s extensive efforts to promote green production. She pointed out that the real challenge will be changing people’s behavior on set, and that will be difficult without conveying positive messages. She added that producing green films requires implementing huge changes in the industry, including how films are financed. For example, it will be important to stop the territorial conditions obliging productions to spend part of the budget in a certain country, so that entire teams are not forced to go back and forth.
Morawski agreed with Lebret and explained that in Poland, regional bodies are emerging as true leaders in green filming, as they want to support local producers and businesses. Next, Ball highlighted how green turning can bring innovation to the industry. Internally, Ball said Sky shares production guidelines and conducts carbon literacy training among its teams.
Deputy Head of EC Audiovisual Industry and Media Support Programs Unit Martin Dawson closed the event, wishing for a quick delivery of the new measurement tool, which would “increase trust, comparability and collaboration, especially for European co-productions”.