AUGUST / SEPTEMBER NEWS 2017
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Can production be Carbon Neutral?
According to a study done by the Statistic Unit of the British Film Institute (BFI) the average 2015 carbon foot print per film crew member was a staggering 2.69 tons per 8 weeks of work. For a point of comparison, the average Britain carbon footprint is 7.5 tons per year. Numbers in the U.S. are even worse. Although in the world of advertising commercial production, organizations like the AICP and UK Film Council have set up voluntary guidelines to help producers be more environmentally friendly, the push to be truly carbon neutral is very much in it's infancy.
WONDERFUL CONTENT's goal is to become the leading carbon neutral production company.
Recently, the production company which represents commercial and feature film directors such as Rodrigo Cortés, Serdar Dönmez, Joao Nuno, Agust Baldursson, and Cristina Molino, among others, decided to calculate the amount of green house gasses it's work added to the planet. The numbers shocked them.
Michel Sassoon, Co-Founder and Executive Producer at WONDERFUL relates “We knew it would be substantial, particularly since we work all over the Americas and Europe, and as such we travel many key personnel for our projects, directors, DPs, production designers, producers, actors, clients and agencies, as well as use so many resources. We figured it was bad, but we didn’t expect it to be as impactful as it was. That is when we decided to do something about it.”
The company put in place procedures to make less impactful it's production footprint. This meant a reduction of unnecessary travel by redundant personnel, as well as the hiring when possible of hybrid or energy efficient vehicles, newer and more efficient electrical generators, and the purchasing of carbon offsets for the air travel involved on a per project basis. "Air travel, be it from key personnel, agency and clients, as well as auto and truck rentals, are two examples of segments that contribute a lot of carbon to the atmosphere from our industry, yet they are also quite easy to calculate accurately." says Ana Terc, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development. "Those calculation can then be used to purchase carbon offsets to help reduce or neutralize the carbon footprint of the project."
Along with adopting other ideas which have been spearheaded by the AICP regarding environmentally friendly procedures on set, i.e. recycling, WONDERFUL wants to be a leader in responsible producing as well as set the standards for how productions should be planned when it comes to the environment.
"We want to leave our mark on the world with our work, by producing amazing commercials, films and series" says Sassoon. "We don't want to leave our mark on the world when it comes to trash, pollution, or GHGs (green house gasses). We think there are many intelligent steps that can be taken which can lead to carbon neutral productions and projects that don't forsake in any way the quality of our work. Producing with the highest standards and producing whilst being responsible with the environment are not mutually exclusive, it just takes wanting to act and putting in place a plan to make it happen."