Film London launches The Fuel Project to reduce emissions in film and TV industry

Latest 1 Nov 2022

News Story

Today (1 November), Film London has launched The Fuel Project, a report funded by Interreg Europe’s Green Screen and delivered by Film London, in partnership with sustainable business consultants Creative Zero. The report provides practical information, steps and support to film and TV production suppliers as they make the move toward new, low-carbon technologies, helping drive down emissions in the industry as a whole.

The industry’s current contribution to greenhouse gases and air pollution is dominated by fuel consumption: 50% of a production’s carbon footprint comes from fuel use across land transport and mobile power services.

Recognising this is where the greatest action can be made, the report provides production supply companies in London and Europe with solutions and proposes technologies that will bring down our industry’s collective emissions. It particularly aims to support SME companies who may not otherwise have easy access to corporate sustainability advice and resources.

The Fuel Project proposes practical solutions to reduce the level of air pollutants and carbon emitted by vehicle transport in production. It also advises on the use of low carbon power generators on-set, given that only around 12.5% of those currently used on film and TV productions in London comply with the highest emissions standard (Stage V).

The report also sets out to myth-bust some current assumptions on a number of key, low carbon, fuel options available in the UK market, by acknowledging the challenges faced in this transition. For example, power from battery, hydrogen and Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) sources, can significantly reduce emissions from production supplier transport fleets and generators; yet, challenges remain. These fuel solutions can play a crucial role in helping the industry meet its environmental commitments and net zero targets. However, concerns around cost, supply and real world environmental impact can create confusion and inertia around these solutions. The report sets out to address the chief concerns currently serving as a barrier to action.

The global growth in film and TV production, while exciting, will have significant impacts on our climate unless meaningful action is taken to reduce emissions. As 50% of a production’s carbon footprint comes from fuel use in transport and power services, we felt this was where the greatest impact could be made. So we are delighted to be publishing the Fuel Project report, to give suppliers of every size in the production supply chain the resources, information and timings needed to help our sector’s transition to low carbon fuel and contribution to tackling the climate crisis.” “I would like to thank Interreg Europe for funding this Green Screen initiative, and Creative Zero for collaborating with us to produce this report. I hope production suppliers can benefit from the report and that industry leaders and partners alike can continue to collaborate to address environmental challenges.

Daniela Kirchner, Chief Operating Officer of Film London and the British Film Commission, and Lead Partner of Green Screen.

London skyline

Another key recommendation in The Fuel Project is that production suppliers and industry leaders continue to collaborate to find bespoke solutions to environmental challenges, and continue the vital dialogue around reducing emissions in film and TV production.

Collaborative research on the report has been carried out in consultation with suppliers, production companies, vehicle experts, low carbon energy specialists, environmental consultants, sustainable business strategists, energy equipment manufacturers, film commissions and film agencies.

Steve Knight, Managing Director of Pixipixel, a London-based rental house supplying camera and lightning equipment to television, film and commercial productions, said:

“We welcome the release of the Fuel Project Supplier Guidance Report. This extensive research is a steppingstone for our industry, providing key insights and valuable guidance for moving towards a more sustainable future. At Pixipixel, we’ve recognised that fuel consumption is our biggest greenhouse gas contributor and switched to HVO fuel for our transport and generators. With the release of the report, our hope is for more suppliers to follow our lead, and collaborate on future projects.''

Bryony Harrison-Miller,Communications & Sustainability, Get Set Hire, said:

“The Film and TV production suppliers must play a key role in facilitating the reduction of emissions in our industry. This report succeeds in its endeavour to get the message across and to focus the industry on the need to push forward change.”

Mark Irving, Director of Story, PlusZero, said:

“The Fuel Project report is timely, offering suppliers valuable targeted insight about the relevant technologies available to them so they can turn commitments to decarbonise into hard action. Shifting from diesel and other fossil fuels is not only urgently necessary – it can be bewildering: by bringing perspectives from across the renewable energy sector together and aligning the data cogently, the authors of this report give suppliers the means to investigate further and make the right decisions. Clean portable power needn’t be complex: the swap-over can be easy – it’s all about talking with the right experts, and so PlusZero is delighted to support this important and relevant report.''

To find out more about Green Filmmaking and our Green Screen initiatives, click here.