The Future Is Green: Sustainable Green Filming Conference highlights

Latest 11 Nov 2021

News Story

Filmmakers, industry and sustainability experts from across Europe came together on Thursday 28 October in the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 (COP26) for The Future is Green, the sustainability conference for the Film and TV industry.

The Future is Green was delivered by Film London, the lead partner of Interreg Europe funded project Green Screen. Working across eight EU regions - UK, Sweden, Belgium, France, Romania, Spain, Poland and Slovakia - over five years, Green Screen aims to improve policies and achieve measurable success in reducing the carbon footprint of the Film and TV industries and making them more energy efficient. The Future is Green examined the research and developments made in sustainable practices in the audio-visual production industry, as well as offering advice and tips on how to create sustainable, eco-friendly filming and film production ranging from recyclable call sheets and cutlery to the promotion of hydrogen-generated engines.

Highlights included:

Keynote from Left Bank Pictures CEO Andy Harries

Andy Harries established Left Bank Pictures in 2007 and as its CEO has produced a range of hit shows, including The Crown, which has garnered 63 Emmy nominations and critical acclaim since its debut in 2016. Harries is currently executive producing the show’s fifth series and discussed how the production has successfully set and achieved environmental targets, in a conversation with Film London Chief Executive Adrian Wootton.

L-R: Film London CEO Adrian Wootton and Left Bank Pictures CEO Andy Harries

We have since made significant improvements in the way in which we work, and, thanks to our continuing collaboration with Greenshoot, look to make the final season of The Crown the first UK television production to be carbon neutral. There is still a lot of work to do, however, and we are running out of time. We, as an industry, must unite to find ways to innovate, educate and inspire our colleagues and audiences with the importance of nurturing our precious planet.

Andy Harries, Chief Executive of Left Bank Pictures

The Grid Project

The Grid Project is a pilot setting out to install electrical cabinets at unit bases in London to supply renewable energy to productions. Victoria Park in East London is the pilot site, anticipated for productions to plug into the grid from Spring 2022. Film London’s Grid Project has also been supported through Interreg Europe’s Pilot Project scheme and the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund supported by LEAP.

With demand for content at an all-time high and subsequent stage space developments announced across Europe, it is vital that our industry comes together to highlight key environmental challenges, exchange learning and best practice, and maintain a united dialogue with our European partners to continually address these issues.

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission

EURECA: European Environmental Calculator

Now complete, Eureca is a European Environmental Calculator measuring the environmental impact of audio-visual productions. Eureca Pilot Project is led by Green Screen Partner Promalaga in collaboration with Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) and Slovak Film Commission.

You can find out more about some of the projects to come from the Green Screen EU partnership in the videos The Green Screen Environmental Programme and Sustainability in Practice.

Speakers and attendees

A series of panel discussions covered prevalent environmental issues the industry has and is still facing. Representatives from Universal Pictures; Bright Sight Pictures, Slovakia; Spanish Ministry of Culture; Interreg Europe; TSF Studios, France; Creative Europe and Greater London Authority attended with speakers including filmmaker Alvaro Longoria (The Santuary), Fingerprint Content CEO Melanie Dicks, Environmental Expert Louise Smith and recent award-winning Writer and Director Alina Grigore (Blue Moon).

Topics included what makes a production sustainable, innovations in infrastructure and how culture and content can inspire change. Artist-filmmakers, legal advisors, and policy officers will also provide insight into sustainable efforts on, behind and beyond the camera.

As part of Carbon and Beyond, Riet de Prins, Executive Producer from VRT, asked Heads of Department what Sustainability in film productions meant to them. Answers included:

  • “Sustainability is something for everybody”
  • “To measure is to know”
  • “Reuse, Reinvent and Recover”
  • “Don’t be afraid in investing”
  • “Think about transport”
  • “Build in thresholds”

This then enabled for checklists to be provided to productions outlining what productions need.

The panels – Carbon and Beyond; Sustainability in Practice; Culture & Content: Inspirations for Change; The Future is Green - are also available to watch back.

Learn more about environmental filming: