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The Big Picture - 5 Easy Steps to Bring Sustainability into Focus for TV and Film

The IPCC's latest update is stark - we are likely to miss the 1.5 degree cap needed to protect our planet and everyone on it. We know immediate, coordinated effort is needed now to remain under 2 degrees - and the Media offers the best opportunity to reach all stakeholders.

Our Film and TV industry is now focused on delivering net-zero by 2030, with leading broadcasters committing to the Climate Content Pledge at COP26. This ensures not just the decarbonisation of production, but also leverages our editorial voice. This also requires, however, that production companies and technical services powering the industry step up – but this needn’t be a burden.

Sustainability is Good for Your Business

The myth of sustainability as a sunk cost for business has been dispelled - there is a real commercial opportunity:

  • The sustainability market will grow to $12 trillion per annum by 2030.

  • Climate innovation is achieving returns of 70-80%.

  • PWC call this the "growth opportunity of the century" - 77% investors plan to stop purchasing non-ESG products this year.

  • Sustainably marketed products grow 5-6 times faster - your brand partners already benefit from sustainability interest.

  • 90% of CEOs say sustainability is key to their company's future success.

Why Sustainability for TV and Film?

Whilst the industry is now responding to the climate change challenge, the growing demand for content keeps adding to our carbon debt. Additionally, pressure to deliver fresh programming under tighter budgets risks sustainability moving down the agenda just as legislation kicks in.

Producing one hour of TV emits 9.2 metric tonnes of CO2, then streaming burns through 30g CO2 per hour. Yet there is potential for climate positivity with both climate impact and valuable messaging to inform and invoke action.

When we talk with the industry we hear ambition and good intention with leading brands including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Netflix, Discovery and ViacomCBS publicly stating sustainability pledges for content commissions and suppliers - but they can’t deliver on this without their production and facilities partners being enabled.

Can You Deliver Sustainability In-House?

To assess your internal sustainability capabilities, answer these questions:

  1. Can you identify how to achieve net-zero by 2030?

  2. Do you currently have a sustainability strategy in place?

  3. Have you identified and can you implement cost savings from sustainability?

  4. Have you forecasted for new revenues from opportunities in the sustainability market?

  5. Do your productions comply with the Albert carbon reporting requirements?

  6. Are your productions as carbon efficient as possible and/or identified areas for carbon reduction?

  7. Do you include positive sustainability messaging in your editorial?

  8. Are you compliant with the Climate Content Pledge?

If you answered ‘no’ to one or more, you need specialist support to deliver sustainability to your organisation.

How Futuretivity Delivers Sustainability

Our work enables businesses to deliver more efficient production, reduce carbon, increase impact and engage audiences in a way that is practical, tangible and effective.

Our focus is on identifying where sustainability models deliver bottom-line value through cost savings and new revenue opportunities, as well as building a sustainable company culture.

1. Understand - analyse and scope the opportunities to improve on wasted resources, cost savings and identify new revenue opportunities.

2. Plan - develop clear actions to improve efficiency, develop internal. expertise/capabilities and bolster the bottom line for a sustainable future

3. Deliver – an actionable roadmap delivering quick wins, establishing credibility and long-term development.

What Your Business Can Do Now

There is plenty you can do to start delivering sustainability benefits now. Here are five quick-wins to incorporate today.

1. Maximising resource efficiency - optimising working structures to reduce production office and facilities reliance. Not only does this impact costs, it opens up new revenue streams and improves work/life balance.

2. Reduce travel burn - from less flights and more train travel, to fewer journeys on condensed shoots with localised crews, there are savings to be made that deliver cost and carbon benefits.

3. Reinvigorate local economies - focusing on local suppliers, local crew and local catering delivers cost savings and positively impacts the communities around us.

4. Building local value – leveraging local talent, investing social and economic value, to deliver positive legacy from productions.

5. New business with sustainability content - impactful, strong messaging and calls to action that resonate with commissioners and audiences, reflecting demand for content that is climate and community relevant.

Futuretivity delivers climate positivity with vibrant, socially impactful commercial power. We recognise that the how-to of sustainability can be overwhelming, so we empower businesses with actionable roadmaps, skills for the future and meaningful connections to succeed.

Being a conscious business needn’t cost the earth nor cost your business.

For more inspiration and insights on sustainability for business go to If you are a company that needs help with sustainability in your business book a call with Futuretivity now and get sustainability delivered.

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