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Sustainable Productions - Getting the Story Right

Producing content sustainably is increasingly and urgently in focus for film and TV. At Cop26 British broadcasters united with Albert to deliver the Content Climate Pledge, taking the discussion to audiences and committing to produce content that informs and inspires climate action, and supporting viewers to make sustainable choices.

This builds on the growing cohort of Studios and broadcasters providing transparency as to the environmental impact of their programming, with Albert carbon reporting becoming a standard for UK broadcasters and the Green Production Guide Toolkit enabling US content producers to assess and report the environmental impact of energy, travel, waste and even water bottles used.

The focus is shifting from sustainability as an aspiration to sustainability as an integral and measured deliverable, albeit one that lands responsibility with production companies already working hard to deliver compelling content on tight budgets and tighter production timelines. Supporting and enabling partners across the production supply chain will be the key to ensuring effective action towards a climate positive industry.

But sustainability needn’t be a burden. Done right, sustainability presents opportunities to innovate around process, deliver cost efficiencies and build resilience, improving industry profile and reputation as well as to tapping into new business and financing. All the while contributing to climate positivity as leaders in a vibrant, sustainable future.

Importantly, viewer interest in content addressing the environmental challenges of our changing world is greater than ever. This isn’t about simply more nature docs highlighting the perils of the climate crisis, but inclusion within the dramas, comedy, kids, current affairs and other genres that make up schedules and content libraries – the need for an authentic, informed and brave editorial voice is clear.

The signatories to the Content Climate Pledge understand that their voice – and their budgets – can make a difference, serving audience demand and highlighting how we impact the world around us. Channel 4’s brief to independent production houses calls for high-impact, multi-genre shows engaging viewers to “sit up and think about what they can do to solve the problem”.

But how do we reconcile that the very programming engaging viewers often has the biggest carbon footprint? How do you ensure a sustainable production when filming in far-flung locations over extended shoots? When does the importance of the story justify the emissions producing it?

Events such as the RTS’ forthcoming ‘Sustainable TV Production... Myth or Reality’ provides a forum for some soul searching, and hopefully space for those making sustainable production pledges to come together with those responsible for delivering climate positive storylines. What’s really needed, however, is a shift so sustainability becomes engrained at the core of everything we do and the decisions we make.

At Futuretivity, we believe that true sustainability in film and TV comes from integrating sound environmental practice and social value throughout the industry’s culture and operations powering its businesses, productions and supply chain. Only then can we ensure our editorial voice speaks authentically and with impact.

To find out more about how we can deliver sustainability to your productions, talk to us at

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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