Thursday, February 29, 2024

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    Ontario Film and TV Industry Aims to Reduce Carbon Footprint

    Sustainability Initiatives Gaining Traction as Hollywood Productions Flock to the Province

    The Ontario film and TV industry are taking significant steps to address their carbon footprint and integrate sustainable practices. With an increasing number of Hollywood studios and streaming giants choosing the Canadian province as a filming location in recent years, a report released on Monday argues that more sustainable actions are necessary to make a substantial impact on reducing overall carbon emissions.

    The report, titled “Advancing Waste Management Practices in Ontario’s Film and Television Industry,” and conducted by the Green Sparks Group, emphasizes the need for prioritizing sustainable practices on both soundstages and filming locations. It suggests that sustainable film production should become the industry standard for all film and TV productions.

    One key motivation for this shift is to ensure that Hollywood continues to choose Ontario as a preferred location after the recent dual Hollywood strikes are resolved. Major studios and streaming platforms have already made efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, making sustainability a significant factor in location decisions.

    The report also highlights the desire among crew members to work on sustainable productions. This could potentially impact the ability of non-sustainable productions to attract top talent in the future.

    The Ontario Green Screen report primarily focuses on how waste generated on film sets can be diverted for recycling or reuse. It also explores ways the film and television industry can adopt sustainable practices to minimize overall waste and carbon emissions.

    The findings indicate that the most significant progress in waste capture and diversion is observed on larger TV series filmed in and around Toronto. These series, often American productions, involve multiple cameras and extensive filming locations, resulting in higher carbon emissions due to the transportation of talent, equipment, and materials. Conversely, mid-budget series and movies have shown minimal recycling efforts, missing opportunities to reuse unused set materials and donate uneaten meals to local agencies.

    One of the key challenges identified in the report is the lack of mandatory regulations compelling both U.S. and local film and TV productions to adopt sustainable practices. Greater support, including mandates and incentives from studios and governments, is suggested to improve production waste diversion. The report emphasizes the need for top-down support from studios and producers as an essential element in promoting sustainability.

    Despite industry shutdowns due to recent strikes, Ontario has experienced record production activity across the province, driven by Hollywood productions. The province has invested in building infrastructure, expanding its workforce, and implementing environmentally sustainable measures to attract foreign production companies once the strikes are resolved, making sustainability a vital consideration for future growth.

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