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Published on: January 18, 2024
Piloting the path to a sustainable future with the Screen New Deal for Wales
BAFTA albert outlined the key recommendations from the Screen New Deal (SND) Transformation Plan for Wales, setting out a path to a sustainable future for the film and high-end television industries alongside its second annual Production Summit, held in Cardiff.
This landmark report covers the changes to transport, energy use, waste and culture needed to meet net zero targets, distilling these actions into a clear timeline.
The Screen New Deal Transformation Plan was developed by Arup with help from BAFTA albert, Creative Wales, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Media Cymru, following a thorough analysis of available data as well as interviews with key stakeholders. This plan gives an overview of current policy, legislation and progress, as well as case studies of best practice to provide a single framework for the path to net zero.
Wales at the cutting edge
Following on from the first SND report in 2020, produced by Arup, BAFTA albert and the BFI, Wales was chosen as a pilot area due to its fast-growing creative industry cluster and ambitious sustainability targets. The insights from the pilot project will be made available to other areas of the UK.
Greg Mothersdale, Media Cymru Research & Development Producer and environmental sustainability lead, said: “We welcome the key findings of this comprehensive report which companies across Wales have contributed to as part of the Screen New Deal Transformational Plan pilot. We look forward to encouraging and curating innovative solutions from the media sector through Media Cymru activity in order to secure an environmentally sustainable future in this part of the world, and beyond.”
Six key facts
- The average big budget feature film production generates nearly 3,000 tonnes of carbon – as much as a diesel car driven around the world 300 times
- Diesel power was used in 91% of generators on set in Wales last year
- Renewable energy is used by only 14% of productions filmed in UK studios
- Road travel accounted for 80% of transport emissions for productions filmed in Wales
- 25% of the wood used in set building across Wales was recycled last year
- 94% of food emissions come from meat-based meals in Welsh productions
Sources: Screen New Deal report, 2020 (1); albert footprint data for 2022 (2–5)
The recommendations are placed on a timeline, Now (present – 2025), Near (2026–30) and Next (2031 onwards), to reach Wales net zero by 2050. Key themes include:
- Shifting to renewable energy for productions on location by replacing diesel generators with battery power or hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) in the short term; upgrading studio spaces to use less energy and generate their own where possible through wind or solar power;
- Rethinking transport to eliminate fossil fuels, prioritising renewable energy sources such as electric cars and using virtual production methods wherever possible;
- Creating a circular approach to materials and assets used in production, establishing rental and reuse systems for set materials, costumes and kit; ensuring that food provided on set favours locally produced and low carbon options;
- Boosting training and information available to production teams about the sustainability of existing production approaches; working with suppliers to the screen industry to reduce their waste and carbon footprints;
- Shifting culture within the industry to create a new sustainability standard for productions, establishing carbon budgets and harnessing the creative power of content makers and on screen talent.
1. Shifting to renewable energy
- Choose renewable energy in studios, offices, and post-production houses
- Phase out diesel for generators
- Maximise energy efficiency on set and on location
2. Rethinking transport
- Map out the scale of the challenge
- Eliminate diesel in vehicles
- Minimise travel
- Shift modes of transport to those using renewable energy
3. A circular approach to tackling waste of food and materials
- Introduce better monitoring to reduce waste
- Establish a circular approach to food, prioritising local suppliers and lower carbon options
- Expand and raise awareness for reuse of materials and production assets
4. Information gathering, training and collaboration
- Identify and train experts to promote sustainability from within the industry
- Assess typical assets used by a production to help crews decide which options are most sustainable
- Create support for suppliers to the TV industry in order to reduce emissions and waste in the supply chain
5. Cultural change
- Create carbon budgets for productions
- Ensure responsibility for sustainability rests with all production members
- Active participation for talent e.g. Green Rider
- Harness creative content opportunities
- New industry sustainability standard
Download the report summary and full report from BAFTA albert.