With the urgency of climate change abundantly clear, environmental associations are increasingly holding the industry to account. As a result, most major film studios have started to collaborate with sustainability consultancies such as Sustainable Film. Still, for many productions, sustainability considerations remain an afterthought, with accessibility and affordability acting as barriers to cleantech solutions and unsustainable habits proving difficult to break.
One area that does seem to be embracing green practices is award ceremonies. In 2020, Bafta delivered its first carbon-neutral ceremony. This involved requiring attendees to either re-wear or rent their outfits, ensuring all drink, starter and dessert offerings were vegan, fitting the red carpet with energy-saving LED lights, and using electric cars as transportation. Both the Golden Globes and the Oscars have been introducing similar measures including switching to entirely plant-based menus, upcycling the red carpet, and serving water in glass bottles instead of plastic.
However, whilst undeniably an important step forward, these new measures work to paint a false picture of an environmentally conscious film industry. Some actors and fans are beginning to get wise to this disconnect, and as the gap between publicly declared environmentalism and daily practice continues, the industry puts itself at risk of greenwashing claims. In order to show genuine commitment to sustainability, it is vital that focus is on decarbonising the industry beyond the events season.
WRITTEN BY: Laura Tendall