The European Carbon Calculator
Embedding sustainable practices within the audiovisual industry is a big and wideranging challenge. In order to stimulate the industry to adapt more sustainable practices, a smart combination of initiatives is needed. There is not one magic solution for achieving this challenge: the way to go is a mix of raising awareness, measuring impact, motivating cast and crew, knowledge, funding, learning how to work more sustainable in different departments.
It is important, when striving towards sustainability, to clearly define the concept of sustainability. Do you want to reduce energy and resource consumption? Or is the reduction of greenhouse gasses the aim? Or are the UN's sustainable development goals (SDG’s) your moral compass?
Carbon calculator for all kinds of productions
One of the tools that is commonly used is a carbon calculator. A tool maps the different fields of impact of an audiovisual production and translates topics like transport, electricity production and use, waste, catering into carbon impact units, allowing productions to identify the areas on production with the most impact on the enviornment.
In most cases CO2 is used as a reference unit. Within the Interreg funded Green Screen project, a detailed study of existing carbon calculators was commissioned. This study not only underlined the importance of measuring impact, but also detected some shortcomings. Existing calculators all differ in what areas they cover, are not always user friendly, have a regional focus (language barriers + lack of regional parameters) or are based on different impact categories.
This makes it difficult to use calculators in an international and standardized setting, particularly for co-productions. The biggest shortcoming might be that calculators are mainly used to report, once a production is finished. They form a snapshot of the finished production, but don’t push production crews into making sustainable choices during the production process.
This gave Green Screen partners from Promalaga, Slovak Film Commission and the Flanders Audiovisual Fund enough reasons to team up for the Pilot Action under Interreg Europe and develop Eureca.
Eureca is a European Environmental Calculator that aims to create a user friendly environmental impact calculator. This calculator can be applied to all kinds of audiovisual productions, covering pre-production, production and post production.
Partnership with Catholic University of Leuven
In partnership with Catholic University of Leuven (Flanders) reliable conversion factors and their correct use will be defined. These conversion factors are based on world class scientific research. These parameters will be applicable at an EU level, allowing for comparable data to be capture. Regional differences will be taken on board, i.e. the energy mix varies across different countries and hence the Carbon impact will differ per country. Eureca, however, will not only look at CO2 but will also measure other types of impact (like toxicity, water use, acidity, etc.). A broad group of stakeholders guide the Eureca development in an advisory group. The stakeholders will ensure that the functionality of the tool is relevant for filmmakers in different regions and they will help to test the tool before it is launched.
Overview of your environmental savings
The aim of Eureca is to have a reference assessment of film productions based on the budget which will enable to etect the different fields of environmental impact. By reporting the actual impact, Eureca will generate an overview of the environmental savings. Eureca will also allow to consolidate broad results of different films at regional level. In addition, the tool aims to link to the Green Film certification scheme.
The online tool will be user friendly; results easy to understand and shareable with team members on production. Eureca will be developed and tested in 2020 and 2021; it will be made available at minimal cost to users (producers, broadcasters, film commissions and funds, policy makers, …) all over Europe. As stated before: this eco-calculator is only one part of the initiatives needed for reducing the environmental impact of the industry.
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