Unlocking Sustainable Success

Posted on Jan 25, 2024 by Samara Husbands

Unlocking Sustainable Success

BAFTA albert project manager Steve Smith weighs in on the game-changing Studio Sustainability Standard initiative

In an era defined by the urgency of climate change, the film and TV industries face a crucial challenge: how to align production practices with sustainability goals. 

Studio facilities, as integral components of the value chain, have a substantial role to play in driving the transition to a greener future.

The Studio Sustainability Standard was established in 2022 as a game-changing initiative offering studio owners and operators the opportunity to make a positive environmental impact and gain a competitive edge in the industry. 

In this article, we delve into what the Studio Sustainability Standard entails and why joining the scheme brings enormous benefits to studio facilities.

As the global community acknowledges the importance of combatting climate change, audiences and industry stakeholders increasingly demand sustainable practices.

Studio facilities which provide the physical infrastructure for film and TV production have a unique opportunity to lead the charge in transforming the industry.

By aligning with the Studio Sustainability Standard, studio owners and operators demonstrate steadfast commitment to environmental stewardship and position themselves as pioneers in production.

What exactly is the Studio Sustainability Standard? 

Developed by BAFTA albert, the leading screen organisation for environmental sustainability, the Studio Sustainability Standard sets a voluntary global standard for studio facilities to reduce their carbon footprints and embrace sustainable values.

It provides a comprehensive framework to guide studios towards achieving ambitious targets, covering six essential categories: climate, nature, circularity, people, management and data. By addressing these areas, studios can create a holistic approach encompassing both operational and environmental considerations.

In a rapidly evolving industry, standing out from the competition is crucial. Through celebrating and showcasing green practices in the Studio Sustainability Standard, facilities can differentiate themselves.

This not only attracts environmentally conscious producers, but also positions the facility as a preferred choice for stakeholders seeking equally committed partners. 

Sustainability and profitability go hand in hand.

The Studio Sustainability Standard empowers studio facilities to optimise their operations, leading to potentially significant cost savings and increased operational efficiency.

By implementing energy-saving measures, improving waste management systems and streamlining resource usage, studios can reduce overhead expenses while enhancing productivity. Studios could then invest these savings into other areas of growth, creating a cycle of sustainability and financial success.

Participating studios receive performance reports and grades, providing objective evaluations of their efforts. These assessments will enable studio facilities to track progress, identify areas for improvement and set realistic goals.

The transparent reporting system facilitates benchmarking against global standards, allowing studios to compare their performance with peers. This not only provides a roadmap for improvement, but also demonstrates commitment to investors.

What we learnt in year one 

2022 marked the first year of the Studio Sustainability Standard, with 12 studios committing to measuring their impact and starting their journey to building a more resilient and green entertainment industry.

In this inaugural year, five studios were awarded ratings of ‘very good’ – the highest score in the cohort. But the standard is much more than a rating, it’s about sharing best practices for others in the industry to learn from and facilitating a commitment to reducing environmental impact. 

The Studio Sustainability Standard 2022/23 industry report aggregated the data collected from the first year, and found participating studios are already taking meaningful measures to reduce effects in high-impact areas.

For example, eight of the 12 studios are powered by a 100% renewable energy mix, ten of 12 have clear and achievable sustainability targets in place and ten of 12 invest in their local community. 

The Studio Sustainability Standard empowers facilities to take a proactive stance, embracing environmentally responsible practices that drive positive change.

By joining this transformative initiative, studio owners and operators gain a competitive edge, differentiate themselves and unlock opportunities for cost savings, operational efficiency and stakeholder engagement.

As the film and TV sector evolves, this standard serves as a compass, guiding studios to a greener, more prosperous future. 

First published in the September 2023 issue of Definition.

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