A Closer Look at the Film Industry's Eco-Transition (2022-2023)

Every part of making a  movie leaves a mark, and people in the film industry are trying to teach and show more about making movies in a way that’s good for the environment. From 2022 to 2023, the film industry underwent a small improvement towards sustainability. Embracing eco-friendly practices and cutting-edge technology, studios and filmmakers are trying to go green, but the numbers show they still have a long way to go, post-production and VFX included.

A Closer Look at the Film Industry's Eco-Transition (2022-2023)

Wed 13th of March 2024

According to a study by albert, a big-budget movie costing over $70 million makes around 2,840 tons of carbon. It would take about 3,709 acres of forest a year to absorb all that. Not many recent films have such low budgets. Even though, 51% of the carbon emissions come from transporting things, post-production, such as VFX, is a big culprit as well, and we’ll get back to why’s that later on.

It’s a notable fact that only 12 studios received ”studio sustainability standard” badges from BAFTA’s albert in May 2023. There are over 49,300 Movie & Video Production businesses in the US alone as of 2023, meaning only 0,02% of all studios have been awarded with albert’s sustainability badge. The criteria by which they are assessed include climate, circularity, nature, people, management, and data.

In total, nearly 2000 productions received the albert certified badge in 2022 which accounts for more sustainable productions than 2020 and 2021 combined.

Statistically modest increase with EMA Green Seal certifications

Besides albert, which is mostly used in EU and UK, there is EMA Green Seal. The Environmental Media Association’s ”EMA Green Seal” program recognizes film and television productions that have implemented environmentally friendly practices. 

Productions can apply for the Green Seal certification by meeting specific sustainability criteria similarly to BAFTA’s albert. EMA’s Green Seal program holds significance within the American entertainment industry.

In 2023 there were over 300 productions that received the EMA Green Seal for sustainable production. In 2022 the equivalent amount was 229 productions. That being said, there’s a long way for majority of productions and studios to gain sustainability in both Europe and America.

High-performance computing is often needed for VFX

According to Studio Hog, there are around 630 VFX studios alone. The amount of is way bigger when speaking of all Post-Production houses, VFX being just one part of it. It’s also notable that there are only around 30 post-production companies listed as sustainable suppliers in albert’s platform, offering variety of post-production services, not just VFX.

The intricate algorithms and computing required for VFX often run on powerful hardware systems, consuming substantial amounts of electricity, which in turn contributes to carbon emissions. Calculating the exact emissions is not the priority for companies since their work often necessitates round-the-clock operations to meet tight deadlines. 

Only a handful post-production and VFX companies are actively reducing their carbon emissions

This leads to continuous energy consumption and heightened carbon emissions. High-performance computers and specialized rendering servers typically have short lifespans and frequent upgrades, resulting in further environmental strain due to the manufacturing and disposal of electronic waste.

Addressing the environmental impact of post-production processes, like VFX, requires comprehensive strategies that prioritize energy efficiency, sustainable practices, and the adoption of renewable energy sources. Only through concerted efforts and innovative solutions can the industry mitigate its carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. Due to this Kajawood Studios uses carbon-neutral high-performance computing for all their rendering services, carbon emission reporting included. We are also an official sustainable supplier at albert’s platform.

That being said, numbers tell a story of progress, yet also highlight the vast journey ahead. With hundreds of productions earning recognition for their eco-conscious efforts and only a fraction listed as sustainable suppliers, the path to environmental responsibility remains steep. Yet, with pioneers like Kajawood Studios leading the charge, there’s hope that the future of filmmaking will be as green as it is groundbreaking.




  • All Post
  • News
Filming possibilities in Finland

Finland's well-developed film industry infrastructure, including state-of-the-art studios and skilled professionals, makes it an attractive choice for productions of all…