Ahead of the upcoming COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow later this year, BASE is reflecting on our own sustainability commitment. Our goal is to drive forward a bold and authentic vision for environmental best practice across the home entertainment category. So, how far have we come since 2019?
Two years ago, our main mission was to understand the influence of the sector on the environment, looking to genuinely reduce our impact. As a trade body, we were able to rally and collaborate with a wide spectrum of entertainment companies from the film, music & games industry. With these key groups engaged, BASE was able to create the Environment and Sustainability Working Group – utilising the power of collaboration to tackle the larger issues.
The first win was attending a joint learning session run by the BAFTA’s ‘Albert’ Agency (a major authority on environmental sustainability for the film and TV industry). Then, in order to share the vital information learned, BASE created a Crib Sheet containing vital stats, key takeaways from the session, and simple yet effective steps we can all take, to live and work sustainably.
Perhaps the most critical area of improvement for the home entertainment industry identified on that crib-sheet was the use of plastics, paper, and cardboard in products and packaging. However, in 2020 following talks with ASG Print & Packaging, two entertainment releases demonstrated how rethinking packaging could achieve 100% recyclability. In our own video category, BBC’s ‘Seven Worlds One Planet’ used cases made up of 40% recycled plastic, while in the games category SEGA’s ‘Football Manager 2020’ removed plastic from their packaging entirely in favour of a recycled cardboard case. Both titles source their card and paper parts from sustainable sources and are printed with water and vegetable-based inks, far exceeding government targets.
It’s also important to us to contribute to and amplify the work of partner organisations. Creative England, alongside Carnival Films, Sky and NBCUniversal International Studios produced a sustainable guidance Toolkit developed in response to research that revealed the carbon use of the average production per one hour of content was equivalent to the carbon used by three average-sized family homes for a whole year! Being able to work in collaboration with these key organisations provides real joint leadership within this issue and demonstrates the value of a collective and experienced response to a shared challenge.
Looking forward, our next major project is calculating a definitive and measurable figure that represents the carbon quota for the entire physical home entertainment industry. Once we have determined this figure, we aim to obtain a similar figure for the digital landscape — truly pioneering ground — as it has yet to be calculated by anyone globally.
It’s clear that companies can no longer operate as if the climate is stable – and that instability is making the business climate more uncertain, too. These trends cannot be ignored. Those who get to grips with the transition now, innovate at speed, and adapt as today’s imperfect information improves with time, stand to gain the most as changes unfold.