Netflix executive details decarbonizing productions to meet ‘net-zero’ goal

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FILE – This March 20, 2012 file photo shows signage at Netfilx headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif. Netflix reports quarterly financial results on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

Netflix executive details decarbonizing productions to meet ‘net-zero’ goal

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Netflix has made several changes in order to advance its goal of decarbonization, according to comments from an executive and a producer with the company.

Netflix, a video streaming service and global film production company, has committed to decarbonizing its film productions “across the globe.”

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“That’s our main goal in the next couple of years,” Claudia Augustinis, head of production at Netflix France, said. “We always say we want to entertain the world. But in order to do that, we need a world to entertain.”

Netflix’s pilot initiative “Net Zero + Nature” vows to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions with all of its film productions and overall company operations.

“Our consultants break down the scripts and identify opportunities [for] decarbonizing productions,” Augustinis told an audience at Series Mania, an international TV series festival in Lille, Hauts-de-France, which took place between March 17 and 24.

Netflix has changed how their plan transportation for film shoots.

“If they identify that the talent comes from distant locations, they can ask: ‘Is there any chance to organize transportation by train, rather than plane?’ Or ‘We have seen that you are planning to rent cars. Could they be electric instead?’ ‘Could the character drive one so that we can reflect sustainable behavior on screen and influence our audience’?” Augustinis explained.

Netflix’s “Net Zero” guidance states that they are “aligning with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C.”

Diego Betancor, a producer for the Netflix series In Love All Over Again, described the process as “quite tricky” to implement, but the crew embraced it.

“In our second week, we couldn’t find our main actress. She was talking to a truck driver, explaining why it was important to reduce our meat consumption,” he said, laughing.

Betancor said they now require the art or costume departments to use items that were either rented or bought second-hand. They have also added a “meatless day” on the set. The crew is to use public transportation, LED lighting, and batteries instead of fuel generators.

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Netflix’s sustainability department is regularly invited to key meetings for productions.

“We met with some resistance, but we also had plenty of support. At the end, as our eco supervisor would say, we [managed to] put our ‘green glasses’ on and change our mindset. Our gaffer understood that when we weren’t shooting, he could turn off many pieces of his equipment. That was one of our biggest achievements,” Betancor said.

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