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Report highlights TV industry’s carbon footprint

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Every hour of onscreen TV production in the UK is responsible for producing the same amount of carbon dioxide as one UK citizen at work annually, new research has found.

According to a report compiled by the Sustainable Business Practice in association with BAFTA, anaverage of 5.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide is released with every hour of onscreen media production – enough to fill the volume of one Olympic swimming pool.

The statistic was reached using Albert, a carbon calculator for onscreen media production created by the BBC and launched in November last year. Administered by BAFTA, Albert is run in partnership with broadcasters and production companies, including Channel 4, and has 818 registered users. Over the year, 266 television prod­uct­ions were assessed, totalling 1,297 hours of output.

In its report, the Sustain­able Business Practice found that, within the 5.8 tonnes, areas of production responsible for the most significant carbon emissions were travel, which accounted for 38% of the figure, and a programme’s production office, responsible for 30%.

The study found that studios contribute 0.4 tonnes of carbon per hour, but added that this “surprisingly modest” figure is because many programmes were filmed outside or on location, and because some studios do not yet have the meters needed to give readings.

BAFTA chief operating officer Kevin Price said: “The data captured so far has highlighted the key areas where the industry can work to reduce its carbon footprint, and will provide a useful benchmark from which to measure improvements over time.”

According to the report, using Albert is a “first step towards carbon reduction and developing a standard against which all productions can measure their impact”.

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