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HomeentertainmentMovie NewsOntario Film Industry Must Make Sustainability a Priority, Says Report

Ontario Film Industry Must Make Sustainability a Priority, Says Report

The Ontario film and TV industry is working to reduce its carbon footprint and introduce sustainable practices as Hollywood studios and streamers have increasingly shot their originals in the Canadian province in recent years.

But a report unveiled Monday indicates far more sustainable steps are needed for real change that reduces overall carbon emissions. The Ontario Green Screen report, entitled “Advancing Waste Management Practices in Ontario’s Film and Television Industry,” argues “prioritizing sustainable practices on set should become an industry norm for all film and TV productions.”

The report, conducted by the Green Sparks Group, said an industry-wide push for sustainable film production as a default on soundstages and locations is required to keep Hollywood coming north after the dual Hollywood strikes are settled and after major studios and streamers have already worked to reduce their carbon footprint.

“There is a strong desire from crew members to work on sustainable productions, which may affect the future ability of non-sustainably focused productions to attract top talent,” the report warned.

The Ontario Green Screen report focuses on how film set waste can be be diverted for recycling or reuse and how the film and television industry might make sustainable shifts to curb overall waste and carbon emissions.

The report indicates the biggest capture and diversion of waste — single-use food and drink containers, food and organic waste, construction materials and set dressing, props and costumes — is coming on bigger TV series shot in and around Toronto.

American TV series that have shot in Toronto and across the province include The Handmaid’s Tale, Reacher, The Umbrella Academy, Accused and Ginny & Georgia.

Those tentpole projects often have more cameras in use and a greater number of film locations, leading to more carbon emissions from convoys of transport trucks and cars moving talent, production equipment and materials around. The report points to minimal recycling on mid-budget series and movies, where unused set materials could be reused on future productions and uneaten meals donated to local agencies.

A key obstacle to greater recycling and reuse of materials are U.S. and local film and TV productions not being compelled to act and relying on education for progress. “Interviewees frequently suggested that mandates and incentives from studios and governments might improve production waste diversion. The need for top-down support from studios and producers was frequently mentioned in interviews as a production-level necessity,” the report, unveiled at the Sustainable Production Forum in Toronto, said.

With Hollywood as a key future growth driver, Ontario saw record production activity across the province before the latest industry shutdown caused by the dual strikes, and the province has been busy building out its infrastructure with more new studios coming on stream, a larger and more skilled workforce trained and ready for high-end film and TV production, and more environmentally-sustainability measures to ensure a quick and effective return to foreign production locally post-strikes.



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