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A NET ZERO ANIMATION INDUSTRY?

The U.K. is committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but what part can we play in that? How can the animation, games and VFX industries reach net-zero carbon emissions?

Supported by Clwstwr and Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Green Cymru Challenge Fund, we conducted R&D around this question. We broke down how our industries work, explored what contributes to our carbon emissions, and then identified the challenges and opportunities we face in reducing those contributions to zero.

Here’s what we found out (the short version!):

The animation industry is already a relatively low carbon emitter, so we have an opportunity to be a leader in reaching net zero before other sectors.

 

Pre-pandemic, our main environmental impact was through our energy usage (via our office buildings and IT systems), and commuting emissions.

However, office buildings are a factor over which businesses and freelancers often have limited control, so it's currently challenging to make meaningful changes to reduce our emissions from our office spaces.

Working from home rather than having an office space can often reduce our impact, but that depends on the production pipeline we use. 

There is a wealth of information out there, but it can be hard to sift through and find what's relevant to our industries, and there was no central hub to access guidance, expertise and tools.

There currently isn’t significant pressure being placed onto our sector to reduce carbon emissions by government, clients, suppliers or other third-parties – but that's likely to change. If we can create that motivation within the culture of our industries and organisations, we have an opportunity to get out in front of new policies and legislation, to galvanise our sector for the future.

Following the lockdowns of 2020-21, there is an ongoing evolution in working practices spanning resourcing, technical workflows, company culture and the use of office spaces. Many are now taking a hybrid model of office and home working forward – so there is an opportunity to consider how this may support our carbon reduction journeys. Further to this, there is an opportunity to harness these changes in a more holistic way, going beyond carbon reduction to consider other impacts such as wellbeing, equity, inclusion and wider ecological concerns.

If you want to read about these findings in more detail, 

read our full report.

So what can we do about it?
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