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New Planet Positive Animation Network to help the sector reach net zero

CAF launches new network, plus resources, events and support services to help animation companies and freelancers become more sustainable.

Cardiff, Wales – 1 July 2022 – Today, Cardiff Animation Festival (CAF) has launched a new Planet Positive Animation Network to help animation, VFX and games companies and freelancers become environmentally sustainable.

Hosted on Discord, the new network will be a space for the sector to access and share resources and inspiration relevant to the animation, games and VFX industries, and work together to reach net zero.

The UK currently has a target to reach net zero green house gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. But scientists worldwide have called for more ambitious targets to curb global warming. CAF wants to help the animation, VFX and games industries reach net zero sooner.

While the new network will be hosted digitally, CAF has plans to run events enabling members to meet and share ideas in person. CAF is also sharing online resources, and is offering a consultancy service for animation companies who want a little more help reaching net zero or becoming environmentally sustainable.

“There’s a wealth of sustainability information out there, but resources relevant to the animation industry can be hard to find. Animation tends to fall through the cracks, and the SMEs and freelancers that make up the majority of the UK animation industry often don’t have time to sift through everything to find what’s relevant to them. We want to help animation companies and freelancers, as well as those in VFX and games which operate in a similar way, to reach net zero sooner than 2050. As fairly low carbon-emitters already, the animation industry has an opportunity to lead the way in sustainability.” – Festival Director of CAF, Lauren Orme

Animation is already a low-carbon method of screen production. CAF’s research in 2020 found that an hour of animation produced in Wales in 2019 emitted between 1.4–4.3 tonnes CO2e, only 17–52% of that emitted by an average hour of TV production. This was even lower in lockdown, falling to between 0.4–1.8 tonnes CO2e, only 5–22% of the impact of an average hour of TV.

As well as aiming to help companies and freelancers reduce their environmental impact, CAF aims to help the industry think more holistically about sustainability, including societal factors such as community, equity, health and wellbeing, and to consider the positive impact the animation, VFX and games industries’ work can have on attitudes to climate change.

CAF has been working on R&D projects around sustainability in animation for 2.5 years. Their new Planet Positive Animation Network is part of a Green Cymru project funded by Clwstwr and Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Green Cymru Challenge Fund. The project builds on CAF’s previous Clwstwr-funded R&D in 2020.

“Cardiff Animation Festival have continued to collaborate and deliver on their objective to establish a more sustainable animation, VFX and games industry through R&D (Research and Development). They have an innate ability to bring people together and create engaging outcomes. Their work exemplifies how their initial digital space will draw the industry to it for knowledge and potential solutions in order to lower its environmental impact. I am confident they will inspire others in aiming for net zero as soon as possible. I look forward to seeing the further developments in their flourishing network, space and service.” – Clwstwr Lead on Environmental Sustainability, Greg Mothersdale

"It is evident that we must act now in reducing our negative environmental impact. We all have a role to play in achieving national and global reduction targets. Cardiff Animation Festival, via the Green Cymru Challenge Fund, have delivered a much-needed space for animation, VFX and games to access vital tailored sustainability information and knowledge. The Planet Positive Animation Network offers a great opportunity to advance environmental practice in our screen sector and I am excited to see this community thrive.” – Ffilm Cymru Wales' Green Manager Chris Hill

Directions to the Planet Positive Animation Network, CAF’s online resources, and more information about CAF’s new sustainability consultancy service for animation companies, can be found here.


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