Netflix has hosted an array of environmental documentaries: A Life on our Planet, Seaspiracy, Kiss the Ground, My Octopus Teacher, Virunga—all shocking and worthy revelations on the state of our planet and its biodiversity loss.Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, has thus decided to take responsibility of the company’s footprint.
Apparently, the entertainment behemoth’s largest carbon footprint happens during film production, its data centers actually pale in comparison to these numbers. In 2020 Netflix emitted 1.1m tonnes of CO2: equivalent to 125,000 US households (the world’s largest emitter per capita)—producing a show like the crown is netflix’s largest CO2 emitter.
“Our imprint is actually creating our content, building sets, moving people around to be able to produce a series or film. The thing that you think of — like the office or [Amazon Web Services] — is pretty darn small.”—Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO
How will Netflix hit its carbon targets?
In order to hit net zero by 2022 Netflix will purchase carbon off-sets and fund conservation projects, by restoring grasslands, mangroves, and soil restoration as well CO2 sequestration.
However, it’s internally making commitments to cut its direct emissions too:
By 2030 Netflix plans to cut its emissions by 45%How? By…
- Adding a carbon price in its budgeting process
- Banning dirty diesel generators from film sets
- Using more virtual production techniques
- Hiring local crews
- Reducing air travel
- Introducing LED lights
“We are essentially assembling a small city [each time we build a set] and then dismantling it, it comes with a lot of energy.”—Emma Stewart, Netflix’s sustainability officer.
The most interesting commitment is Netflix’s introduction of an internal carbon tax, “internal carbon tax” in accounting, meaning the less CO2 consumed the lower the tax, this will incentivize the producers dealing with budgeting to keep CO2 levels down.