During a conversation, Managing Director Achim Rohnke likes to present an aerial image of the Bavaria Film studios, which is situated amidst a broad belt of woodlands in the Munich suburb of Grünwald. A comprehensive modernization of the facilities was launched two years ago to make the long-established production site more efficient and to turn it into what will likely be the first zero-carbon film studio in the world. This task is today almost complete. Rohnke likes to promote the green film studio in Hollywood.
Sustainability is a big issue, particularly in Hollywood. ‘It has become a lifestyle there, starting with the studio directors and other decision makers down to the actors and the stars’, states Rohnke, who is no longer puzzled as to why there are so many hybrid cars parked in front of the studios there. ‘We have resolved to re-shape our studios in Grünwald into a Green Production Lot and to position Bavaria Film internationally as the first of its kind zero-carbon studio complex.’ Bavaria film has invested about 30 million euros into modernization. With a combination of measures, they have succeeded in reducing carbon emissions by 97 percent over the course of two years: from 7,000 tons per year in 2011 to 200 tons projected by the end of 2013. The remaining emissions are offset by an investment in a geothermal energy project in Indonesia.
The heating system on the Bavaria Film lot was converted to geothermal energy from a nearby source in the summer of 2012. ‘We have moved away from fossil fuel-based heating with natural gas to geothermal power’, confirms André Heim, Head of On-Site Services. Bavaria Film has entered into a long-running contract with Erdwärme Grünwald GmbH, which has made a pivotal contribution to the success of this eco-friendly project undertaken by one of its major customers.