The European energy provider Edison developed a protocol for eco-sustainable movies in Italy. These recommendations are supposed to encourage film productions to lower their carbon footprint. According to the research by Edison, the Italian film industry generates around 5,600 tons of CO2 each year due to energy consumption, the transportation of movie sets, use of materials and waste management. If producers are going to following the Edison Green Movie protocol, the emissions of every film production might be cut down by about 20 percent.
Since the introduction of these best practices, three Italian movies followed the green recommendations. The international acclaimed drama Human Capital by Paolo Virzi which Italy had submitted as Best Foreign Language Film for the 2015 Academy Awards lowered their carbon footprint and their production costs on set by choosing a more environmental-friendly power supply for a temporary connection. Instead of a traditional 12-ton generator, the production used an electricity grid and cut their CO2 emissions by around 75 percent which came down to 44 tons less carbon dioxide emissions. This sustainable measure was also a benefit in terms of budget. The use of the grid combined with battery-powered neon lights for indoor scenes resulted in savings of over € 37,000. “Sustainability has an economic impact on our industry because it is about efficiency”, underlines Gianluca Della Campa who represents the European energy company Edison in Italy and France.
Another Italian director who already takes some green measures into account is Ermanno Olmi. When the filmmaker shot his World War I drama The Meadows Will Bloom Again the crew used 20-liter water dispensers instead of water bottles. By saving 3,400 plastic bottles, the catering costs were reduced by 20 percent. A sustainable approach was also taken by the Italian comic trio Aldo, Giovanni & Giacomo when they shot their comedy Il ricco, il povero e il maggiordomo (The Rich, the Poor and the Butler) about Italy’s recession.
In total, the Edison Green Movie protocol suggest 37 measures in order to save costs and carbon emissions. It would have an impressive impact if the yearly production output of about 140 films in Italy follow these green guidelines. Altogether, the productions could save 1,120 tons of CO2 which is the equivalent of the annual public lighting system for a municipal area with 10,000 residents.