Catherine Puiseux, Ecoprod founder and CSR Director, TF1 Group, launched the first carbon audit of the audio-visual industry in France. In collaboration with Olivier-René Veillon, she founded Ecoprod, which provides tools for sustainable productions.
Thanks to the efforts made by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Director Catherine Puiseux, the TF1 Group started carbon auditing based on the Bilan Carbone®, which is now standard procedure. The company’s continuous improvement plan goes beyond legal requirements to manage energy consumption, raw materials, and waste. Environmental issues have been factored into engineering projects at the design stage, whether it be on location, in the studio, or for IT systems. The installation of LED studio lighting made it possible to cut on-set power consumption below 7kW, ten times less power than a conventional studio uses. Burnt out studio lights are recycled through the Recyclum program.
TF1 has issued a policy to responsible purchasing that promotes fair trade and “green” products. The company buys cars with CO2 emissions of less than 170 g/km, and it has set up a car-sharing plan that uses electric vehicles instead of taxis. With initiatives like Sustainable Development Week, the TF1 Group encourages its employees to contribute to sustainable development. EcoVadis reviews and assesses the CSR policies of the Group’s largest suppliers.
How did your green mission start?
In 2006, I did a carbon evaluation for the TF1 Group. It was the first time that the Bilan Carbone® was used in the media industry. The results were used to set criteria for commissioned productions, because 80% of TF1’s programming is produced by outside production companies. Compared to that, other efforts, such as cutting energy usage in buildings, IT systems, and transportation, are areas that don’t generate such a large carbon footprint although we make our best to reduce it too. Producers were not aware of the environmental impact they were making. I wanted to develop a tool box so that they could evaluate their carbon footprint.
How did you find partners?
I went to the Ile-de-France Film Commission because Corinne Rufet, Vice Président de la Région from the Green Party, conducted a survey in 2005 to determine the level of carbon emissions audio-visual productions were generating in Ile-de-France. I met Olivier-René Veillon and in 2008 we decided to create Ecoprod. We got the governmental agency Ademe on board, which helped us to develop a tool for the audio-visual industry, the Carbon Clap, to evaluate a production’s carbon footprint.
How many producers are using the Carbon Clap?
About twenty productions test or use Carbon Clap each month, which results in about 100 to 150 evaluations per year. We have about 7,000 production companies in France, which is due to the great number of independent producers. We also developed the Ecoprod Production Guide to provide sustainability suggestions and instructions for each production department. The idea is that crew members adopt these best practices and, in turn, pass them on to other productions. In 2014, Ecoprod launched the Charter as well as a certification label for its suppliers. About fifty companies have already signed on to the Charter.
Are TF1’s in-house productions using these tools too?
We tested the tools first with R.I.S. The series Jo in 2012 was then produced carbon-neutral. Our tools and production methods work best with episodic TV fiction. Ecoprod is developing a new Carbon Clap, closer to financial data to estimate the cost of the carbon footprint so that producers can assess the environmental impact of any item the production uses. Now, the question is how to get the audio-visual industry to adapt sustainable production methods more quickly.