With Tatort Fünf Minuten Himmel, Germany‘s most popular crime drama completed its first sustainable production. Initiated by the regional film fund Medien-und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg (MFG), this pilot project is being done in partnership with the Hochschule der Medien (HdM, the Stuttgart Media University). By searching for traces of green, the most effective measures, and the ones that have the best cost-benefit ratio, can be found. „We are trying to identify the core measures that have to be taken, the ones that will make it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; all the other aspects are, for now, optional “, explains Robert Lanig of MFG’s funding department, who has oversight responsibility for the green measures that are taken during a film production.
The project also supports Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), so producers should take full responsibility for their business activities. The production company Ziegler Film Baden-Baden faced the challenge of making economic decisions by taking into consideration the social and ecological conditions that favor the creation of a sustainable value added. Sustainable resource planning plays a central role. „The demand has to come from the production side so that suppliers can reorganize to meet their needs“, says producer Marc Müller Kaldenberg. A sustainability consultant, Katja Schwarz from the Tolle Idee! Agency, was hired.
During the shooting of the green Tatort, which was directed by Katrin Gebbe, who made her reputation with Tore tanzt, the sound editor began using rechargeable batteries, rented electric cars from Sixt, while Tatort Inspector Heike Makatsch biked to the set. It was not possible to use LED lamps because there was no supplier in the region who had them in stock. Plus, any long distance transportation would have enlarged the carbon footprint.
The lion‘s share of CO2 emissions that were reduced came from the transport and energy sectors. „Hotel accommodation and commercial airline flights are by far the largest CO2 factors”, says Lanig. Instead of the plane, the train was used to travel from Berlin to Freiburg, which decreased the CO2 emissions from 268 kg to 32 kg CO2, a reduction of 88%.
About 70% of the energy demands were covered by renewable energy from the grid, while 30% of the power was produced by a diesel generator, which resulted in a ton of CO2 emissions. If the production had used only the generator, which is quite common in the film industry, the output of greenhouse gases would have been three times greater. Electric cars made a positive impact on the ecological balance. Emissions were reduced by about 300kg CO2 per automobile.
Remarkable results were also obtained by the use of reusable dishware as well as by waste separation on set. Thanks to reusable cups and water dispensers, the team avoided using 6,500 plastic cups as well as 680 non-refillable returnable bottles. „We’re assuming that the results obtained in this pilot project can be transferred 1:1 to the other installments of this crime drama“, said MFG spokesman Uwe Rosentreter.