The European Environmental Calculator Eureca is developed as a user-friendly online tool, that can be used to measure the impact of all kind of audio-visual productions in the stage of pre-production, production, and post-production. Stimulating the industry to adopt sustainable practices, raise awareness, measure impact, and motivate cast and crew must be wisely integrated. Furthermore, know-how, funding, and the development of sustainable practices in different departments are crucial. To do so, it is important to clearly define and quantify sustainability.
The carbon calculator is a commonly used tool in the film industry that maps the different ar- eas of the impact of an audio-visual production on the environment and translates categories like transportation, electricity generation and use, waste, and catering into quantifiable units. In most cases, carbon emission is the unit of measurement. Within the Interreg-funded Green Screen project, a detailed study of existing carbon calculators emphasized not only the impor- tance of accurately measuring impact but also of detecting shortcomings. Existing calculators differ in the areas of carbon emission that they monitor; they rely on regional parameters; and they may also be based on differing impact categories. This makes it difficult to use calculators in a standardized international setting.
The greatest shortcoming may be that calculators are largely used for reporting purposes af- ter the completion of a production. The carbon calculator data takes a snapshot of the finished production but it doesn’t motivate production crews to make sustainable choices during the actual production. This was reason enough for Promalaga, the Slovak Film Commission, and the Flanders Audiovisual Fund to team up for the Interreg-funded Eureca project.
In partnership with the Catholic University of Leuven in Flanders, reliable conversion factors and their correct usage will be defined and will be based on the best available scientific research. These parameters will be applicable on the EU level, which requires more regional details to be reported because there is a difference in the energy mix available in various countries. Eureca will not only focus on carbon emissions but it will also examine other types of impact, such as toxicity, water use, and acidity. A broad group of stakeholders is guiding Eureca’s development, and it will ensure that functionality is relevant for filmmakers in different regions by testing the tool before its official launch.
Eureca will enable filmmakers to view a rough assessment of the film, based on its budget, in order to detect important areas of impact. By reporting the actual impact, this eco-calculator will generate an overview of environmental savings. It will also enable the consolidation of general results from different films produced at the regional level and, furthermore, it will be linked to the Green Film certification scheme.
This user-friendly online tool will provide results that are easy to understand and that may be shared with team members. After initial development, Eureca will be tested in 2021 and it will be made available at minimal cost to users, i. e., producers, broadcasters, film commissions, film funds, and policy makers throughout Europe.
“The time for half-measures and climate denial is over. Unless we move quickly away from fossil fuels, we’re going to destroy the air we breathe, the water we drink, the health of our children, grandchildren and future generations. If we’re going to avoid the worst of the impacts, then we’ve just got to act boldly. And we must act immediately."
Actor, Director, Producer, Environmentalist
"The media has a powerful role to play in the fight against climate change. Through films, television, and all media outlets, we must continue to deliver the message that solutions are out there and are happening now. We have to make it attractive for people to take action. Movies like Avatar, The Day After Tomorrow, and documentaries like Years of Living Dangerously, which I was proud to be a part of, have been very popular, reaching and inspiring millions of people. And I believe films in particular can really inspire and make people want to take action. It’s great to see some of my film-industry friends working with climate related organizations to push forward those messages."
„It‘s high time to reorganize film production in Germany in a ‚greener‘ and more sustainable way. So far, I am flabbergasted by how much our industry works in environmentally harmful ways.To this very day, it starts with until today one-sided print-outs of scripts, and then it continues with plastic bottles in production offices and lots of plastic waste with every catered meal, and it doesn‘t stop with the limousines that pull up to a red carpet.
For many years, people have sneered at me when I brought my own cup or I declined to eat cheap meat served on paper or plastic plates with plastic knives and forks. It would be great if the Green Shooting Card could change all that.“
Director (Ben X, Time of My Life)
„It’s absolutely great that filmmakers all over the world are trying to clean up their act, and are trying to film as sustainable as we possibly can. Still, I think we shouldn’t underestimate the incredible power of the moving image to also change the hearts and minds of people.
So, apart from trying to be more environmentally aware in our business, I think the big gain lies in how we might make everyone more environmentally aware. Yes, cinema can change the world.
I think filmmakers should start using the powerful weapon in our hands that is the camera.
Let’s not only try to do ‘less bad’. Let’s try to do right, and help drive the change that we all know needs to arrive.“
“We are living in a time in which we can’t afford to behave irresponsibly towards nature. The more important is it that film productions try to work as environmentally friendly as possible. A film team produces every day tons of garbage. I try to avoid using plastic cups on set, I bring my own cup, use ecofriendly cosmetics and avoid needless single rides.”
Photo ® Maddalena Arosio
Darren Aronofsky, Director, Noah / Jury President, 65th Berlin International Film Festival
“When we did Noah we knew we were making a film about the first steward of the earth, so we wanted to be good stewards ourselves. There’s so much waste on film sets. Because of groups like Earth Angel, we were able to change that a little bit.”
"As a TV and film producer I try to incorporate environmental storylines into my projects as much as possible. But it’s just as important, if not more, to ‚go green‘ behind the scenes! Therefore, I help run the Producers Guild of America’s Green Initiative.
We provide resources such as a Best Practices and a Carbon Calculator to help producers green their productions. We also partnered with all the major studios to create www.greenproductionguide.com which is a free green vendor database with over 2,000 vendors offering sustainable production solutions worldwide!"
Producer, Director and Visual Effects Supervisor (2001: A Space Odysee, Blade Runner)
"Trumbull Studios in Massachusetts is dedicated to being green as much as possible, including the use of LED lighting, solar power, and solar laptops. This is not just because our location has limited amperage and no three-phase, we believe we have a responsibility to our community and our planet to be a clean industry.
We are planning for digital photography in 3D 4K at 120 frames per second from remote and inaccessible locations that will not have available power. Solar is the way to go."
Dieter Kosslick, Director Berlin International Film Festival
„The Berlinale is already actively addressing the sustainability subject since years. We appreciate it very much that a growing number of filmmakers, among them this year‘s jury presiden Darren Aranofsky, is following green guidelines on set.“
Director of Photography (A Most Wanted Man)
‘I never have been told precisely what the rules are for shooting a green movie, but we are trying to do it. This is something new for me. Sometimes people overlight scenes at night. I don’t. If I can see with my own eyes, then it is enough for the film. In that sense I am a green DoP.’
Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons who stars in the Berlinale Competition entry The Night Train To Lisbon is a fan of source segregated recycling. „Especially in Germany you have done a lot for that. You are examplary in the matter of waste separation.“
The Hollywood actor travelled around the world to promote the environmntal documentary feature film Trashed by Candida Brady which deals with the global garbage problem: „We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it“, says Brady. „With Jeremy Irons as our guide, we discover what happens to the billion or so tons of waste that goes unaccounted for each year.“
Since the world premiere at the International Cannes Film Festival in 2012 Trashed picked up various nominations and awards at international festivals.