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News article - Screen Auckland leads charge to address sector's emissions ambitions

Kua takoto te mānuka
The leaves of the mānuka tree have been laid down

Screen Auckland has released the Aotearoa New Zealand Screen Sector Emissions Study: Kua takoto te mānuka, and is holding an online hui to address the industry’s goal of halving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

“The commissioning and releasing of this report are first and vital steps for Screen Auckland in taking up a leadership role in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, and Aotearoa New Zealand’s, screen sustainability strategy,” Matthew Horrocks, Screen Auckland Manager, says.  

"This is of local, national and international importance. Sustainable production practices are increasingly a matter of international production attraction competitiveness."

The Screen Sector Emissions Study and its recommendations will form the basis of a key focus for the sector in 2023, and the years to come.

Read the report

Report summary

"The impact of human-caused climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. It will take a collective effort to accept this challenge and take purposeful action in response. The Aotearoa New Zealand screen sector through its media and actions has a key role to engage humanity with the climate crisis, lead dialogue and inspire action.

"The Aotearoa New Zealand Government has committed to a net zero economy by 2050. The Government is setting a pathway and carbon emissions budgets for a just transition towards a net zero economy. Acceptance of the most urgent challenge of our time will require strong leadership to connect deeply and meaningfully with people, place, and business and drive the necessary changes. The only timeframe that matters is now.”

Aerial shot of car driving through bush roads, Auckland

A Car driving through the Waitakere Ranges, Auckland NZ

The Aotearoa New Zealand Screen Sector Emissions Study: Kua takoto te mānuka

The Screen Sector Emissions Study and its recommendations will form the basis of a key focus for the sector in 2023, and the years to come.

Horrocks says the sector has already taken significant steps across productions in recent years, in response to emerging sustainability issues and challenges.  

“From waste and water management to power consumption and the carbon footprint of cast and crew travel, there is clearly serious work to be done.

"We are seeking to assist the development of strategy and practices that equip the sector with the goals, consistency of approach and tools to embed sustainable practices at the heart of everything we do.  

"Whilst the report focusses on emissions reduction, the physical impacts of climate change  on the sector, many of which are already occurring, must also be addressed if we are to build a resilient climate-proof sector.”

Industry involvement

International partners and competitors are moving at pace. Sustainable Screens Australia, launched in October, brings together 16 leading industry organisations. It is one a raft of international initiatives – Europe, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada each have significant initiatives in place, with further development underway.  

Studios are setting ambitious sustainability goals and increasingly requiring their partners and suppliers to do the same.  

“We not only need to ensure we are meeting our own responsibilities, but our national screen sector needs to get ahead of the curve of emissions reduction, sustainability and regenerative practices if we wish to remain competitive.  

“Production expenditure and jobs, as much as the environment, are at stake. Significant action requires not just a Team Tāmaki Makaurau approach but a Team Aotearoa one.”  

Horrocks says New Zealand’s domestic audience is also important with a demonstrated commitment to screen sustainability a way the sector can show government and the public, that the industry is innovative and responsible to their environment, funders, and communities.  

By bringing leadership and focus to this issue, Screen Auckland believes we can play a pivotal and productive role.

It will reach out to screen practitioners – a significant number of industry members took part in the consultation for the report – and a wide range of Aotearoa New Zealand’s screen representative organisations including Film Auckland and RFONZ, the 10 Regional Film Offices of New Zealand.

“We engage with the iwi of Tāmaki Makaurau on matters of key importance to the region’s screen sector.  Sustainable and regenerative practices are built in to Te Ao Māori world-view and tikanga, and tangata whenua are natural leaders and collaborators in this space.”

It will also work with partners within Tātaki Auckland Unlimited – including the Climate Innovation and Sustainability Team, and national bodies such as the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise, Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Screen Auckland anticipates working more closely with Greenlit, New Zealand’s grassroots organisation dedicated to developing the strategy and tools required for implementing sustainability within the screen sector.

Read the report

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