German film, TV and VoD industries launch a joint sustainability initiative

  • Joining forces: A broad alliance of production companies, broadcasters, VoD services and film-funding entities switches to an ecologically more sustainable production
  • Ambitious, binding voluntary commitment to comply with minimum ecological standards starting in 2022
  • New sustainability label "green motion"

Film, TV and online/VoD productions cause high CO2 emissions and consume many resources. A significant part of these CO2 emissions can be avoided by switching to a more environmentally friendly and resource-saving production method. Therefore, a broad alliance of key industry representatives from the German film, TV and VoD market has decided to, from now on, produce a large part of their content in a way that preserves the climate and resources for the future.

In the joint "Green Shooting" working group, the representatives of broadcasters, production companies, VoD services and film-funding entities have developed for the first time general, minimum ecological standards for sustainable productions and committed themselves to comply with them as part of a sustainability initiative starting on January 1, 2022 (https://oekologische-mindeststandards-greenmotion.de). The self-commitment to these standards, which are very progressive compared to their international equivalents, is voluntary and not based on any legal requirements. The productions that participate in the initiative will be marked with the specially developed "green motion" label in the credits or on promotional material.

The spokesman and head of the working group, MFG managing director Carl Bergengruen, commented: "The ecological minimum standards and the label 'green motion' are a strong, voluntary commitment of the German film, TV and VoD industry to better protect the climate. Our specifications are ambitious but, at the same time, realistic. This is a first, important step, combined with the goal of continuously advancing the minimum ecological standards. We also want to win more partners for this initiative. Germany needs a common ecological standard for all of its film, TV and VoD productions."

Switching to LED spotlights, more train journeys, more environmentally friendly vehicles, vegetarian food; avoiding diesel generators, short-haul flights, disposable dishes; calculating a CO2 footprint, getting advice from a sustainability expert, etc.: The minimum ecological standards touch on all areas of production and were developed drawing on the experience and the knowledge gathered from the "100 green productions" sustainability project of the "Green Shooting" working group. Within this project, all German soap operas, 22 TV shows and numerous individual films and TV programs converted to an ecologically more sustainable production method in 2020 and 2021.

The minimum standards provide for 21 "must-have specifications" and a production must meet at least 18 of these requirements to be awarded the "green motion" label. The final report to be submitted by the production company is checked by the film-funding entity, broadcaster or VoD service involved in the production. Alternatively, this check can be delegated to an external entity that the working group has set up at the auditing company PwC. All approved final reports will be stored at the audit entity for statistical purposes.

After one year, the "Green Shooting" working group will re-evaluate the minimum ecological standards and their practicability. The standards will then be adapted to encompass new technical developments and possibilities regarding a sustainable production.

The minimum ecological standards were developed by the "Green Shooting" working group together with film and TV sustainability expert Philip Gassmann, filmmakers' initiative "Changemakers.film", climate researcher Prof. Dirk Notz and environmental scientist Nils König. The following production companies, broadcasters, film-funding entities, VoD services and associations participate in the "Green Motion" initiative. From 2022, they will comply with the minimum ecological standards for all or for substantial parts of their productions, make them a prerequisite for awarding contracts or subsidies or recommend compliance with the minimum standards to their members.

Film and TV production companies:

  • Bavaria Film (and all its subsidiaries)
  • Constantin Film (and all its subsidiaries)
  • Studio Hamburg (and all its subsidiaries)
  • UFA (and all its subsidiaries)
  • We Are Era
  • Ziegler Film (for all cinema and co-productions)

Broadcaster/VoD services:

  • Bayerischer Rundfunk (for all fictional productions)
  • Degeto Film (with more than 60% of all productions)
  • Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (with more than half of all fictional productions)
  • Netflix (for all Netflix productions commissioned in Germany)
  • Norddeutscher Rundfunk (with more than half of all fictional productions)
  • ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE (with at least 75% of all shows, fiction, factual and reality productions)
  • RTL Deutschland (with more than half of all fictional productions)
  • Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (for all fictional productions)
  • Sky Germany and Austria
  • Südwestrundfunk (for all fictional commissioned productions, co-productions and in-house productions)
  • Westdeutscher Rundfunk (with more than 80% of all fictional productions)
  • ZDF (for more than half of all fictional productions)

Film-funding entities:

  • HessenFilm und Medien
  • MDM Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (subject to the approval of the supervisory bodies)
  • MFG Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg
  • MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein
  • MV Filmförderung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
  • nordmedia Film- und Mediengesellschaft (subject to the approval of the supervisory bodies)

The initiative is supported by the Bundesverband Schauspiel and the Bundesverband Filmschnitt Editor. "The Allianz Deutscher Produzenten and the Deutsche Filmakademie recommend that their members comply with the minimum standards in the firm conviction that broadcasters and sponsors will provide the necessary funds in accordance with their financing shares." The Verband Technischer Betriebe für Film & Fernsehen supports the initiative in the firm conviction that the necessary technical investments and technological innovations will be supported by suitable public funding programmes.

Press contacts: Working Group "Green Shooting"

Schmidt Schumacher Presseagentur GmbH (media agency)
Marten Schumacher
Tel. +49 (0) 30 263913-11

Alexandra Engel
Tel. +49 (0) 30 263913 -23
info@schmidtschumacher.de