RTV goes a-treehuggin'



Not even two years ago, at the worldwide IBC conference in Amsterdam, the prospects for ecofriendly broadcasting looked bleak. Amidst thousands of professionals from all over the globe only some thirty attended a panel session on “the cost of being green”.

But under the surface the pace was gathering even then. Representatives from both the BBC and the French TF 1 talked on the first careful steps their respective channels were taking. But surprisingly the big push comes from NewsCorp’s Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox Channel in the U.S. is a notorious bashing forum for climate change adepts.
Nonetheless, already in 2007 Murdoch announced his intentions of getting all branches of his media imperium ‘climate neutral’ by 2011. A cascade of green actions has swarmed Murdoch’s companies since.
Apparently the old diehard was convinced to do so by his son and present NewsCorp chief exec. James, whose wife again is working for the Clinton Climate Initiative. Another green link within the Murdoch business is the Hollywood movie giant Twentieth Century Fox. In Hollywood environmental strategies have taken a firm hold in the past fifteen years.


Broadcasting cannot escape the green tide, experts say, as both suppliers and clients are asking for green guarantees and other corporate social responsibility action. Especially studio equipment, lighting and datacenters computer servers consume truck loads of energy. Discarded set pieces and other waste are an unnecessary nuisance.
In the Netherlands public as well as commercial channels have begun cutting or offsetting their ‘carbon footprints’ and reducing their waste production through tailor made disposal or recycling services. Organic food is slowly conquering the lunch canteens.
Interestingly, it is usually not the management but the technicians, editors or other on-the-ground folks that take the lead. After making ever so many documentaries on green issues, they now want to contribute something tangible themselves. Full story (in Dutch).


Photo: © Michel Robles