In an inspiring move, famous actors including Bella Ramsey, Stephen Fry, and Ben Whishaw have joined forces to support a pledge that aims to make the film and TV production process more environmentally friendly. Let’s explore this remarkable initiative and how it’s making waves in the entertainment industry.
The UK arts union Equity has developed what’s called a “Green Rider.” This rider includes a set of clauses that can be added to contracts to promote eco-consciousness. These clauses cover a range of practices, from avoiding private jets and large trailers to bringing reusable water bottles and coffee cups onto sets.
Tom Burke, renowned for his role in Strike, hopes that this commitment will lead to a transformation in how things are done. He believes it’s time for the industry to pause and reevaluate what truly matters.
“We just have to unpick this and be a bit more grown-up about it, especially if we’re going to make a noise about caring,” Burke shared with BBC News during the launch of the scheme at the Edinburgh TV Festival. “I think all we can do in life is keep our side of the street clean.”
Sir Mark Rylance, another respected figure, has already integrated the principles of the Green Rider into his recent short film, “Spirit of Place.” He points out that the film industry has a history of wasteful practices and actions that harm the environment.
Bella Ramsey, known for her role in “The Last of Us,” praised the Green Rider as a practical path toward bringing about positive change in the film and television industry when it comes to sustainability.
Traditionally, a rider refers to a set of requests performers make for their working conditions. This Green Rider outlines commitments that actors can adopt while participating in film or show productions. These commitments include choosing trains over planes, sharing facilities like trailers and dressing rooms, reducing comfort-related requests that require off-site trips, and bringing reusable items like bottles, cups, and utensils.
Equity, the arts union, revealed that some actors had previously felt reluctant to address environmental concerns with producers due to fears of jeopardizing their jobs or being labeled as troublemakers.
The Green Rider asserts, “As a high-emitting sector, our industry has a key part to play in the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon society…”
Even amid the challenges of the pandemic, the industry demonstrated its ability to adapt. The Green Rider highlights that just as the industry adapted then, it can and must adapt again to address the urgent climate crisis.
Moreover, the Green Rider holds producers accountable for reducing carbon emissions and environmental impact. This includes measures such as minimizing diesel generators on sets, opting for sustainable catering, and reducing meat-based meals for the cast and crew. This initiative embodies the power of collective action in fostering a greener film industry for a brighter future.