Sustainable Arts: BAFTA

May 13, 2015

An interview with Aaron Matthews, Industry Sustainability Manager at BAFTA



Tell us about your role at BAFTA. What are your responsibilities? When was your post created?


My role is to support a group of broadcaster and production companies in their desire to lessen the impact of the TV industry. BAFTA are independent chair to the initiative but the whole project is owned by the industry. The group formed in 2011 and my post was created in 2012. It is my role to manage both our carbon reporting and production sustainability assessment initiatives as well as act an an ambassador and strategist to move the industry in a more sustainable direction.



What are BAFTA doing to make their TV and film productions more sustainable? Do you have any specific examples that you can share with us?


Have a look at the case study page of Media Greenhouse.



Exhibitions and productions are similar in that they are temporary and often one of the most unsustainable things you can do. How do you counter this, work with it and what is you general feeling about this?


I think it is all about being mindful when you are conceiving a project as the opportunities to be greener are usually very specific. There are some frequent wins like incorporating salvaged materials, repurposing, low energy lighting, low carbon power generation and transportation, but the most affective approach is to take a step back and see what applies to the specific project.



Tell us about your Greening the Screen event with BFI, any other similar events you have done and any that are coming up.


A key challenge for all the creative industries is disseminating best practise across the industry, we have found a successful way to do this is to raise the profile of those doing well. This is what Greening the Screen is about and we plan to do more of it in the future.



Do you think that things have come a long way at BAFTA and in the industry, in terms of sustainability?


Understanding across the industry has certainly improved vastly, but there is still a long way to go. Broadly speaking we've got very good at reporting and we have a few very active pioneers, the challenge is now to capitalise on the increased awareness and translate that into carbon reducing action.



Where do you see the future of BAFTA and the industry, in terms of sustainability?


BAFTA's support of the project is arguably why we have achieved all that we have. They have provided a neutral space for key industry discussion and their involvement adds credibility and sparkle. Ultimately however, sustainability must be adopted by those in the industry, not championed by a supportive charity. I think we are few years off that though.



Find out more about BAFTA's sustainability efforts here.

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