Cloud-native technologies drive major video production decarbonisation at source, finds Green Element and Blackbird study

Hannah Mills OBE

Blackbird’s latest sustainability study – Decarbonizing Video Production – produced in collaboration with environmental consultancy Green Element, highlights that while considerable gains have been made across the media industry due to the rise of remote production and adoption of cloud-based solutions, broadcasters can go much further and faster by integrating authentically sustainable, native technologies specifically optimised for cloud workflows.

Independent research previously conducted by Green Element has evidenced that using the Blackbird cloud native video editing platform generates up to 91% less CO2 compared to cloud based and on premise workflows. Cloud native technologies are tackling the problem of carbon emissions – at source. Content producers adopting these technologies are leading a transition to greener working methods. They include EVS, LiveU, Sky News Arabia and Eurovision Sport who all contributed to the study.

Key takeouts from the paper include that in 2020, 480 billion hours of live video streaming led to sea ice loss the size of Scotland. And, while 90% of editors are using the cloud, 65% are inefficiently and needlessly moving large files around.

A recent live sports cloud production led by the IBC evidenced that cloud workflows reduce power and infrastructure requirements by 70%.

Decarbonizing Video Production has been endorsed by the most decorated female Olympic sailor in history, Hannah Mills OBE. Mills is also the Sustainability Ambassador for the International Olympic Committee, SailGP’s global spokesperson for sustainability and founder of the Big Plastic Pledge.

Mills said: “I believe it’s the responsibility of everyone, including athletes, organisers and broadcasters, to do whatever they can to reduce the environmental impact of sport and ensure that people can enjoy live sports in a more sustainable way. I’m happy to see in this white paper that more broadcasters and content producers are adopting greener technologies and that the benefits are becoming clearer to see. As we move towards a net zero world, cloud-native technologies like Blackbird will become ever more important in achieving our climate goals.”

Blackbird CEO Ian McDonough added: “A year ago, Blackbird adopted a leadership position by campaigning for a reduction in highly polluting on premise workflows by employing cloud technology in our paper Video Shouldn’t Cost the Earth. Much progress has been made in this area as awareness and technology have improved.

“In our latest paper, Decarbonizing Video Production, we see that despite these improvements there is still a very high prevalence of ‘cloud-based’ technology which does not utilise the key efficiencies of the cloud, particularly those of power and carbon consumption. The rise of cloud native solutions such as Blackbird can help reduce carbon emissions at source, dispensing the need for carbon capture technology or offsets costs.”

Download the report at


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