Sustainability in sports production: Albert revamps carbon calculator and certification toolkit

Albert, the TV industry-backed environmental sustainability project, has launched an updated version of its carbon calculator and certification toolkit.

The two products are designed to help TV and film productions to measure their carbon impact as well as take active steps towards reducing it.

The calculator was originally launched in August 2011 with the support of the albert consortium; a group of UK TV broadcasters and indies who came together to actively look for ways to reduce their collective environmental impact.

Roser Canela Mas, albert’s industry sustainability manager, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the albert calculator and certification tools, but as new innovations come to the market and as the productions we work with become increasingly sophisticated, we felt now was the right time for a revamp, making sure that we can offer a world-class product that can truly help any production large or small to reduce its environmental impact.”

Productions using the updated toolkit will benefit from an enhanced user experience and a wider range of questions covering additional activities allowing them to build up a better picture of their overall impact. In addition to this, an updated reports section will allow productions to assess their own impact against the industry-standard as well as against other productions in the genre.

“Our certification logo is a badge of honour for productions to add to their end boards and is a lovely way to recognise the efforts they’ve gone to, to reduce their environmental impact”

The new global version of albert’s carbon calculator has been achieved thanks to investment from Fremantle, the global television production and distribution company, which allowed albert to develop the calculator into an international product. In 2021 Fremantle will roll out the global calculator to all its offices around the world, becoming the first TV company to calculate its carbon footprint on a global scale using the albert toolkit and measuring their impact against internationally recognised standards.

The updated toolkit has been developed with the international production community in mind with 10 local language versions being released in early 2021.

Canela Mas added: “We are excited to be able to offer our toolkit to productions around the world. Using international carbon factors means that all productions, no matter where they are in the world, can accurately build a picture of their environmental impact. I don’t believe there’s another tool out there for the production community like this.”

Alongside the updated calculator, the albert Certification criteria has also been refreshed to recognise the increased opportunities available to productions to reduce their impact. Productions will now be required to answer a wider variety of questions, with the pass threshold raised from 30% to 55%. In addition, productions will be required to offset any unavoidable emissions to successfully receive the albert Certification logo. From 2021, productions will also be required to respond to a question about how they’re representing the climate in their onscreen editorial.

Aaron Matthews, head of industry sustainability at albert, said: “Our certification logo is a badge of honour for productions to add to their end boards and is a lovely way to recognise the efforts they’ve gone to, to reduce their environmental impact. Our updated carbon action plan which leads to albert Certification means that both the production community and members of the public will know that when they see our logo on the end board that a certain sustainability standard has been achieved.”

The toolkit’s launch is being complemented by a series of free webinars that members of the production community are encouraged to join to understand more about how the calculator works.

Although the calculator and toolkit are for all genres of television, further updates for the sports broadcasting community will be coming later in 2021.

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