Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share

Climate Change And TV Adverts … What's The Connection?

News Image
Making TV ads is melting the Arctic ice. There I said it! An outrageous claim but bear with me.

We all have favourite TV ads, some old ones and some new. Undoubtedly these creative pieces of work need to be stored carefully, especially when they cost so much to produce.

Once the ad is finished, the rushes and masters are bundled together, and at higher resolution this can add up to around 10 terabytes (TBs) of data. This is then often stored in 'the cloud', or to be more specific, probably one of countless data centers in Virginia USA. These data centers chew through a lot of electricity to stay cool, and so create tons of CO2 in the process. Specifically, 10 TBs creates around 90 tons of CO2 over 5 years. You probably knew storing data had an environmental cost, but did you know it created so much CO2?

Think about it, that's 90 tons of carbon for just storing the shoot data for one TV ad, for 5 years.

Recent research published in Science Magazine, has established a linear relationship between the meters squared of surface artic ice melted by one ton of CO2. The study goes into huge detail, and there are arguments around the nuances of measurement, but conservatively, one ton of CO2 melts approximately three-square meters of surface ice. Therefore one TV advert melts 270 square meters of ice.

Multiply that by the amount of TV adverts shot in this country alone, then stored, and you have literally hundreds of square miles of ice being melted year on year. Just from storing old shoot data!

It's about convenience, most bad ecological choices seem to stem from convenience and laziness. The less hassle the better; like swapping glass bottles for plastic.

In the early eighties the world started to turn its back on using glass bottles for fizzy drinks; bottles you'd collect, return and cash in at heady price of 2p/bottle to use the cash for sweets. Suddenly it was plastic, tin cans and no more sweet money. Who cared? It was much more convenient to use plastic, so no one ever questioned it. Now we know, the indiscriminate use of plastic has led to an almost irreversible pollution problem of our environment.

In the same way, people are indiscriminately using servers to store data without a thought. I'm not saying we abandon servers, obviously they are essential for almost everything we do, but do we need to use them to store OLD data? Our use of them cannot continue to be so blasé. Shouldn’t we save it for the essentials? Rather than blatantly putting everything up there without a thought to the environmental costs?

What's the alternative? There's long been other methods of data storage such as LTO tape. It's the backbone of the service we provide here at Film Locker but if an agency or production company wanted to do it for themselves, we consult to help them make the transition. LTO is super low carbon, safe, stable, and easy to pull data back from.

With all the noise in the media this year around sustainability, no one is looking at the elephant in the room that’s creating so much carbon, the storage of our day to day creative process. Let's start to make a real difference in sustainability in our industry and store our work in a more responsible way.

By Victoria Harvey
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

Virgin TV & Dolby Appointed To DTG Council
Virgin TV's Director of Digital Entertainment Product Development, Louise Fussell, and Dolby Laboratories' Director of Imaging Standards and Technolog
InTheBox, Gospel TV Launch Their First TV Channels With Veset's Cloud Playout
InTheBox and Gospel TV have announced the launch of their first TV channels using Veset Nimbus, the channel creation platform. InTheBox has introduced
TV Academy Honours ARRI ALEXA Camera System
At the 69th Engineering Emmy® Awards Ceremony in Hollywood, the Television Academy recognized ARRI with the most prestigious television accolade for o
Tennis TV Scoops Prestigious Award
Tennis TV has scooped the Best Sports Project at the TV Sports Awards ceremony in Monte-Carlo. The TV Sports Awards, supported by Sportel, celebrates
Timeline TV Provides Post-Production For 'Rabbit Punch'
Timeline Television has provided post-production for the short feature, Rabbit Punch. The 15-minute film tells the story of a teenager in search of a
Maverick TV Selects Canon For Reality Series
Maverick TV has utilised a Canon kit on the new reality television series Escape for Channel 4. Maverick TV selected a range of Canon's broadcast equi
Further Support For Irish Film & TV Industry
Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) has welcomed the announcement of an additional €1.5 million for Ireland's film, television and ani
BLUEFIN TV Film New BBC Series – 'Talking Chefs'
Bluefin have just finished filming for a new BBC series – 'Talking Chefs', due to be transmitted in early 2018 on BBC World and The Travel Channel. Th
Trickbox TV Opens New Warehouse HQ
Trickbox TV has further expanded its business with the opening of a new warehouse headquarters, located in South East London. The facility, which is s
Graduate Film Shortlisted For TV Awards
A film made by graduates of the University of Wolverhampton's Video and Film Production course has been shortlisted at this year's RTS Student Televis
Timeline TV Delivers For Love Island
Timeline Television is providing inter site connectivity and RF facilities for the new series of Love Island for ITV. Production of the reality TV sho
CHEK-TV Expands With Octopus Newsroom
Broadcaster CHEK-TV has selected Octopus 8 as the core of a major upgrade to the newsroom system at its headquarters in Victoria, British Columbia. Av
A Beginner's Guide To TV Advertising
Most small business owners are hesitant about advertising on TV because of the seemingly high cost, writes South West Films. This guide will help to c
Production News : Hugh Grant To Return To British TV
A new drama has been commissioned by the BBC, featuring Hugh Grant. A Very English Scandal will see Grant star as MP Jeremy Thorpe who was tried but a
Production News : Sheridan Smith To Star In One-Off TV Special
ITV has announced details of a special one-off television special with Sheridan Smith. Smith, who is a singer and multi award-winning actress, will he