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Blackbird highlights video industry impact on environment

New study outlines how companies can work to meet sustainability goals

Blackbird is hoping to help turn the video industry green, and has launched a carbon awareness study in collaboration with environmental management consultancy Green Element titled Video Shouldn’t Cost the Earth.

The study looks closely at how the video industry is impacting the environment and what steps can be taken to help meet sustainability goals.

Ian McDonough, CEO of Blackbird, cites the BAFTA-backed environmental organisation albert, which in its 2019-2020 report said that one hour of TV production generates 9.2 tons of CO2, which equates to nearly 28 square meters of lost sea ice.

A quick way for video companies to help negate this is by embracing existing cloud native technologies, the study says. This would help reduce emissions caused by production equipment, travel, physical network infrastructure, servers, equipment housing and data transfer of large media files.

However, not all cloud-based technologies are carbon friendly, the study claims. It says that typical cloud-based solutions need extra hardware to connect to the cloud and output from it. Many solutions also use a virtual infrastructure within the cloud that consumes a significant amount of energy. Cloud-native solutions are said to mitigate these impacts.

The report shares details that over a two-week sporting event, Blackbird’s cloud-native professional video editing platform generated 91 per cent less carbon emissions than on-premise editing systems and up to 84 per cent less carbon emissions compared to cloud-based solutions.

“Through awareness, collaboration and commitment in the industry, we can make meaningful reduction in carbon emissions,” said McDonough. “If the technologies that exist today are leveraged correctly, it would result in a large, positive and immediate impact. A 25 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from TV production by UK public service broadcasters alone would save over 200,000 square meters of sea ice per year. We owe it to future generations to act as leaders and collectively focus and prioritise cleaner video production that will benefit our environment.”

The report is available for download on Blackbird’s website.