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Sustainability is the New Star of the Film Industry

Navigating the world of sustainability in small business, education, and everyday life? We get it, it’s not easy being green. Sit in on the powerful conversations with the trailblazers who are walking the sustainable walk. Each episode packs inspirational ideas that will drive your passion to create a better world for you and the people you love. 

Guest blog by James Cobb: Creating sustainability communication content for Sustainable Earth

In our 5th episode of The Green Scene season 2, Nadya Panchenko | Behind the Scenes of Green Film Production, we sat down with Nadya Panchenko, ​​a sustainability coordinator for film and television. Panchenko is working towards lowering the carbon footprint and reducing waste of film industry productions such as HBO’s Euphoria and Winning Time. 

Did you know that each hour of TV is responsible for aboureating sustainability communication content for Sustainable Eartht 80 metric tons of carbon emissions? That’s around the same amount of carbon that’s sequestered in a year by 97 acres of forest (the area covered by about 65 professional American football stadiums)! When you think about the thousands of hours of television that are produced each year (not to mention the movie productions), the environmental and health impacts of the film industry are immense. In working with individual production departments to coordinate daily green initiatives as well as overall production sustainability goals, Panchenko is hoping to build a circular system in the film industry that uses low-carbon strategies, reduces waste, and optimizes the use/reuse of materials. 

In our conversations, Panckeno describes her approach to working with the variety of departments on set to achieve carbon reductions, waste diversion, positive community engagement, and implementation of sustainable on-screen behavior. Her ultimate goal is to eventually make her job obsolete. While her work encompasses providing pre-production strategies, cutting-edge solutions, and nifty sustainable swaps, she focuses the majority of her efforts on educating the cast and crew on why lower-impact decisions are important. Due to the rotational nature of on-set employment, Panckenko sees great opportunity in empowering crews to take their efforts in reducing environmental impact to the next set they’re on.  

Throughout our conversation, Panchenko provides tangible strategies and resources for greening film productions. Among the wide variety of useful resources, she lists the Green Production Guide’s PEACH, PEAR, and PLUM guides. They offer comprehensive GHG tracking, sustainable production checklists, responsible lumber sourcing guidelines, and food donation best practices. 

This episode is filled with engaging discussions, genuine laughter, and sobering optimism. Listen to the full episode to hear Panchenko share her unique perspective on the future of film production, the role of film-making education, and how we can all do our part to build a better future. 


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