The Business Case

There is growing recognition by the business community that long-term sustainable development requires them to address what is known as the three pillars: economic growth, social progress, and environmental protection. Initially businesses addressed environmental issues for reasons of cost savings, risk management and liability avoidance. Today it is much more for reasons of competitive advantage, reputation and increasing pressure from the public.

Concept and Vision

When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.
(Paulo Coelho 1988)

The concept for Greening the Screen almost certainly originated with the Environmental Media Association (EMA), a Los Angeles non-profit organisation whose mandate is to educate the entertainment industry on environmental issues and encourage it to incorporate “green messages” in feature films and television shows. Given the power of media in contemporary life, EMA believes its efforts will lead to more environmental awareness and action in real life.

Elsewhere in the world, individual screen production companies and broadcasters have developed environmentally responsible practices to help them meet corporate environmental and social responsibility commitments. The issues and practices covered in the toolkit reflect their adoption by the screen production industry throughout the world as well as feedback from the sector in New Zealand.

The environmental toolkit is anchored in the belief that there should be credible and defensible environmentally responsible practices at all levels of the industry, starting with top management commitment and including practices behind the screen as well as on and off screen and in the public eye.

Sustainable Development

Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland describes sustainable development as:

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (WCED 1987)

A popular way of understanding sustainability is the concept of the triple bottom line. The idea proposes that an organisation’s licence to operate comes not just from satisfying shareholders through improved profits but by improving its environmental and social performance and contributing to local, national and regional economies.

Others believe that the rate of consumption of natural, human and social capital must be controlled. Sustainable development should focus on maintaining and increasing these assets. Environmental sustainability must be paramount as, without it, the other bottom lines can’t exist.

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