New York launches major initiative for film and TV Industry

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MOME’s NYC Film Green will begin as a pilot program on November 1, comprising a limited number of episodic television series and feature film productions. Results from the pilot will inform the development of the program and engage additional stakeholders to help with expansion of the program by early summer of 2017.

Productions that enroll in NYC Film Green will participate in a number of sustainable practices and will be audited in order to receive designation. The program has three categories of sustainability practices: core, elective, and extra credit. The core practices to be met in order to receive a seal include, but are not limited to:

  • Tracking and making a plan to reduce a production’s carbon footprint;
  • Waste diversion, by means of donation or resale of usable items;
  • Practices to increase recycling on set and clearly identifying how to sort landfill from organic waste from recyclables;
  • Cutting down on transportation-related emissions by renting fuel-efficient cars when available, and encouraging crew to use public transportation;
  • Implementing a plan with a production’s lighting department to reduce power and electricity use;
  • And providing education opportunities to crew and staff on the importance of responsible eco-behavior, and training on sustainability best practices.
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Productions that have met the requirements to receive a seal may choose to go above and beyond. For taking on “extra credit”, these productions are eligible for special recognition and other promotional opportunities for exceptional sustainability practices. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability will support MOME’s NYC Film Green by designing the tracking tool for productions to measure their waste output, purchases of sustainable items, and donations of materials. Additionally, the Office’s experience with creating educational plans and greening industries will be informative in shaping NYC Film Green’s materials for education and sustainable best practices.

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The Department of Sanitation will also play a key role in MOME’s initiative. The agency’s programs involving waste disposal, recycling, and organic material processing will be essential to inform particular plans for productions’ waste management programs. The Department will also assist with coordinating and tracking donation and reuse of set materials through its donateNYC program.

MOME will introduce NYC Film Green to the industry through outreach to the City’s longtime partners at soundstages, studios, industry associations and guilds, as well as environmental and community-based organizations. To track waste reduction and diversion efforts, MOME will also coordinate with a number of relevant City agencies, including the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and the Department of Sanitation. NYC Film Green will utilize tracking tools developed by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability that were refined as part of its Zero Waste Challenge, developed to help reach a number of the City’s zero-waste goals laid out in OneNYC, the City’s comprehensive sustainability plan. NYC Film Green will also incorporate Department of Sanitation’s donateNYC, a digital platform that allows businesses and individuals alike to donate goods for reuse instead of discarding them – allowing for significant waste reduction, energy conservation, and distribution of resources to New Yorkers in need.

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“Sustainable production is a complex goal that will inevitably require every facet of our industry to come together on this issue,” said Emillie O’Brien, Founder and President of Earth Angel, the only sustainability consultancy servicing film and television production in the United States. “We’ve seen it at the corporate level, the supplier and entrepreneurial level, and now to see it at the policy level is really extraordinary. I applaud the Mayor’s office on this initiative.”

“The NYC Film Green initiative will encourage sustainable habits in our city’s film industry, which has historically had an extensive environmental impact,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee. “Conserving energy, reducing waste, increasing recycling, and encouraging environmentally-efficient travel methods will help our city reach our goal to decrease our carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. This initiative also shows that our city is a global leader on sustainability in film production methods. I thank MOME Commissioner Menin for her support in making our city greener.”

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“Environmental conscientiousness and sustainability must be part of the conversation in everything we do as responsible leaders in our city,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the New York City Committee on Technology. “Environmental concerns have long been an afterthought, but as we can see with the increasing climate crisis, it’s time for government to become more proactive when it comes to long term sustainability. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Menin for their forward-thinking commitment to a better environment.”

“In order to achieve our ambitious goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030, all industries will need to contribute,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “Film can be particularly wasteful because so many items are used on a temporary basis, so I am pleased to see this effort to encourage productions to reuse and recycle what they no longer need.”

“We applaud Commissioner Menin and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment for their commitment to driving New York’s sizable television and film industry to lead the sector in sustainable practices,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “These measures will go a long way toward helping us reach our OneNYC goals for a greener and healthier city.”

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