Netflix announces its intention toAchieve carbon neutrality By the end of 2022. To achieve this, the flow giant will implement several measures with two goals: to reduce the carbon emissions directly or indirectly related to its activity by up to 45% by 2030; Compensate those who cannot be eliminated through initiatives responsible for protecting and enriching natural carbon sequestration environments.
These measures are not exceptional and many companies are implementing such measures, especially with regard to the Paris climate agreement. Adopted at the end of 2015, it offers several goals, including the carbon neutrality goal, which Netflix believes can be achieved at the end of next year. However, the case of the first broadcasting company is particularly interesting, because the American company is regularly accused of being responsible for significant pollution related to its activities.
Several studies published in recent years tend to accuse digital activities of being highly polluting. Netflix is often marked with shocking numbers for the amount of carbon generated by a minute of streaming video. However, these studies are generally based on flawed foundations, so that the results greatly worsen the situation compared to reality. What the company demonstrated once again with its announcement, as the share of data centers responsible for broadcasting their videos is almost nil in the carbon footprint.
In 2020, Netflix’s global carbon footprint is estimated at 1,100,000 metric tons. Half of this footprint is created through the production of new content, especially the filming of series and movies, which is a very polluting activity, as it is necessary to transport large quantities of material and many people around the world. The other half is related to its internal activities: Netflix offices and employees, pollution related to advertising and finally data centers and content distribution.
But in detail, this last category represents only a small portion of what remains. In total, Netflix estimates that only 5% of its carbon footprint is directly related to its streaming videos. That covers the carbon from Amazon, which the company uses as a host, and all the pollution associated with spreading its distribution network around the world. On the other hand, the service does not account for the pollution associated with its subscribers’ internet connections, nor the pollution caused by the devices used to access the videos.
Most studies on the impact of digital tend to overestimate the consumption of equipment and connections to remote servers. To reduce its carbon footprint, Netflix has virtually no relationship with its servers, since this is really the best region. We will have to act privately when photographing their products, or on their offices and employees, or on the means put in place to advertise them.
These activities are more polluting and difficult to reduce their environmental impacts. To reduce the carbon footprint of the photography process, there aren’t many solutions: You can play around with the equipment, and systematically use LEDs for lighting, for example, but the most significant effect is with travel, people, and equipment. Unless you shoot behind closed doors with just two actors, Netflix will inevitably continue to pollute a lot in the field.
This is why the company isn’t just thinking about reducing its carbon emissions. Its action plan also plans to preserve existing ecosystems that store carbon dioxide, such as tropical forests. Netflix will also invest in projects that increase carbon capture, including the large grassland restoration in Oregon and the Kenya Forest Defense Program.
This business plan is detailed in more detail At this addressIt is only the beginning, warns Netflix, which intends to maintain its zero carbon footprint in the future. As the company has become one of the largest content creators in the world, it also relies on its weight to highlight the topic of the environment in its programs.
In 2020, 160 million households watched at least one Netflix creation on the topic, including the premier series Our planet It was released in 2019. We can therefore expect other original works on this topic in the coming years.
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