Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland has published a new Sustainability Plan which outlines the agency’s ambitions to help work towards lowering the carbon footprint of Ireland’s screen industry. The Plan also includes a funding commitment for programmes that have clear Diversity, Equity and Inclusion objectives.
Building on the industry’s success to date and future potential for growth, Screen Ireland recognises that further expansion must be grounded in a clear and solid commitment to the highest standards of sustainability. The agency will play a leadership role in providing opportunities for the industry to be more diverse and inclusive, to harness the full potential of the creative sector.
On that basis the new Sustainability Plan sets out a series of actions and measures that Screen Ireland will take working in partnership with industry stakeholders over the next five years.
Screen Ireland is committed to the principles of sustainability – social equality, environmental protection and responsible economic growth – and is dedicated to championing best practice, both in its own operations and across the screen industry. The key sustainability commitments include:
- Funding an in-depth assessment of the environmental impact of Ireland’s screen industry and development of a transformation plan, to act as a road map to sustainable film production.
- Decarbonising Screen Ireland’s own operations with the aim of becoming net zero carbon by 2025. This will be achieved by a combination of reducing CO2 emissions from direct operations as well as emissions from indirect sources.
- Mandatory use of a Carbon Calculator as a minimum requirement on all Screen Ireland funded productions, together with providing practical supports to use the carbon calculator (e.g. on-site ‘sustainability advocates’)
- Developing a pilot programme to review energy consumption on productions, with recommendations to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint.
- Providing a financial incentive pilot programme valued at up to €25,000 per production, which aims to encourage productions to take further steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
In addition to these, Screen Ireland is also seeking to create more equal opportunities by:
- Accelerating funding for programmes which have a strong Diversity, Equality and Inclusion objective, eg. Pathways and Passport to Production that aim to create opportunities within the screen industry for those from more diverse background, providing training and paid work experience opportunities on live action production.
- Funding the newly established National Talent Academies, industry and key community groups to evolve next generation talent creating diversity, workplace inclusion, and increased representation on screen and industry access.
In addition to these, Screen Ireland will champion wellbeing and mental health with an industry wide campaign to highlight the support services of ‘Minding Creative Minds’ and will introduce a Dignity in the Workplace policy certification across all of its funding awards. These actions are fully aligned with the priorities set out in the wider Building for a Creative Future 2024 that Screen Ireland published last autumn.
Speaking in support of the Sustainability Strategy, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin (TD), said, “The Irish screen production industry is building a strong reputation across the world. Our people, landscape, and creative talent are combining with a supportive economic and cultural environment to provide Ireland with a major competitive advantage that is attracting significant investment from overseas.
“In this regard, it is vitally important that the Irish screen industry sets the standard when it comes to sustainability and equality. I therefore wholeheartedly welcome publication of this strategy.”
Susan Bergin, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Chair said, “Our Sustainability Plan is building on strong foundations of positive work that is already happening. Over the last few years, we have had a strong focus on gender diversity and Screen Ireland is an active member of the Screen Greening coalition and the Broadcasting Sustainability Network. Internally we have established a Green Group to look at ways we can ‘green’ our practices and change behaviours. We have also established an internal policy group and an Industry Working Group led by the Equality & Diversity Sub-Committee to the Board, encouraging a ‘whole-of-industry’ approach.
“With these measures in place, we see it as our duty to leverage our influence and continue moving forward to empower Ireland’s screen industry to deliver on the ambitions outlined within this plan.”
Desiree Finnegan Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland Chief Executive added, “Screen Ireland is committed to the sustainability principles of social inclusion, environmental protection and responsible economic growth. Our Sustainability Plan aims to support the continued growth of Ireland’s creative screen industry and at the same time encourage the widespread adoption of more environmental and socially sustainable practices. This plan was developed in consultation with industry stakeholders to set out a clear framework and ambitious goals. We look forward to collaborating with industry partners to deliver on these goals.”
A copy of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland’s new Sustainability strategy is available at: www.screenireland.ie