Yesterday Netflix set out goals to limit the damage it does to the climate by the end of 2022 and wants to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this the plans probably will reduce some of its emissions and find ways to capture the rest.
Netflix says it plans to cut emissions from its operations and use of electricity by 45% by 2030. Eventually, the company will have to increase efforts to prevent pollution generated by producing and streaming its movies and TV shows.
In order to meet its deadline, the company plans to invest in programs that preserve and restore ecosystems that naturally store planet-heating carbon dioxide.
Despite the failure of canceling out companies’ carbon footprints by planting trees and preserving forests, Netflix has decided to take this path.
The company says it has developed a thorough process to vet this kind of projects which might include visiting the sites in person or monitoring the progress of these projects via satellite.
Netflix disclosed that it generated approximately 1.1 million tons of carbon dioxide last year which is equivalent to yearly emissions from about 240,000 passenger cars. This total emission excludes emissions from the internet infrastructure needed to stream its shows or from devices used to watch the content.
Last year’s emissions are 14% less than 2019 emissions but this is due to the pandemic.
The physical production of content contributed to half the emissions, corporate operation and purchases 45%, and data centers 5%.
To cut its planet-heating, Netflix says it will replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, hire a local crew for filming to avoid pollution from travel, and make production efficient to cut down on the amount of energy it uses.
“The film industry needs a leader when it comes to climate action. Changing the world begins with one company stepping up and inspiring others to join them. I am thrilled at how Netflix is taking on this leadership role,” said Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, in a statement on Netflix’s new sustainability goals.