Posted on 21st April 2020

A year on from our Planet Placement launch – where are we?

Head of Industry Sustainability Aaron Matthews reflects on the changes we've seen since the launch of Planet Placement and where we need to go now...

A year on from the launch of Planet Placement and, oh my, so much has changed. Reassuringly static in dynamic times however is our request for creatives in the TV community: Find a way to bring the planet into the conversation.

The principal shifts have in fact happened outside our industry. The launch of Planet Placement was swiftly followed by the arrival of Extinction Rebellion, the term ‘climate emergency’ and of course, Greta – all changing the environmental movement forever. The most significant change has been to turn the question itself upside-down, twisting it from climate change: yes/no? to climate change: now what?

Now what indeed. This question can only be answered by those who hold the creative keys, and as ever, albert’s role is to provide the science in a way that helps the industry’s cultural janitors to make the right decisions. But now they come to us! Or at least listen to us when we arrive on their doorsteps.

Finally, this agenda has an audience of TV industry creatives. So looking to the 12 months ahead, our new challenge is to make sure everyone is doing their homework. For if we are to tackle the biggest climate offenders on-screen, we must concentrate on the types of food and recipes we choose to show, not just remove the plastic packaging that the food came in before presenting it to our audience. Switching out a disposable coffee cup for a reusable one is all well and good, but not if the subject on our screen is about to board a private jet…

My personal challenge is not to get upset at those who try and miss the mark when it comes to highlighting the most pressing issues, my frustration stemming for dizzyingly high stakes. But it is precisely for that reason that I know we’ll get there in the end.

Time is casting the die. It is becoming clearer every month which creative teams are willing to be part of the solution and those who are inadvertently falling into the ‘other’ column. So on Earth Day, we celebrate all the productions who are with us on the journey, and extend our hand to those who aren’t quite there yet.

Forwards, together.