Blackbird Releases Video Emissions Impact Study

Blackbird plc, the developer and seller of the multi award-winning cloud-native video editing platform Blackbird, today launched a carbon awareness study titled “Video Shouldn’t Cost the Earth” developed in collaboration with environmental management consultancy Green Element. The study highlights the impact the video industry has on the environment and outlines key areas where companies can take greater strides towards meeting sustainability goals.

Blackbird and Green Element hope to sound the alarm around this accelerating issue in order to change attitudes within the video industry. Embracing existing cloud native technologies will lead to immediate reductions in emissions caused by production equipment, travel, physical network infrastructure, servers with heavy processing demands, housing for such equipment and the data transfer of large media files.

“According to Albert, the BAFTA-backed environmental organization’s Annual Report 2019-20, ‘one hour of television production generates 9.2 tons of CO2 equating to almost 28 square meters of lost sea ice.’ This is an urgent call to action,” said Ian McDonough, CEO of Blackbird.

Blackbird, which has seen a three-fold increase in share price over the past 12 months, puts sustainability at the core of its mission. The company says that with its “carbon-friendly solution for remote editing bypassing much of the conventional hardware needed for post-production, Blackbird is well positioned to help customers reduce their carbon emissions.”

The Advantages Of Cloud Native To The Environment

With the impact of COVID-19, many more broadcasters and content producers are starting to use the cloud for editing and post-production workflows. Whilst it’s evident that the move to the cloud can significantly reduce the climate impact through reductions in the number of people and equipment needed on site, not all remote technology is carbon friendly. Typical cloud-based solutions need extra hardware to connect to the cloud and output from it. Most use hidden virtual infrastructure within the cloud, which consumes significant amounts of energy.


Cloud native solutions mitigate these impacts.

CISCO’s Visual Networking Index Complete Forecast Updates 2017-22, predicts that video will make up 82% of all internet traffic by 2022. As the demand for content increases, the need for video production models to transition from traditional on premise or cloud based to cloud native becomes ever more urgent. The onus is on content creators to take responsibility for their carbon footprint and identify ways to become carbon neutral.

The study shows the benefits of using Blackbird, a cloud native professional video editing platform. It says that over a two-week sporting event, “Blackbird generates up to 91% less carbon emissions than on premise editing solutions and up to 84% less carbon emissions compared to cloud-based solutions.”

Major Media Brands Make Big Commitments

The report highlights the sustainability practices of named major media companies that have identified ways to become more environmentally friendly.

McDonough concludes: “Through awareness, collaboration and commitment in the industry, we can make a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions. If the technologies that exist today are leveraged correctly, it would result in a large, positive and immediate impact. A 25% reduction in carbon emissions from TV production by U.K. public service broadcasters alone would save over 200,000 square meters of sea ice per year. We owe it to future generations to act as leaders and collectively focus and prioritize cleaner video production that will benefit our environment.”

Readers can download the report, “Video Shouldn’t Cost the Earth,” here.

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