Speaking in a discussion entitled The Conversation: TV’s Sustainable Future at the latest Media Meet & Greet, organised jointly by Broadcast Projects and Broadband TV News, he added that if you introduce a new codec and spend thousands of hours on content that may never be watched it’s counterproductive. Robinson also said that if you have 4K at home then you don’t need 8K as it’s wasting resources.
Speaking more generally, Robinson made the point that while it has been estimated that in Q1 of this year it is believed crypto mining used 700,000 Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), nobody is pointing the finger at streaming. Indeed, the output of tens of power stations is now being used to watch video. Greening of Streaming.org was therefore recently created to address the growing concerns about the energy impact of the streaming sector and already has around a dozen members.
Meanwhile, Warren Wilson, Lead Analyst, Thematic Research, Global Data, said that there has been a major increase in Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and climate change. He also made the point that being sustainable means to keep doing what you’re doing without running out of natural resources.
Wilson added that corporate disclosure is starting to happen, with stakeholders favouring certain companies based on their actions. Amazon has made a Climate Pledge for net zero carbon emission by 2040 and Apple by 2030, while Google says it has erased its historic footprint. While action is certainly happening, in the case of Google its offset should be questioned, especially in the light of the recent California fires and because offsets are difficult to police.
When asked how the media industry is progressing compared to others, Wilson said it was difficult to give an exact answer as Google and Microsoft, for instance, are getting to zero by adopting renewables.
Robinson also made the point that net zero has in fact become offset. In the case of Netflix, it is now including any of its distribution and so effectively greenwashing and not solving the climate problem.