The sustainability of products has become a key factor in how we make choices about what to buy or consume, so what if the environmental commitment of a series production also became a new consideration for when choosing our evening program? And how could this be reliably measured to keep up with the sustainability effort of other industries? It’s a topic that we are eager to explore at Series Mania. We’re happy to share with you three remarkable European productions – The Crown, Germinal, Babylon Berlin – that managed to combine great spectacle and a conscious effort to reduce their environmental footprint.
Seasons 1 to 4 available on Netflix – United Kingdom
The multi-awarded Netflix series needs no introduction. Its high-profile cast, its majestic settings, its virtuous script. But what is less known is the ecological commitment of this prestigious production, put into action from its first season in 2016. Over the years, the series has even gone from Green to Golden according to the standards of British company Greenshoot, which offers three levels for productions to work towards: Green, Silver, Gold. Major changes have for instance taken place in the costume department, which now makes, repairs, cleans and stores the countless outfits of the characters with the greatest care, to avoid any waste from one season to the next. The sustainability goal for the series? To become carbon neutral by the time the final season is shot. Royal.
Season 1 available on Salto – France
A new adaptation of Emile Zola’s classic novel, this immersion in the northern mines realistically recreates the climate of social tension in the 19th century mining industry. To carry out this ambitious TV show, the international production company Banijay brought together 2,400 extras, 150 technicians, and 59 actors during 73 days of shooting on 10 different sets. These are impressive figures and yet the production strived to be as sustainable as possible thanks to the work of Pauline Gil, eco-production consultant. Composting, revalorization of sets with museums or waste reduction, and an organic canteen were some of the implemented measures. All aspects of the production were considered – even the hair was recycled! The effort of local anchoring should be saluted, hiring extras and technicians as much as possible from the area. No air travel either: all the episodes were filmed at the Arenberg Creative Mine, an emblematic site of the mining basin where the production was able to build its sets.
Winner of the Audience Award at the 2021 Series Mania Festival.
Seasons 1 to 3 available on Canal + – Germany
Another remarkable European series, the crime thriller Babylon Berlin, inspires all of the superlatives: it is the most expensive and ambitious German production on the small screen, its performers are unforgettable, its writing is virtuoso and, above all, it offers a dazzling reconstruction of Berlin in the late 1920s. Since the shooting of season 3, we can also add to the list of achievements its ecological commitment. Produced by X Filme Creative Pool in co-production with ARD Degeto, Sky (a European pioneer in terms of green production) and Beta Film, the series is now entirely eco-produced, from the use of hybrid electricity generators to the banning of single-use plastic on set. The sparkling lights of the Moka Efti – the series wild nightclub – are therefore LED. And that doesn’t take anything away from the dream.