“We are very short-term thinkers but once you have children your perspective lengthens. I thought I cannot just sit here and do nothing I have to do something”,Emma Peddie.
What is your job about?
I work at the BBC my job title is Sustainable Productions Advisor. I support all of the TV programme makers at BBC Bristol and Cardiff through all aspects of sustainability. I help them to think about the way they work, how they make their programmes and how they can do it in a more planet friendly way. The main tool we use to engage production staff is the Carbon calculator called Albert which was devised in the BBC in 2010. This is the bespoke carbon calculator for TV production and it has moved from just being in the BBC to being managed by BAFTA. They run a sustainable TV consortium so it is now used by ITV, Sky, and around 250 indie production companies so it’s really growing. We have 80% take up in BBC programmes. We want to engage our staff in cutting emissions.
What issues do you address?
- Energy use and carbon emissions – TV is a very energy hungry industry. The annual global greenhouse gas emissions from the TV and computer industries are around 2% of the global total. That is the same as the aviation industry!
- The making of the programmes isn’t the main issue it’s the way people view them at home that’s the major contributor to carbon emissions. We want people to think about carbon and become more carbon literate. People who make programmes are very financially literate, but very few people have any idea about the carbon budget. We are trying to raise that awareness.
What moved you to take action?
I understood that the rationale behind wildlife filming is that if you show audiences the wonder of nature and wildlife you generate an emotional response and a love and a passion for that. I understand that these programmes motivate people to protect these animals, but I am also aware that with growing population, a growing middle class and affluence, there is also more potential for people to visit these places – and so fly more, causing more carbon emissions. I thought I don’t necessarily want to be a part of encouraging this damage, I want to be proactive in making change. Because if we leave it any longer it will be too late. I wanted to change from being a programme producer to doing something to make a difference.
What helped you keep going in hard times?
Sometimes I think about giving up but then I think we are all in this together and it’s about collaboration. What can we do and think about what your skills are and using them in the positive way.
One of my colleagues said to me ‘you’re my guilty conscience’ she meant it nicely and although its sounds bad it’s actually a good thing, they want me here and they want to be reminded of how to do things in the right way. Although it will take some extra time.
What first prompted you to become interested in environmental issues and when was that?
I was a wildlife filmmaker for most of my career. You do realize when you are travelling and seeing these places that times are changing and places are being destroyed. The wild places are shrinking. It you turn the cameras around from the animals you start to see what’s really happening.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very happy) where would you rate how you feel about your life?
6 – it’s a challenge, its great to be reminded of all these positive things but it is tough