Netflix commits to becoming carbon neutral by 2022

Netflix log in screen

For its latest production, Netflix is debuting a new “climate commitment” plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2022.

The streaming giant plans to operate more eco-friendly film and TV productions while also funding initiatives to restore grasslands, mangroves, and healthy soils, Netflix sustainability officer Emma Stewart said in announcing the initiative.

“I’m fortunate to be able to combine my love of science and storytelling at Netflix, where we aspire to entertain the world,” Stewart said. “But that requires a habitable world to entertain.”

In 2020, Netflix’s carbon footprint was 1.1 million metric tons, down slightly from 1.3 million the year before. Netflix generated roughly half of that while producing various films and TV series, the company said. The other half came from corporate offices, various purchased goods, and Netflix’s content delivery network.

Netflix’s plan calls for it to cut direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030. But it’ll also retain existing carbon storage for emissions it can’t avoid, conserve at-risk natural areas like tropical forests, and remove carbon from the atmosphere by investing in the regeneration of natural ecosystems.

In the near term, Netflix plans to reduce carbon emissions from film and TV productions by using local crews instead of flying in teams, swapping electric vehicles in place of gas-powered ones, opting for more LED lighting, and reducing on-set diesel generators.

Netflix is only the latest tech giant to pursue a net-zero carbon strategy, as IBM vows to become carbon-neutral by 2030, Apple pledges to be 100% carbon neutral by 2030, and Microsoft is plotting a “carbon negative” target for 2030.