‘2012’ latest Hollywood film to reduce carbon footprint

The Hollywood disaster movie 2012, due to hit theaters worldwide the week of November 9, is the latest in a growing number of Hollywood films to neutralize its carbon emissions.

Several major Hollywood studios have begun greening their sets, taking measures such as buying carbon credits, using solar power or alternative fuel, and reducing or recycling production waste. For Sony Pictures' 2012, carbon offsets were purchased, biofuel was used for generators, and sets were either recycled or donated to Habitat for Humanity, reports The Mother Nature Network.

Major studio productions require significant carbon emissions: jetting actors to and from filming sites, constructing elaborate sets, creating artificial light and weather. As a result, carbon offsets--rather than only a reduction in emissions--are often a preferred method of reducing carbon footprints. Universal Pictures' 2007 film Evan Almighty reportedly achieved carbon neutrality by donating to the Conservation Fund's Go Zero program, which plants trees to "zero out" greenhouse gases produced. For the 2004 Fox film The Day After Tomorrow, director Robert Emmerich--who also directs 2012--paid Future Forests to plants trees that would offset the movie's CO2. Producers of Warner Brothers' 2005 film Syriana worked with the firm NativeEnergy, which calculates carbon emissions and then offsets those emissions by purchasing credits from renewable energy projects.

Hoping to create a go-to resource for the entertainment industry, Fox Entertainment Group in 2008 launched the Fox Green Guide, an online tool outlining best practices for going green. The site includes suggestions tailored specifically for feature films, television shows, sports production, and events, as well as a vendor guide listing environmentally-friendly products and services worldwide.