Clean Energy Transition in the Entertainment Industry: Netflix and Disney's Push to Ditch Diesel on TV and Movie Sets

Clean Energy Transition in the Entertainment Industry: Netflix and Disney's Push to Ditch Diesel on TV and Movie Sets
Published on
July 10, 2023

Netflix and Disney, two leading entertainment giants, have recently taken significant steps to mitigate their environmental impact by seeking to eliminate the use of diesel generators on their TV and movie sets. In line with their commitment to sustainability, both companies aim to reduce their carbon footprint and promote a greener entertainment industry. 

To further this initiative, Disney and Netflix spearheaded the creation of the Clean Mobile Power Initiative, which aims to transform the way film productions are powered. Its goal is to develop cost-competitive, zero-emissions mobile power solutions for the entertainment industry, including alternatives to diesel generators. Currently, diesel generators contribute approximately 15% of a production's overall emissions and release around 700,000 tons of CO2e into the atmosphere annually. Besides their environmental impact, diesel generators are noisy and often run at low capacity, leading to inefficiencies and frequent malfunctions.

This article explores the initiatives undertaken by Netflix and Disney, highlighting their efforts to transition towards cleaner and more sustainable power sources.

The Importance of Sustainable Practices in the Entertainment Industry

The entertainment industry plays a significant role in shaping culture and influencing societal perceptions. As environmental awareness grows, there is an increasing expectation for companies to adopt sustainable practices. By embracing eco-friendly initiatives, Netflix and Disney are not only reducing their carbon footprint but also setting a positive example for others in the industry to follow.

Netflix and Disney's Environmental Initiative: Ditching Diesel for Sustainable Filmmaking

Netflix's Environmental Pledge and Clean Energy Transition

In early 2021, Netflix appointed Emma Stewart as its first sustainability leader with the mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to film and television production. Transitioning away from diesel generators is a key focus for Netflix as it recognizes the environmental impact of these power sources. By embracing clean mobile power alternatives, Netflix aims to decrease its reliance on diesel and pave the way for a more sustainable entertainment industry.

Disney's Sustainability Commitment and Renewable Power Adoption:

Disney, a global entertainment powerhouse, is also committed to reducing its environmental impact. Starting in 2019, Disney began withdrawing its films from Netflix to create its own streaming service. Alongside this move, Disney announced a significant investment in original content and a focus on sustainability. By adopting renewable power sources and transitioning away from diesel generators, Disney aims to create a more eco-friendly and responsible entertainment experience.

Benefits and Challenges of Ditching Diesel on TV and Movie Sets

Diesel generators are commonly used in movie sets

Transitioning away from diesel generators on TV and movie sets offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Reduced carbon emissions: Diesel generators are a significant source of carbon emissions. By eliminating their use, Netflix and Disney can significantly decrease their environmental footprint and contribute to climate change mitigation.
  • Improved air quality: Diesel generators emit pollutants that can negatively impact air quality. By embracing cleaner energy alternatives, the entertainment industry can create healthier working environments for cast and crew.
  • Reduced noise pollution: Diesel generators are known for their noise levels, which can disrupt the quiet environment required on film and TV sets. The excessive noise generated by these generators can interfere with sound recording and affect the overall production quality.
  • Positive public perception: Embracing sustainable practices aligns with growing consumer expectations for environmentally conscious companies. Netflix and Disney's efforts can enhance their reputation and attract environmentally conscious viewers.

However, several challenges exist in the transition process, including:

  • Technical considerations: Finding suitable and reliable clean energy alternatives that can meet the power demands of TV and movie sets can be a complex task.
  • Infrastructure requirements: Establishing the necessary infrastructure for clean energy adoption may require upfront investment and coordination with various stakeholders.
  • Cost implications: Transitioning to cleaner power sources may involve initial costs. However, the long-term benefits, such as energy savings and positive environmental impact, often outweigh the initial expenses.

The Future of Sustainable Filmmaking: Inspiring Change in the Industry

Some movie studios such as Netflix and Amazon are moving towards clean energy in filmmaking

Netflix and Disney's initiatives to ditch diesel on TV and movie sets serve as catalysts for change within the entertainment industry. By showcasing the feasibility and benefits of sustainable practices, they inspire other production companies to follow suit. Collectively, the industry can work towards a greener future, prioritizing environmental responsibility while continuing to captivate audiences worldwide.

As Netflix and Disney lead the way, it is evident that the entertainment industry has the potential to make a significant positive impact on the environment. By transitioning to clean energy sources and eliminating the use of diesel generators, they are setting a new standard for sustainable filmmaking.

Implementing similar initiatives requires a multi-step approach:

Conduct an environmental assessment: Evaluate the current carbon footprint of TV and movie sets, identify areas of improvement, and set sustainability goals.

  • Invest in renewable energy: Explore clean energy alternatives such as solar, wind, green hydrogen or hybrid power systems that can replace diesel generators on sets.
  • Collaborate with suppliers: Engage with equipment suppliers to ensure access to clean energy solutions that meet the unique power demands of the entertainment industry.
  • Raise awareness: Educate cast, crew, and stakeholders about the benefits of sustainable practices, encouraging their participation and support.
  • Measure and optimize: Regularly monitor energy consumption, carbon emissions, and other sustainability metrics to track progress and identify opportunities for further improvement.

By following these steps, production companies can contribute to a more sustainable future, aligning the entertainment industry with global environmental goals.


Netflix and Disney's commitment to ditching diesel on TV and movie sets signifies a significant milestone in the journey toward a greener entertainment industry. Their initiatives not only reduce carbon emissions but also inspire others to embrace sustainable practices. By implementing clean energy alternatives and prioritizing environmental responsibility, the entertainment industry can pave the way for a more sustainable and responsible future.

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