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Our Progress on Sustainability: One Year In

Our Progress on Sustainability: One Year In

One year ago, we launched our first public climate commitment, Net Zero + Nature. Today, we’re publishing a detailed update on our progress in our 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance Report.

While the full report goes deeper into the science and strategy, here are five takeaways:

1. We are on track to meet our science-based climate targets. We reduced or avoided more than 14,000 metric tons of emissions in 2021. So we were able to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 footprint by more than 10% from what it otherwise would have been. This means we’re on track to cut 46% of our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, recently joining other climate leaders who are halving emissions through the Exponential Roadmap Initiative . Working with our utilities, landlords, and streaming partners to switch to renewable electricity; swapping in batteries, renewable diesel and electric vehicles on our productions; and buying sustainable aviation fuel all helped contribute to this reduction. The 2030 carbon reduction roadmap in our report charts how we plan to deliver our climate goals in more detail.

2. As expected, our overall carbon footprint increased in 2021 from 1.05 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) in 2020 to 1.54 million MTCO2e in 2021 for scopes 1, 2 and 3. Why? An uptick in post-pandemic film and TV production in 2021. Also, we still have a lot of work to do within Netflix and across our industry before we reduce absolute emissions. It’s why finding new ways to meet our reduction goals is so important.

3. We’ll reach our targets primarily by decarbonizing film and TV production — our biggest source of emissions. In 2021, we cut a combined 27,380 gallons of fuel from productions by adding more EVs on set and replacing some diesel generators with mobile electric batteries (e.g. on Virgin River Season 4) or green hydrogen power units (e.g. on Bridgerton Season 2, pictured below), and we’re expanding to more this year.

Photo from the set of 'Bridgerton'. Credit: GeoPura

4. We’re investing in high-quality carbon credit projects. Nature has been stabilizing the climate since time immemorial, and protecting nature also protects vulnerable communities and wildlife. We conduct rigorous diligence screenings to evaluate each project, publishing our screening process in the report to help others. The result: 17 projects screened from over 150 million metric tons worth of projects that not only help the environment — they protect biodiversity and generate jobs and educational opportunities for vulnerable communities, too.

The Vida Manglar Blue Carbon Project (above), one of the carbon credits projects in our 2021 portfolio, protects the mangroves and biodiversity of the Colombian Caribbean. Credit: ©Daniel Uribe for Conservation International

5. Sustainability stories are popular with our members. The breakout success of Don’t Look Up, our second most popular film of all time, confirmed our analysis from last year’s report: that hundreds of millions of households choose to watch sustainability-focused stories.

While we’ve made progress this year, we still have a long way to go. We’ll update you along the way and share what we’ve learned, so keep watching for more.

This article was first published 30 March 2022 and updated on 7 March 2023. We have updated our target percentage to be more specific to our science-based target for Scope 1 and 2 emissions and consistency throughout the report.