Accelerating the Circular Economy in Ontario’s Film and Television Industry

We are dedicated to building partnerships to accelerate Canada’s circular economy, and we are proud to collaborate on an innovative alliance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste in Ontario’s film and television industry.

In 2021 Circular Innovation Council was appointed Program Manager of Ontario Green Screen (OGS), an initiative between government, industry partners, unions, guilds, trade associations, and companies that endeavours to make lasting change and empower individuals, production companies, and studios to make sustainable choices.
Our collaboration continues into 2022 and will focus on implementing the actions outlined in the OGS Strategic Plan; building strategic relationships within the production community; and fostering relationships with regional stakeholders to promote sustainable production practices across the province.

Ontario’s fast-growing film and television industry makes significant cultural and economic contributions to the province. In 2019, the industry contributed a record-breaking $2.16 billion in direct spending to Ontario’s economy, and created 44,540 high-value full-time jobs for Ontarians.

Continuing to Lead Ontario’s First Sustainability Plan for Film and Television: 2022 and Beyond

Circular Innovation Council and an advisory board of industry partners, the OGS Strategic Plan’s inaugural year successfully identified the needs of the industry; established connections; educated industry workers on sustainability; socialized innovative ideas amongst stakeholders; and developed a variety of approaches to best implement the plan.
As the initiative continues under Circular Innovation Council’s steady hand, we will continue to evolve and respond to pressing industry needs, and focus on taking action to reduce environmental impacts and educate stakeholders on sustainable best practices in three key areas:

Circularity: Film and TV

The economic, social, and environmental opportunities to advance sustainability in Ontario’s film and TV industry is greater than it has ever been. In 2021 Ontario reported its highest production levels to date with almost 400 productions bringing in $2.88 billion in production spending for the economy. This represents over 48,000 full-time equivalent direct and spin-off jobs, which is an increase of 38 per cent or 18,468 jobs from 2020.

Film and television production thrives across the province, supporting local economies and enriching the cultural fabric of our communities. Celebrated live action such as Schitt’s Creek, The Queen’s Gambit, The Handmaid’s Tale, Shape of Water, Star Trek: Discovery, Cardinal, and Murdoch Mysteries, as well as animated projects such as Paw Patrol and Hilda are just some examples of world-class content produced in Ontario.

Every production that takes place–whether on set or on location–requires significant resources, which includes the creation, transportation, purchase, use, and end-of-life management of materials and products for sets, costumes, catering, and props. In fact, the Sustainable Production Alliance estimates films have an average total carbon footprint ranging from 391 tonnes for small independent films and up to 3,370 tonnes for major studio films.

Ontario Green Screen

The two-year plan lays out specific, measurable, and timely goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and waste in Ontario’s film and television industry, and is based on four key pillars:

  1. Develop an engaged, diverse and inclusive community that advances and enables sustainable production practices.
  2. Inform and educate Ontario’s film and television production workers and companies, production clients and government partners on sustainable best practices.
  3. Deliver resources, tools and initiatives to empower the industry to carry out sustainable implementation strategies and protocols that will help reduce GHG emissions on sets across Ontario.
  4. Create a framework to effectively measure and report on environmental impacts and industry-wide progress.
Within these four strategic pillars include several specific goals:

Build Community

  • Promote communications opportunities for sustainable production practices. 
  • Create an OGS Ambassador Program. 
  • Engage with existing private, not-for-profit organizations and all levels of government to identify collaboration opportunities and available incentives/financial support. 

Inform and Educate

  • Develop and deliver a suite of carbon and waste literacy courses to industry stakeholders.
  • Influence production practices to be more sustainable by sharing best practices, identifying barriers, and working with partners to remove barriers. 
  • Identify and promote sustainable vendors, suppliers, and services.
  • Promote industry sustainable best practices in communities in which the film industry is operating. 

Implement Best Practices

  • Reduce GHG emissions related to fuel and energy consumption across productions. 
  • Reduce food supply chain waste and related GHG emissions. 
  • Reduce use of single-use plastics across all areas of production. 
  • Promote circularity and reuse in costume, design, sets and props, and construction. 

Measure Impact

  • Develop a process for gathering baseline data and measuring environmental impact in a standardized way. 

Ontario Creates is proud to be a founding partner of Ontario Green Screen. We are committed to an inclusive community that advances sustainability across the province. The OGS Strategic Plan will inform and educate Ontario’s screen workers on sustainable practices, demonstrate leadership and deliver meaningful green initiatives for Ontario.

Justin Cutler
Film Commissioner
Ontario Creates

Working with Ontario Creates to implement sustainable best practices is an exciting prospect to reduce the environmental impacts of film and television productions province-wide. We look forward to working with industry stakeholders to put circular concepts into action and showcase Ontario’s starring role in advancing the circular economy.

Jo-Anne St.Godard
Executive Director
Circular Innovation Council


About Ontario Green Screen

In 2019, Ontario Creates engaged a sustainability working group composed of interested industry organizations, service providers, unions, guilds and individual stakeholders. The results of the consultations were clear. The industry was actively looking for tools and training resources for sustainable film production practices, pathways to lower carbon emissions, reduced waste and a means to incorporate sustainable on-set management across the film and television sector.

Ontario Green Screen is the collaborative initiative between government, industry partners, unions, guilds, trade associations and companies that endeavours to make lasting change in the industry and to empower individuals, production companies and studios to make sustainable choices.

Mission: Provide the tools necessary to empower the motion picture industry in Ontario to incorporate and scale up environmentally sustainable best practices that lead to the well-being of our environment.

About Ontario Creates

Ontario Creates is an agency of the provincial government whose mandate is to be a catalyst for economic development, investment and collaboration in Ontario’s creative industries including the music, book, magazine, film, television and interactive digital media sectors, both domestically and internationally.

Ontario Creates is committed to delivering high-impact support that creates jobs and economic opportunities for Ontarians and that contributes to an advantageous business environment for growth. Through targeted programs and services, support for innovation, and by leveraging public and private partnerships, Ontario Creates builds the capacity and competitiveness of the Province’s creative industries to deliver award-winning content that is enjoyed by audiences across Ontario and around the world.

About Circular Innovation Council

Circular Innovation Council – originally established as Recycling Council of Ontario in 1978 – believes that shifting production and consumption in a circular economy simultaneously supports environmental, economic, and social objectives of sustainable living. We are inclusive and collaborative among supply and value chains, and seek to advance business models, products, and services that can deliver on the values and benefits of a circular economy. Through better resource efficiency – reuse, share, repair, refurbish, remanufacture, recover in a closed-loop system – we can reduce waste, pollution, and carbon emissions. In doing so, we showcase innovation by putting circular economy concepts into action.

Industry Partners


Jo-Anne St. Godard
Executive Director
416.657.2797, ext. 3
Caitlin Perry
Program Manager
416.657.2797, ext.22





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Accelerating the Circular Economy in Ontario’s Film and Television Industry

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We offer collaborative opportunity and inspiration to redefine value in communities across Canada through showcase opportunities and putting circular economy concepts into action.