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OTT streaming platforms emit less carbon than estimates: study

OTT streaming platforms emit less carbon than estimates: study

Streaming on OTT (Over The Top) platforms is said to be less harmful to the environment as one hour-long streaming is found equivalent to boiling a kettle for six minutes or preparing four bags of popcorn in the microwave, according to a study, reports Bloomberg. The research, funded by Netflix among others in the industry, conducted by the climate group Carbon Trust inferred that carbon footprint caused by online streaming is significantly lesser than past estimates.

An hour of streaming emits 55 grams of carbon dioxide. Half of it comes out of the device used to stream. The remaining comes from home web routers and distribution networks and a small volume emitted by the data centres and centralized hubs where the internet information is processed. The older the technology and larger the devices, the higher the emission rate will be, the study says.

Andie Stephens, the lead author of the study and associate director at the Carbon Trust, said that there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding the environmental impact caused by streaming platforms through their carbon emission. He and his colleagues want to clear those doubts and create an understanding among people, he said.

The study also suggested ways for production companies to cut emission rates.

According to Bloomberg, like many industries, film and television are also working on their carbon emission rates to bring it down to tackle climate change and its effects. Since streaming a show does not leave an undesirable amount of carbon, production companies are also looking for ways to improve sustainability, as per the study.

Earlier, a group called 'Dimpact', formed by media companies, including Netflix, and researchers from the University of Bristol, created a carbon calculator, with which they found that an hour of streaming emitted less than 100 grams of CO2, similar to what is found now. Head of sustainability at Netflix, Emma Stewart, said that the new report is a validation of their work.

Netflix plans to attain zero greenhouse emissions by 2022, offsetting all the emissions it can't eliminate by that time. Netflix's 50% of emissions are out of the production of new content and 45% from corporate operations. Netflix is also planning to encourage its customers to switch to "green tariffs", which add more renewable power to the grid. Also, they will encourage partners to make cleaner devices.

(based on Bloomberg story)

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TAGS:Carbon Footprints
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