“Let’s take sustainability out of it’s factual box”

In an optimistic, upbeat and inspiring interview, Aaron Matthews, Head of Sustainability at BAFTA, says it’s time for the TV industry to take a cultural lead on climate change. How?

By injecting sustainability into our every day most loved TV content, in a way that is fun and entertaining. According to Aaron, this can be done in a way that won’t feel clunky and awkward, so that, for instance two people can have a conversation in Eastenders while insulating their loft, or recycling their rubbish. Such changes help filter new images into the daily fabric of what we see and consume, so that more sustainable lifestyle choices become normalised.

Aaron’s point is that we need to take sustainability out of its factual box. “Climate is the food we eat, the homes we sleep in, the holidays we go on and the parks we play in. ..The TV industry will have successfully acted upon its obligation to society when this undeniable reality is represented on-screen.” In many ways it’s back to the old adage “how can art imitate life”? Climate change is real so why is it not seen in everyday programmes about real life?

What Aaron touches on is the potential we have to use TV content to impact positive social change and this is a huge opportunity and creative challenge for the industry to take a lead on. Aaron’s vision is clear and simple and it’s also hugely exciting – and his enthusiasm is highly contagious.

This 15minute interview is uplifting because the solutions outlined seem so do-able. As Aaron says “everything is up for re-writing, so let’s get cracking because time is short.”

To hear full interview tune in to Grandkids Test here, or on any podcast app: