We finally know how bad for the environment your Netflix habit is | WIRED UK
For the first time, Netflix has revealed specific details about its carbon footprint. Using a tool called DIMPACT, developed by researchers at the University of Bristol, Netflix claims that one hour of streaming on its platform in 2020 used less than 100gCO2e (a hundred grams of carbon dioxide equivalent) – that’s less than driving an average car a quarter of a mile. For people binging Netflix, that’s useful context – but for the streaming giant, it provides crucial data to help it reduce its vast carbon footprint.
Many false claims about the carbon impact of streaming – such as 30 minutes of streaming being the equivalent of driving four miles – are based on a flawed report published in July 2019 by the Shift Project, a French think tank. The actual figure is estimated to be up to 90 times lower.
But streaming still has a substantial environmental impact. And Netflix has a long way to go to reduce its carbon footprint. “There have been a lot of alarmist, misleading and plain wrong calculations before,” says Schien. “I have no axe to grind, I’m passionate about the environment, I want to assess the environmental impact of these services.”