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The Amazing Spider-Man 2: With Great Power Comes Great (Environmental) Responsibility

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Sony Pictures’ upcoming blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man 2 weaves an exciting web of action onscreen, combined with environmental consciousness and responsibility behind the screen. According to the studio, the physical production of the film, hailed as “the most eco-friendly blockbuster in the history of the studio” by Hannah Minghella, president of Production at Sony Pictures, was entirely carbon-neutral, thanks to attention to a variety of pertinent and easily modifiable details.

The initiative began right at pre-production and was supported at every level from producers and studio executives to the cast and crew. The below video by Sony explains the various ways that the film attempted to adopt environment-friendly practices, ranging from basic waste segregation and recycling to setting more complicated, department-specific agendas with weekly incentives to motivate the team.

According to the video, the sets were built using rented, salvaged and reused wood and over 490 tons of materials such as steel, glass, etc were recovered or donated. Even the artificial weather for the film was created with care — biodegradable snow and water-based atmospheric smoke were used during production. Waste management included recycling of textiles used in costumes and set dressings, use of eco-friendly detergents, ensuring responsible disposal of oil and fuel (a result of car crashes and other stunt scenes), composting (5195 cubic yards recycled/composted), and elimination of plastic water bottles on set (193,000 water bottles conserved). Some of the activities extended beyond the shooting of the film, including planting of trees at select shooting locations, donation of leftover lunch and craft services food, eco-conscious messaging in set decoration and a Twitter campaign, which provided ongoing updates.

In a partnership with Earth Hour and WWF China, Sony Pictures purchased carbon offsets by providing 100 clean cookstoves for communities near China’s Giant Panda habitat region, reducing deforestation and improving air quality for local residents. In a press release, Sony stated: “Through its efforts, the studio will receive Gold Standard carbon offsets that render the entire physical production of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as well as its publicity tour, carbon-neutral.”

This month, Spider-Man will be the first Super Hero ambassador for Earth Hour, the annual worldwide lights-out event in recognition of climate change. Spidey and the film’s stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and director Marc Webb are also throwing their support behind Earth Hour Blue — a new digital crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform aimed at engaging people around the world and participants in the annual event to raise funds for on-the-ground environmental projects from across the world.

“I’m proud Spider-Man is the first Super Hero ambassador for Earth Hour because he shows we can all be Super Heroes when we realize the power we all have,” says Andrew Garfield, who plays Spider-Man. “Earth Hour is a movement that has created massive impact around the world, so imagine what we can do this year with Spider-Man by our side.”

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Aarthi is an Editorial Assistant at Sustainable Brands. She has nearly a decade of experience in creating and managing content across diverse media (web, video and print) for nonprofits and media houses in the US and India. Aarthi holds a… [Read more about Aarthi Rayapura]

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