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Sustainable Streaming Services Lead Industry Into Carbon-Free Future

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Net Zero

As part of its 2021 sustainability plan, “Net Zero +Nature,” Netflix aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2022, meaning that the company will keep emitting while also investing in offset projects that reduce atmospheric CO2 levels — things like forest preservation across the globe. As Netflix does this, it will strive for a 45% reduction in internal emissions by 2030, a goal that aligns with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s guidelines.

Offset projects like this one are not a solve-all favorite among environmentalists, as they allow polluters to keep emitting, while often poorer groups take on most of the costs (often the costs of not developing forestland, now protected as offsets). Eric Niller, a contributor to Wired, explained this conflict well: “What offsets don’t do is force their buyer to change any of its operations,” he wrote in a 2020 piece for the magazine, adding: “Supporters of offsets say they are only an acceptable tool once companies have done everything they can to pollute less.” This, of course, is what Netflix’s Net Zero-Nature plan outlines on a 2030 timeline.