- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
London-bound meat eaters rejoice: the BAFTAs are not following the all-plant route of the Oscars or Golden Globes.
That said, Sunday’s post-ceremony meal at the Royal Albert Hall will feature one solitary meat item on its menu, and it comes sandwiched between a vegan starter (caraway-infused carrot salad with celeriac moutabel, kelp pickled turnip, mushroom piccalilli, sweet vinegar reduction) and vegan dessert (early season Yorkshire rhubarb fool, with a pear sphere and preserved raspberry jelly, meringue, toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds).
Organizers also insist that the thyme-based Shropshire chicken main course (served with chestnut mushroom barley with a ballotine of Potash Farm walnuts, Dorset truffle creamed parsnips, roasted beets), is free-range, with “every part” of the animal being used.
Guests who do want to stick to an all-plant diet (such as that served at the Golden Globes, the Oscars Nominee Luncheon and during the upcoming Academy Awards in the Dolby Theatre lobbies) can, of course, give the chicken a miss with an aromatic Hodmedods Farm lentil and cauliflower tart with champ potatoes, roasted beets, lovage and parsley relish.
The move toward sustainable food is just one of a number of efforts the British Academy is making to ensure that this year’s ceremony is carbon neutral, explains chair Pippa Harris (also a BAFTA nominee as producer of 1917 through Neal Street Production, which she runs with Sam Mendes).
Outside of the dining room, the cars bringing the stars to the BAFTAs — via partner Audi — will be electric, while the lights on the red carpet are for the first time being switched to energy-saving LED bulbs. As for the actual red carpet itself (now a single-use plastic-free zone, like the auditorium and media areas), that’s going to be 100 percent recyclable.
Even the famed nominee’s goodie bag — once loaded with Champagne bottles and expensive beauty products — has been scrapped in favor of a slimline wallet (sustainably made and supplied by GroundTruth) filled with vouchers.
Every element of the ceremony has been closely examined with the help of various environmentally focused organizations, right down to the ticket itself (now 100 percent recyclable, as are the brochures, although Harris says they’re now “vastly reducing the numbers” being printed, and directing people to the digital version).
“The emphasis is very much on reusing, recycling and making sustainable choices up front,” says Harris. “But the last part of the jigsaw is the offsetting for things we are unable to control.”
With this in mind, the British Academy has teamed with carbon offsetting experts Mossy Earth to have a forest planted in Scotland to offset the travel already made by its staff, and plans to do something similar for the airmails accrued by its guests Sunday.
This year will also mark the first time that the BAFTA ceremony will come with a mark of certification from Albert, the London-based organization that since 2013 has calculated the carbon footprint of British TV programs as a way to encourage energy efficiency.
Interestingly, Harris claims that 1917 was “the first major British film” to get the certification, having working in tandem with the organization to assess the production’s emissions — right down to the cutlery used on set — and with Albert then independently assessing what has been achieved.
The decision by BAFTA — which has been working with Albert for several years — to ramp up its sustainability efforts and ensure its biggest night of the year is carbon neutral is, says Harris, a “sea change” in terms of climate change’s immediacy.
“It was realization that actually it’s no good to do your best anymore. Everybody has got to pull together,” Harris says. “It’s a climate emergency, and people just have to start making these choices and shouting about them. There may be people who roll their eyes, but who cares?”