TV travelogue ‘Long Way Up’ certified by The Planet Mark

Aerial view of Ene river, Cutivireni, Peru, home to the indigenous Asháninka people (Image credit: Cool Earth)
Ene river, Cutivireni, Peru, home to the Asháninka people,
visited by Ewan and Charley on Long Way Up
(Image credit: Cool Earth)

Getting the carbon footprint of a project certified is not in itself too uncommon these days… except perhaps when the production concerned is a buddy-film series of a travel-writing TV presenter and his friend the Hollywood actor, embarked on an epic rainforest-exploring road trip by electric Harley-Davidson, all the way up the continent of South and Central America!

Certified by The Planet Mark, the Long Way Up series is available on Apple TV + and features Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman experiencing the open road from Argentina to Los Angeles on custom electric Harley-Davidsons to support the brand’s new direction on sustainability.

The certification was awarded by measuring and reducing the carbon emissions associated with the intrepid 13,000-mile journey, which was undertaken on the prototype LiveWire electric motorcycles, which Harley-Davidson modified to enable Ewan and Charley to cope with the unforgiving landscapes, challenging terrains and extreme temperatures, from glaciers to deserts, and jungles to barrios. The support crew drove Rivian R1T electric trucks.

Makers of the series Long Way Productions measured their carbon footprint for the planning and production of the journey, between February to December 2019, including their UK office impacts, right through the launch of the trip in Ushuaia, Argentina and on to the event finale in LA.

Aerial view of settlement by the Ene river, Cutivireni, Peru, home to the indigenous Asháninka people (Image credit: Cool Earth)
Cutivireni, Peru (Image credit: Cool Earth)

The total carbon footprint was 212.4 tCO2e and the relative carbon footprint was 0.2 tCO2e per 1,000 km travelled. The Long Way production achieved a total carbon reduction of 38.0 tCO2e, a decrease of 15%, through the use of electric motorcycles and support vehicles and avoiding flights by using videoconferencing.

To avoid air travel in the planning stages, the production team used video calling, mitigating the need for around 20 international flights, giving a carbon saving of 26.3 tCO2e.

Long Way Productions has chosen to mitigate the impact of the carbon emissions associated with the production by helping to protect 81 acres of rainforest with Cool Earth and its partners in the Asháninka community, which was visited by Ewan and Charley on their Long Way Up journey.

This incredible rainforest environment represents 100 times more than their actual carbon footprint . The area helps to protect 19,440 trees, 21,060 CO2e carbon stores, providing support to 2,151 people and shelter to 19 endangered species.

The sustainability story of the Long Way Up sets a fantastic precedent for the entertainment industry and natural environment working in harmony, says Steve Malkin, CEO and founder of The Planet Mark:

Boat on the Ene river, Cutivireni, Peru, home to the indigenous Asháninka people (Image credit: Cool Earth)
The Ene river, Peru (Image credit: Cool Earth)

“The production, from its planning to completion in Los Angeles, recognises the level of commitment and engagement from the team and the significant wider benefits provided by the Long Way Up in the promotion of sustainability, creating a better way of living.

“We also recognise by far the biggest positive impact may come through the dissemination of the documentary via Apple TV+ itself, reaching many millions of people to tell the stories of the communities most affected by climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss.”

The Planet Mark and Cool Earth

The Planet Mark is an internationally renowned sustainability certification which recognises continuous progress, encourages action, and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals. It is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions.

Companies are certified immediately when they sign up based on their commitment to sustainability progress. To keep The Planet Mark, an organisation must reduce their carbon footprint every year, commit to engage their staff and to communicate externally. On average, certified businesses make a 14% carbon saving per employee through reductions in energy, waste, water, travel and procurement.

The Planet Mark is partnered with Cool Earth, the award-winning charity that works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and climate change, to help protect an acre of rainforest for every new business certificate it delivers.

Deforestation contributes up to 20% global CO2 emissions. The only way to halt destruction is to align the future of the rainforest with the people best placed to protect it. This means keeping forest in the hands of the people who rely on it for their survival.


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