Envision a net-zero carbon future: a future in which the package you’ve been awaiting gets delivered in a sleek emissions-free electric van, you go to work in an office building whose cement structure captures and stores carbon, you take a weekend flight that produces 80% less emissions—which leaves you with 80% less travel guilt—and before landing, you peer out the window to catch a glimpse of a previously depleted forest, farmland battered by harsh weather, and a trash-filled riverbed, that is now overflowing with lush green flora, thriving agriculture fields, and pristine water. Sound idealistic? Sure, but here come some fresh-from-the-field films exemplifying how it’s not.
Here’s a first look at Future Forward, six short films to premiere in April 2023. Future Forward is a character-driven documentary series featuring people and businesses pioneering industry innovation on the front lines of climate change. Each film profiles visionaries fighting for their dream of a better world, the complex hurdles to igniting corporate change on a global scale, and a contagious hope—and inspiration—for the future.
Each of the six films is directed by an award-winning filmmaker and highlights Climate Pledge signatories—across industries from transportation and construction to agriculture and water—trailblazing paths to a cleaner future, demonstrating to other companies that a net-zero journey is possible and crucial, and inspiring businesses from all sectors and regions to make their own climate commitments and join the Pledge. Complete with stunning footage and heart-warming stories of resilience, these short films leave audiences with a hopeful message: Companies can—and are—changing the way they do business to create a healthy planet for generations to come.
The Future of Buildings, directed by Samia Khan-Bambrah
“We live on an island; will this island even be here?” asks Jennifer Wagner (CarbonCure Technologies) about the future of Prince Edward Island, a Canadian province her family has called home for decades. Motivated by the desire to build a better future for her children, Wagner joined CarbonCure, a fast-growing climate tech startup on a mission to accelerate the concrete industry’s decarbonization. With the growth of urban areas and surging demand for concrete—and its key ingredient cement responsible for an estimated 7% of carbon emissions—CarbonCure aims to turn this concrete challenge into a climate solution.
In 2019, Amazon approached electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian to talk about electrifying the company’s delivery fleet. This summer, just three years later, Amazon and Rivian announced the deployment of the first batch of 100,000 Amazon custom electric delivery vehicles. But the road to decarbonization has not been easy—from vehicle design to infrastructure needs, the transition from traditional gas-powered delivery vans to electric delivery vehicles has required a number of unique innovations as well as help from other Climate Pledge signatories.
The Future of Flight, directed by Ondi Timoner
If the aviation industry was a country, it would be the 7th largest source of CO2emissions in the world. One key to decarbonizing aviation rests with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), made from renewable sources like used cooking oils and waste animal fats. When used in its neat form, SAF can reduce up to to 80% less emissions compared to fossil jet fuel. In January 2020, JetBlue announced that it would be the first airline in the U.S. to fly regularly on SAF (produced by fellow Pledge signatory, Neste) out of San Francisco International Airport. The innovative collaboration between Neste and JetBlue is an example of how companies can partner to accelerate responsible climate action.
The Future of Water, directed by Samia Khan-Bambrah
For the ancestors of the people of East Java, Indonesia, water was considered sacred. Now, with increasingly polluted waterways, local communities are facing water scarcity and by 2025, so could half the world’s population. The only way to address the water crisis is by working together to expedite solutions. Multi Bintang, an Indonesian subsidiary of Heineken, is working with local communities to safeguard springs and clear rivers of trash so both the business and local citizens can continue to thrive.
The Future of Farming, directed by Laura Checkoway
Unprecedented heavy rains (a consequence of extreme weather caused by climate change) can take inches off of topsoil in minutes, destroying a farmer’s harvest, threatening their livelihood and impacting the quality of their soil for generations to come. Also impacted are the companies that rely on these farmers to source local ingredients for their products. Unilever is tackling this complex challenge head-on by partnering with Practical Farmers of Iowa to protect and improve soil through regenerative farming practices. But can they convince often risk-averse farmers across the state and beyond?
The Future of Forests, directed by David Darg
At almost the size of Australia, the Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world. However, due to the current scale of deforestation, it won’t be this size for long. Rainforests are natural carbon sinks, and when their trees vanish their naturally-stored carbon has to go somewhere—and that somewhere is our atmosphere. In order to protect the Amazon and simultaneously combat food scarcity, it is critical that businesses invest in nature-based solutions. Amazon and their partners are supporting agroforestry systems in Brazil to restore forests, produce food, and create a sustainable livelihood for local communities.