Photography’s Commitment To The Environment

When we think of sustainability our attention is obviously drawn to areas such as fossil fuels like oil and gas and, especially, these days, that is to what the media’s attention relates to also. However, with that being said, what people do on a daily basis and the industries that are more directly relevant to this should not be forgotten also.


Many enjoy photography as a hobby and in our time it has become an important pastime.

So, like all other areas of commerce, we have to see photography also as an industry as well as just a means through which people capture their lives’ precious moments. So, with it being an industry, this means that it must have an environmental impact and we should take a look at it to evaluate the effects.

Sustainability coverage has been a relatively shy topic for the camera industry so far. So, you might be wondering how the makers of the world’s most popular camera look at sustainability?

Big Names Called Out

Several sources, including the Center for Sustainable Organizations, have already labeled companies like Sony and Panasonic as unsustainable in the past. These companies have set up initiatives they plan to follow as a result of these investigations.

Reactions For Sustainability

Consequently, by 2040 renewable energy sources are to power 100% of Sony’s worldwide operations according to a recent announcement.

In fact, renewable resources currently powers 100% of the company’s European operations. Additionally, by 2050 Panasonic wants to eliminate all of its greenhouse gas emissions.

Canon Leading The Way

Even though suspicion has been evoked about so-called “greenwashing” by many of these newer initiatives Canon’s commitment to sustainability reaches back almost 30 years. With the intent to recycle the company has been collecting copier toner cartridges since 1990.

So that its printers and projectors use less power the company has been developing more compact versions which are lighter, in addition to its work in cameras especially recently.

Smaller Players Join

Startups are getting involved too proving that efforts to make photography a more sustainable business aren’t just coming from the huge companies.

Take, for instance, Lomography, a film upstart hailing from Vienna, which recently announced the release of its new camera, the LomoMod No. 1.

The company makes most of its camera parts out of cardboard. And although the other main feature, the liquid-fill lens, is made of plastic, the camera body is all cardboard, flat-packed to be assembled at home.

This reduces the amount of packaging required to hold it since the flat packing minimizes the space taken up.



It appears that companies that are prioritising sustainability are allowing it to stay that way since photography is far from being one of the most unsustainable industries.

Continued commitment to sustainability should in theory allow consumers to continue to capture the most important moments in their lives without taking a toll on the environment, whether that’s due to small photography companies joining the fight or brands that have become household names continuing to be ethically responsible.

Words by Elijah (Content Marketer) via The Rising.