Is Your Production Sustainable?

Did you know that in London alone it is calculated that the audiovisual industry generates the same amount of carbon dioxide as a city with 20,000 inhabitants.

Around 95% of the material used in a production usually ends up in the rubbish.

And according to Albert, BAFTA’s industry-backed sustainability project, the production of just one hour’s worth of TV content now produces 13 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

With alarming stats such as these what can productions do to help reduce carbon emissions and make their production sustainable?

Here are some top tips…

Measure and reduce your carbon footprint

  • Use a carbon calculator & carefully plan steps to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Sign-up to receive carbon literacy training and get Albert certified
  • Check you comply with the voluntary best standard for film, also known as the BS 8909. This is the British standard for film sustainability, giving a framework for organisations and productions to follow
  • Make use of Albert suppliers

Divert waste

  • Use reclaimed or salvaged materials in your production
  • Implement a waste management plan to ensure the minimum possible amount of waste goes to landfill
  • Establish a strict plan in advance for the disposal of materials at the end of a shoot – recycle, reuse, re-purpose!
  • Work digitally wherever possible and only print double-sided
  • Share your call sheets digitally and avoid unnecessary printing
  • Stop using plastic water bottles on set. Use reusable receptacles or compostable cups and install water coolers
  • Make sure food waste and leftovers at the end of filming are responsibly redistributed. Team up with a homeless shelter or a food waste charity
  • Plan in advance so that you can buy shoot supplies in bulk to reduce packaging
  • Use recycled paper only
  • Consider the impact of, for example, a massive set build rather than shooting on location

Review your transport:

  • Promote cycling, carpools and public transport
  • Consider the use of electric or hybrid vehicles

Be more energy efficient

  • Use LED lighting and rechargeable batteries
  • Connect to mains power wherever possible to reduce the need for generators
  • Use electric or hybrid generators
  • Investigate the possibility of bio-fuel, if use of generators is essential 

Support local businesses

  • Boost the local economy and reduce your carbon footprint instead of importing or relocating services

 Work together, communicate and share 

  • Ensure sustainability messages are delivered throughout the production process and organisation, and incentivise achievements
  • Use the call sheet to remind everyone of the communal objective and to share ‘green tips’
  • Encourage different production departments to communicate and collaborate to share materials and services such as transport

Sustainable production requires collaboration and commitment from the whole production team. So get everyone involved and make it an enjoyable process!

Head over to Albert for more information about sustainability.