The Path to Sustainability

We’re ramping up our sustainability efforts to bring us in line with the most progressive standards set by the broadcast TV and film industry.

Over the last few years, we’ve steadily increased our focus on ensuring the whole business operates in the most environmentally sustainable way possible. On the business side of the operation, we’ve been able to undertake a range of measures tested and proven over the years in countless offices and organisations around the world that have made a noticeable and positive impact on our sustainability. 

On the content production side - those activities we actually spend most of our time on - the sustainability solutions take a bit more thinking about.  Like any specialist industry, solutions need to be tailored to specific activities. 

Fortunately for us, and the whole production industry, there exists an organisation whose sole purpose is to ensure the industry can be an environmental force for good, and take a leading role in the transition to a carbon neutral economy.

Albert was formed in 2011, and is governed by an industry consortium. They are leading a charge against climate change; uniting the screen industries to make a positive environmental impact and inspiring audiences to act for a sustainable future.

While their certification (the footprint logo you might see at the end of a programme’s credits) is for broadcast productions only, their tools, processes and resources can be used by everyone. 

So we signed up for Albert’s Sustainable Production Training, an online session to help us develop the tools and practices we need to properly measure our environmental impact, and develop a plan of action to minimise it.

So what does the path to sustainability look like?  

The first step is about identifying and understanding our impact. Albert offers a carbon calculator to assess four different areas of production: transport, spaces, disposal and materials.  We’re measuring our impact in each of these areas to develop a baseline so we know what we’re aiming to improve on.  

The next step is prioritising our mitigating action. That means identifying the areas that have the biggest environmental impact, and taking the most action in those areas. We developed a production checklist in response, ensuring our producers are focused on the most sustainable practices.  

We’ve got rid of plastic water bottles on set, ensuring reusable containers are always available and asking crew to bring their own. We’ve minimised printed documents, using electronic versions wherever possible. For eating on shoot days, we’re choosing vegan and vegetarian options - and avoiding any plastic cutlery or plates.

It goes without saying that we minimise our travel wherever possible, and use local crews as much as we can. When we have a choice of location, we always aim to keep it close to home and easily accessible to everyone.

There are many more small details we look over, the cumulative effect of which has a huge impact on our operations. 

Albert’s advice is to collaborate with suppliers and challenge them to be as sustainable as possible. It’s crucial to communicate a plan to everyone once you’ve defined your target and approach, so everyone’s on the same page.  We hold our suppliers to the same standards and we’re supporting them to develop and implement their own sustainability plans.

This is our progress so far, and it’s been an exciting and rewarding journey that we’re all completely invested in. The path to sustainability is a long one, but it’s the only option for us, the industry and the rest of the world.