Explore sustainable production resources
What is Sustainable Production?
What is a Sustainable Production Anyway?
The motion picture industry goes through great lengths to provide the public with an incredible cinematic experience. The process of making a film or television show also requires an incredible amount of materials and resources.
Everything from the costumes, props, and sets you see on the screen to feeding staff, transportation, lighting, and power has an impact on the environment. The motion picture industry is historically notorious for its use of resources and adding tonnes of waste to local landfills annually. This is not done with the intent on harming the environment but is an unfortunate by-product of the creative process to produce entertainment for audiences around the globe.
A production refers to the organization and operations that exist to produce a film or TV show.
Here’s where sustainability comes in
Recently, as the we become more aware of human impact on the environment, industries are beginning to look at their processes to strategize on how to reduce their impact. This includes the motion picture and entertainment industry.
Carbon Footprint is the sum of all emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), which were induced by your activities in a given time frame
Sustainable production means…
a production that implements identified best practices within their creative process to reduce their overall carbon footprint. This can also be referred to as “greening a production”. Zena Harris, the President of Green Spark Group identifies sustainable production as “incorporating practices into the production process that reduce negative environmental impacts, engage positively with the cast, crew, and community to promote health and well-being, and align with the overall production budget.”
Sustainability is a concept that takes into account social, environmental and economic responsibility. It's the ability of an organization to manage transparently its responsibilities for social well-being, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity over the long term.
Okay, so now that we have an idea on what sustainable production means…
how can a film or TV show become a sustainable production?
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There are a few ways to achieve this! Many resources (including the ones on this page) exist out there such as the Green Production Guide and Reel Green. These resources (some of which are free!) tackle sustainability by providing education to crews, directors, and producers and delivering tool kits on types of practices to implement while creating a film or TV show. These tool kits generally include a tracking system such as a carbon calculator.
You can also hire sustainable production professionals (oh, hey there) who are committed to reducing the motion picture industry’s carbon footprint. These professionals provide insight and expertise on what actions a production can take to best reduce its impact on the environment. They also come with a network of industry partners who are engaged in achieving sustainable production practices via food donation, material reuse, waste sorting and recycling and more.
In conclusion, there is no one metric that defines a sustainable production. There are organizations out there such as the Environmental Media Association and NYC Film Green who are third party entities that attribute scores and points based on best practices achieved by a production. When productions achieve a certain benchmark, they are eligible for recognition by these organizations.
But being sustainable can mean anything a production can do to reduce its waste, use of resources, and impact. In time, Green Spark Group envisions seeing sustainable production becoming the new norm for how we produce movies and TV for audiences around the world.
creating a greener sustainable flourishing motion picture industry
The Reel Green initiative, a mainstay at Creative BC, looks ahead to the next decade to see how they can empower and inspire productions and industry stakeholders to innovate, implement sustainable production practices, and collectively support this effort. Reel Green prioritizes education, engagement, communications, and resources as they develop a platform for the reduction of environmental impacts and stakeholder engagement at the local level to set an example for other jurisdictions globally.
Sustainable Production Best Practices
Monthly Newsletters focused on sustainability in motion picture in B.C.
Free training for members of the industry
green production guide
The Green Production Guide was developed by the Producers Guild of America Foundation and PGAGreen.org with primary support from Disney, Amblin Partners, 20th Century Fox, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Bros, with recent support from Amazon Studios and HBO.
The Green Production Guide features a searchable database of vendors with information about their green products, services, their production experience and what locations they serve. The site also offers a Production Environmental Accounting Report (PEAR) calculator that can be downloaded to help producers determine their production’s carbon footprint and the Production Environmental Actions Checklist (PEACH), which details best practices for sustainable film and television production.
Free tracking tools for download used by major studios across North America
Database of Green Vendors across North America
Flyers, tool-kits, checklists, and all the materials you need to start sustainability on set
Be the change. choose sustainable.