perma collective

Sustainability in Stills and Short Form

Written by Liam Bergin

We are not activists. We are disciples of the cause.

This seems to be my go to phrase at the moment and sums up our journey into sustainable production.
In 2020 we listened to Jeremy, Roxy, Jo and Angus at the firstSustainability in Stills and Short Form’ event hosted by Emma Taylor and the AOP, in which they discussed the need for our industry (in fact, for all industries) to reflect on the way we work and to change our behaviours, in order to help combat global warming. 
Fast forward two years and we find ourselves on stage alongside them, hoping to inspire others to do the same. 
Networks like Albert, AdGreen, the APA and the Purpose Disruptors have ensured sustainability is now an important talking point within our industry.
Clients are reviewing policies. Clients have their ears open. Clients are willing to change and clients expect us to change. 
We are using this opportunity to share some of our learnings and to give an insight into our business, because for us to collectively achieve the ambitious targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement, we all need to play our part.

So what can we do and how do we implement change?

Knowing where to start can be overwhelming. However, in our experience you just have to take one step into the unknown. Break your comfort zone. 
Simply put, if we all did a little bit, collectively we could achieve a lot. At Perma, first and foremost we look at our own behaviours and we look at the areas we can control and evoke change within. We then reach out to our teams and look at how we can reimagine our approaches. We challenge both ourselves and our teams to devise new workflows. With each production we refine these processes and we learn a little more, ready to be applied to the next shoot. The journey of sustainability is one of learning, challenging and reflection.
We are storytellers. Our industry is advertising and as an industry, we share images and words. We share ideas to inspire. We are creative thinkers and problem solvers. We have a platform and we have an audience. 
As producers we believe we have influence. We can inspire and support those within our collective to work differently. We can challenge and inspire our clients to work differently. 
We can ask questions. We can share ideas. We can push back if we feel that decisions don’t consider the planet and people. 
Our role is to support and elevate the talented creatives around us to ensure we all deliver on the brief for our clients. As producers we have the ability to both guide our teams and to hold the hands of our clients. We have a voice in the process and we have a responsibility to ensure we deliver. 
When we started Perma we challenged ourselves to always consider our impact. Shortly after attending the AOP event Covid happened, and whilst this was a massive disruption, it allowed us to take some time and to really consider our business’ foundations.
Covid allowed us to engage in the conversation. Covid gave us all an opportunity to change our behaviour. 
Our thinking was different. Our priorities were different. Our needs were different. 
Embracing this opportunity and approaching shoots differently was, in our eyes, the only way forward. And as noted above, now there is a conversation. Sustainability is a talking point. 
As our business has grown, so has our collective. Our idea is simple. The problem is complex, however together we can offer a better service, we can offer solutions and we can inspire. 
Our mantra is ‘Shared Not Secret’ and we would encourage everyone here to start a conversation, to take some time to review and to challenge your own workflows. And if we can help along the way we ask you to get in touch and we will support you on this collective journey. 
Jo Coombes from AdGreen
Angus Light from Locate Productions
Roxy Erickson –
Jeremy Matthieu from the BBC
Purpose Disruptors –
Adgreen –
The AOP –
Emma Taylor –
Paris Climate Agreement –

Liam Bergin
Co-founder of Perma Collective