“The more actions we take – however small at the beginning – the more likely we are to engage in the bigger, necessary efforts”.
Inspired by the brilliant book, Three Things by Ana Santi and Company, we are highlighting three behavioural changes that helped us to reduce the impact of our recent shoot for Google.
Client: McCann Central
Project: Bosch 4000 Air & 6000 Air / 19th – 20th May 2022
Photographer: Ian Winstanley
Full shoot production, 2 day shoot, 1 shoot location, stills and moving image
Hands up if you have considered the footprint of the food you eat? The majority of the crews and clients rave about food. We’ve always known it to be a talking point amongst our teams. We are foodies, and when given the chance we all like to indulge (without much thought for the impact the meals we consume have on the environment), however, in recent years there have been calls to reduce our meat consumption and one of the thoughts around doing so is to reduce the associated carbon emissions.
At the first ‘Sustainability in Stills and Short Form’ event hosted by the AOP in 2020, it was noted that we should try to encourage more vegetarian or vegan options on our menus and as a direct result of those learnings, we decided to always engage with our catering teams and to offer a more sustained approach to our food on set.
Not only would we ask that our menu was mostly vegetarian/vegan, we also reduced the amount of choice we offer. Our approach is simple, first we collect our crew/client dietary requirements and then plan the food around this information, ensuring all preferences and allergies are considered. The intention, where possible, is to serve one dish that works for everyone thus reducing the prep time and associated waste.
Our menus work for the planet and our ethos was delivered in bucket loads of flavour with some wholesome, vegan food, prepped by local caterers Farrinheight Foods.
After a quick Google search of vegan catering around Market Harborough, we connected with Karry and Nathan. We asked if they could supply us with two ‘one pot’ vegan lunches for 29 persons per day. After several emails we settled on the menu and agreed to our approach to service. The food was prepped and delivered on day one and reheated by us as required on our portable induction hobs (powered by the location’s green energy).
The most sustainable approach is to use something you already own. We served our food in ‘reusable’ Wagamama takeaway bowls (kept from a previous location shoot a few years ago and now stored in our production kit) and our crews, client and agency were all encouraged to bring a keep cup and some cutlery which meant we cut down the need to use/ supply compostable disposables thus reducing our on set waste.
The process was a joy, connecting with like minded people. Talking about the process with our teams and simply fueling ourselves on amazing locally sourced soul food.
More and more we are seeing a switch from traditional fossil fuels to green renewables, however there is so much work to be done. We still need to encourage more homes and businesses to go green. As the consumer behaviour changes, so will the investment from the Government and the energy providers. Simple supply and demand.
Our approach is to always engage in a conversation and to encourage and support other businesses to challenge their processes. When we look for a studio or a location, one of our initial questions is around how the space is powered. We want to see all location spaces powered by green energy as an industry standard and we hope by asking this simple question, we might help evoke some positive change.
When it comes to our shoot locations, one easy change would be for all homes listed within the libraries, to be on renewable energy tariffs and/ or to have a search filter which allows you to select only green locations. Our location, hired through The Location Guys, was fueled by 100% renewables which meant that when it came to calculating our ‘filming spaces’, the associated emissions were negligible.
In the same vein as the above, when booking hotels we used the hotel group Premier Inn. Whitbread (owners of Premier Inn) have made a commitment to power all its hotels with 100% renewable energy, meaning the emissions from our ‘accommodation’ were also zero.
Both were really big wins when it came to reducing our shoot’s environmental impact.
Sustainability is now a talking point within our industry. Crews, agencies and clients are engaging in what it means to be green and how to operate within this new era of shoot production.
There was plenty to discuss and to share with those commissioning the project and when introducing a different way of working, it is important to communicate well and to help those involved, to feel invested in the journey.
In the early prep stages we talked through our workflows and LIVE production decks which offer our clients a ‘real time’ efficiency to the planning processes and we communicated our approach to styling, choosing to use models’ own or hired wardrobe as our preferred route.
We introduced the agency to The Styling Bank, which has been set up by stylist Alice Timms. Almost all our wardrobe was hired through TSB, which works inline with the circular economy business model.
On the PPM, Connor made a point to discuss our sustainable approaches with those attending the shoot. This was a brilliant opportunity to remind the teams that some processes might be different.
Finally, we also introduced a new crew member to our collective (which came from a conversation with Alice a few weeks before!). Poppy France is a hair and makeup artist, who has been in the industry for 15 years and is pushing clean, circular beauty. Poppy reached out to us and a connection was made. Poppy 100% aligns with our ethos. She was able to bring her skills and knowledge to set and style our talent with clean, organic, cruelty free, sustainable makeup.
Ask a question, share your learnings, inspire others and make the conversation around sustainability the ‘new normal’.
Choosing vegan crew catering on site prevented a large amount of carbon emissions. Compared with beef based meals, going vegan saved 365.5 kg of CO2e. Which equates to the emissions produced by flying 2500 km, or from New York City to LA.
Opting for a hotel powered by 100% certified green energy saved 199.5 kg of CO2e. That’s the equivalent carbon produced by driving a medium sized petrol car 835 km, or from Paris to Milan.
Carbon data collected and processed by Jessica Gage.