perma collective

Three Things . Google

Written by Camilla Sorensen
Perma Journal Google CFR1

“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: Phantom
Project: Google APAC Ads Tail+ / 2nd – 10th April 2022
Photographer: Francis Augusto

Full shoot production, 6 day shoot, 3 shoot locations, stills and moving image

Waste Management

There is a reason why we call ourselves a collective. Although (generally speaking) the star of each production is the Photographer, the show doesn’t come together without each and every department bringing their skills to the table. The big man Michael Jordan put it eloquently:

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships”

Bringing their skills and aligned net zero mission to the table are Gripvan, our preferred lighting supplier. The team understands the importance of making their systems more planet friendly and the support they offer to help us challenge the norm is what we admire.

On this production their offering was elevated by their collaboration with First Mile, allowing us to make waste management both green and easy. Bags were ordered ahead of the shoot, waste disposal was managed on-set by Perma. Gripvan then collected the waste with the rented EQ for First Mile to process within their facilities. 

With First Mile’s Zero-to-landfill policy, all waste that can be reused gets salvaged. Anything unable to be reused or recycled gets incinerated at their facility generating electricity that is put to powering homes. So nothing is wasted!

Being able to have the support to ensure our waste could be managed correctly at the point of disposal and the knowledge it could be both recycled or used to create new energy was definitely a winning method.

Electric Transport

Recent data taken from productions using the AdGreen calculator suggest that travel associated with location shoots has the biggest impact. On this production our intention was to use electric or zero emissions transport as much as possible to keep our footprint to a minimum. 

For small to medium packages it was easy for us to be green, using PedelMe; the best pedal power around. With the app it took seconds to book. Even last minute changes to bookings, to include larger items (in this case a fax machine) were no issue.

When the capacity of items became larger in scale, we turned to Zhero. A fellow 2020 start-up, working on a zero emissions goal and like ourselves, challenging logistical problems with the planet in mind. Booking in advance is a requirement, so planning ahead is expected, but with their friendly fuel-efficient fleets growing fast, they are becoming more and more accessible.

Although London’s growing sustainable infrastructure makes it easier to manage this task, the options outside of the city aren’t completely there yet. So once the choice to shoot in Guildford became a reality, this task definitely became more challenging. 

Our best alternative route was to ensure all petrol vehicles that were used were used to their full capacity. We arranged for all the wardrobe and props (required on this leg) to be dropped at our EQ supplier to travel, using Zhero. All crew were also asked to car pool and cast were requested to use public transport and taxi share. Our one saving grace was being able to transport the client + agency using Civilised’s new Mercedes EQV. 

Once back on the London leg we ensured all taxis were electric via Green Tomatoes and made the decision to challenge the lighting team to swap the bigger Grip Van for their smaller electric van to transport our EQ. 

We believe it’s important to question the behaviour to find the learnings. Not all changes have positive outcomes however, and this is also a part of the learning process. We try, we learn and we reflect. In this case, whilst we could transport all we needed in the E-Van, there was a question over efficiency with regards to loading and unloading without the larger van’s trolley system. Whilst the E-Van was great, we should use it wisely. The goal would be to have bigger E-Van’s with more capacity, offering both zero emissions and on set efficiencies. 

Overall the target for transport to be net-zero is still one to keep challenging. However, by seeking out the forward thinking folk we are successfully reducing our carbon with respect to travel.

Data Collection

Time spent at our desks and working on computers is another large contributor to our carbon footprint. With not everyone having control over who their energy provider is, it’s important for us to challenge the process to be able to empower the person. Less time spent processing carbon data means less energy used, and accurate data allows us to review and improve.

On this production we took our data collection efficiency up a notch by introducing JotForms to our workflow. We collect data from all elements of the shoot production looked after by Perma and use AdGreen’s carbon calculator to convert that into a carbon footprint. By working back from the calculator requirements, and creating a single, easy to use form that could tailor questions to each department, we allowed everyone to take ownership of their own footprint. This ensured our data was collected accurately coming directly from the source, and made processing the data at our end far more efficient. 

Jotforms’ user friendly framework allowed us to build a complex online form quickly with no understanding of coding required. The team and suppliers found the form to be self explanatory and were easily able to input their own data. The results are easily viewed for transferring to the calculator and digitising this element was a much more efficient way of collecting accurate data, which can now be reviewed to inform which areas we need to focus on to reduce the environmental impact of our shoots. 

Carbon saved

Opting for vegan and vegetarian catering options over beef based saved 3.06 tonnes of CO2e. That’s about the same footprint as the average UK home’s annual electricity and gas supply on a standard tariff.

Journeys made in electric or hybrid vehicles saved 60kg of tCO2e, which compares to emissions created by a one way flight from London to Dublin.

Carbon data collected and processed by Jessica Gage.

This report has been prepared for the exclusive use and benefit of the named client and solely for the purpose for which it is provided. Unless we provide express prior written consent, no part of this report should be reproduced, distributed or communicated to any third party. We do not accept any liability if this report is used for an alternative purpose from which it is intended, nor to any third party in respect of this report.