James Dartnall, our CEO, gives insight into the mindset and best business practises that minimise negative impacts of production on the environment.
Large-scale productions with hundreds of crew members consuming endless amounts of coffee, impressive set builds that get thrown in the tip after filming a 30s spot, flights across the globe for those international projects, the daily consumables and data storage needed to edit our 6K masterpieces... the list goes on. As members of the production industry we have a lot to answer for, even if we are creating content that has the ability to inspire positive change in the world, we shouldn’t see this as some sort of offset or acceptable collateral.
As a Biology graduate and an active conservationist in my own time, it’s been important for me to steer my business to align with my personal desires to protect the natural world and reduce our human impact on it and “tread lightly” as I like to say. 2 years ago I decided to take steps to achieve this in a way that wouldn’t hurt our business or clients but move towards mitigating some of our negative impacts on our planet and hopefully gain new influential positioning within our community.
had great success with sharing our advocacy for these green protocols with the wider community.
Having switched to renewable energy, ethical key service providers and cut-back on single use plastics and carbon emissions we still needed to offset everything that’s left like transport, packaging and waste. We’re still in our infancy here but using a carbon calculator is where we started, and from there you can achieve carbon balance offsetting. It’s important to note at this juncture that offsetting in my view shouldn't be thought of as a source for forgiveness or a solution for making negative impact acceptable. For me and my team it’s a temporary method of contributing to undo any current areas of negative environmental impact. The real solution is to avoid any negative impact in the first place. Similar to recycling plastics won’t solve the huge plastic problem the world currently faces but minimising production and even making that a negative number is the only real solution for generations to come.
So, now we had to find a partner to help us with our offsetting and that’s why we established a commercial partnership with the World Land Trust. My personal hero Sir David Attenborough, lovingly referred to as “Uncle Dave” at Pink Banana, was quoted in 2012 saying that:
“The money that is given to the World Land Trust, in my estimation, has more effect on the wild world than almost anything I can think of. The World Land Trust is leading the way.”
By communicating our intentions to become a triple bottom line business to our clients and suppliers we’ve managed to commit 2% of all of our revenue to the WLT without it affecting profits. The 2% “Green Fund” charge is itemised clearly in our invoices as a ring-fenced commitment to offsetting and reducing our carbon footprint caused by our services as well as protecting biodiversity worldwide.
Finding ourselves 24 months on from the launch of this initiative we have collectively saved over 48 football pitches of otherwise threatened rainforest and hugely changed our production practices to be much more environmentally sustainable. We’ve seen an increase in client and supplier engagement in our brand activities and services and commercially we’re encouraging other businesses to start their own carbon calculating. Our donations will grow and the The Go Green Initiative will develop. For the present, it has made us accountable in a measured way that we simply hadn’t been 24 months ago and I’m excited to see how we evolve as a company and grow our commitment to our planet into the future.
To keep up to speed with our Go Green Initiatives or to learn more join our monthly newsletter “The Peel” where we share facts about our take on the production and creative communities. If you want advice on starting your own Go Green Initiative please contact me directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org