At the start of pre-production CBBC’s drama series All at Sea signed up to albert+, the new tool that works alongside albert the carbon calculator. albert+ gives production teams ideas and suggestions to help them make their programmes in more environmentally sustainable ways.

In All at Sea’s case, it helped them right across the production process, but in particular:

Leadership

  • The team had clear leadership from the top – both Line Producer Jonathan Leather and Producer Juliet Charlesworth had hands-on involvement in establishing goals and making albert+ happen.
  • Environmental goals were set around a whole range of actions including recycling, catering, paper use, utilising green technology and environmentally friendly materials.
  • These goals were communicated with both cast & crew, and most importantly they were asked for feedback and ideas.
  • Suppliers were engaged in conversations about good sustainability practices to encourage supplier-led developments in sustainable production eg caterers, taxi firms, construction team, waste disposal contractors, lighting hire company.
  • albert was used to firstly predict, and then record the production’s actual carbon footprint.

Production Office

  • An “Opt-in Policy” was employed to reduce paper use. Essentially all cast and crew were asked to contact the production office if they wanted a hard copy of eg schedules, call-sheets, scripts, etc. Otherwise, email was used to convey this information. This had an immediate impact by reducing paper use by an estimated 60%. They also used 100% recycled paper.
  • Low energy use, due to limiting heating and air-conditioning, was further helped by the team proactively ensuring that lights, computers, copiers, etc. were turned off at the end of each day.

Studios & Stages

  • Lighting was switched off when not in use – and no air-conditioning was used.
  • FSC & PEFC Timber was used for constructing the set.
  • The catering contractor sourced local and seasonal produce, recycled waste and used biodegradable disposables and water-coolers instead of bottled water.
  • Paper, plastic, metals and sensitive data documents were recycled by an Environment Agency-registered firm.

Travel & Location

  • Car sharing was encouraged amongst the crew when shooting in Scarborough and many of the cast shared transport.
  • Reusable mugs were used by cast and crew. Caterers provided only biodegradable disposables; water-coolers used instead of water bottles.
  • It was estimated that the normal amount of waste generated on set and sent to landfill was cut by half by crew recycling waste and utilising re-usable mugs.
  • On-set generators switched off when not in use and unit base power use went local whenever possible. Rechargeable batteries exclusively used by the Sound department

Post-production

  • Cloud computing was used to share rushes
  • Recycled HDCAMSR Tapes were used and DVD copies were only burnt on request for deliverables

Finally, the All At Sea team have subsequently helped other CBBC and indie productions by advising them on best sustainable production practice.

Technical Info

  • Rechargeable battery use led to a projected financial saving, based on typical expenditure on a shoot of this length, of £700 saving (approx. £300 was spent on rechargeable batteries).
  • The costs of buying reusable mugs and using biodegradable disposables were outweighed by the drop in use of disposables due to reuse. Therefore this resulted in no cost to the production

Suppliers