Posted on 13th June 2019

Learning from the best

Roughcut TV have been working with albert since its inception in 2011. Throughout 7 seasons of Trollied they have worked hard to implement sustainability measures into their everyday practices. As the series wraps for good, we talk to them about what they did.

After 7 series and over 70 episodes, this Christmas sees the cast of Sky comedy Trollied shutting their supermarkets doors for good following one final hour-long special.

Roughcut TV, the team behind the show have been supporting and advocating the use of albert ever since the production began in 2011. And since albert certification came into force, Trollied has been awarded albert accreditation for all subsequent series.

We couldn’t let the series end without a big pat on the back from the albert team and of course, a few insights into how they did it.

For Tim Sealey – Founder and Head of Production at Roughcut – making Trollied a sustainable production was a personal challenge that he wanted to undertake, even before Sky made albert calculation and certification mandatory for all their productions. And luckily, he found his crew receptive to the challenge too.

One of Tim’s key tips is to set the tone right at the start of production and have the MD send a message to the entire cast and crew laying out the intentions to make the production as sustainable as possible. Knowing that it is an important goal for the company right from the top makes it much easier to get everyone’s buy in.

There were also some obvious quick wins that the team put in place; an opt in for call sheets meant they saved about 80% of the paper they might’ve ordinarily used. Providing water bottles and water stations on set reduced their consumables bill and meant they didn’t have to provide single use water bottles or cups.

The Trollied set remained in place for the entire 7 series and was initially built with recycled fridges and shelves and out of date food stock (which was due to be thrown away). When it came to striking the set – as much as possible was recycled, the shelving given away and furniture went to local hospices.

Within the studio itself, one of the biggest cost and energy savings for the production was the use of fluorescent lighting which kept their energy bills much lower than they might otherwise have been. By series 4, they were able to reduce their lighting needs further saving a third more on their bill.

Further costs were saved by hiring local crew where possible. For the cast and crew who needed to travel, they were encouraged to take the train. For transportation in Bristol, hybrid cars were used. Convincing talent to share cars or use smaller hybrids could be a challenge but Roughcut negotiated a ‘non exclusive transport’ clause into contracts in order to nudge their cast in the right direction.

Being sustainable did occasionally mean spending more. For Tim and the team, they made the decision to ban polystyrene on set and chose a catering company who only used china or compostable plates and bowls. Although this meant a slightly higher catering bill for the budget, this was an area that the team felt it was worth investing in, to reduce the amount of rubbish created.

“Sustainability is a key goal for Roughcut and we were very proud to receive the 3 star albert certification for Trollied”, Tim concluded. “We have since used what we learned from that series and rolled it out to all our productions because sustainability also equals better efficiency, less waste and, most importantly, saves us money”

Trollied’s final episode aired  Christmas 2018 on Sky One.