Posted on 13th June 2019

Mamma Mia! Using bio fuels to heat your production

Find out how to reduce your footprint by using greener fuel in heaters

Heating film sets and marquees is one of the sources of carbon emissions for film and TV productions. Lack of insulation means heat is continuously pumped into a large space requiring a fair amount of energy. Similarly, heating a studio often requires a dedicated generator running on diesel fuel. Through creative methods of reducing its environmental impact, the production team behind Universal Pictures’ Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! was committed to reversing an unhealthy trend.

Although many scenes were shot on location in sunny Croatia, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! faced heating challenges when filming in the cool British climate. Heaters were needed throughout various locations and workspaces for the cast and crew, including in the catering marquee. Additionally, they were needed to keep the crowd warm during a sequence filmed at New College, Oxford, and used to warm stages at Shepperton Studios.

In an effort to reduce the carbon emissions portable heaters usually produce, Universal used a company called OnBio to power the heaters with 100% biodiesel. Replacing diesel fuel, the heaters ran on biodiesel made from used cooking oil. Using alternative fuels reduced the production’s carbon footprint by an inspiring 49 metric tonnes.

In other efforts to reduce their environmental impact, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! implemented a waste-diversion program that included recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy, resulting in zero waste ending up in landfills.

The production found opportunities to give back to the local communities in London and Croatia. In London, the production donated clothing, shoes, and household items from set to Cancer Research, Changing Pathways, and Help Refugees. Excess catering was donated to the local non-profit City Harvest, who in turn served it to Londoners in need. In Croatia, the production used proceeds from recycling to purchase toys for local schools.