I have always been environmentally conscious and have taken action at home to reduce my footprint through recycling, opting for eco-friendly cleaning and beauty products, turning lights off when not in the room, and switching to a renewable energy supplier with a smart meter. However, it was from attending albert’s carbon literacy training and using the carbon calculator that I realised to what extent our industry can be wasteful, and the impact it has on our environment. As a result, I was motivated to implement changes to lower my footprint – both at home, as well as at work.
Planning for change allowed me to incorporate new habits into my lifestyle. I now opt first for local markets when buying produce and check labels at the supermarket, thinking twice before purchasing anything that requires air travel. My closet is proudly largely curated from local charity shops across London, and I have found great enjoyment from finding special pieces that are second-hand, and very often – even new!
When evaluating my role at work as Group Marketing Manager at Procam, a camera and crew hire facility, I understood that we had the opportunity to take further strides in our environmental sustainability efforts. We were already proud supporters of albert and purchased 100% renewable electricity through its Creative Energy partnership, but I wanted to do more. As a growing and forward-thinking company, we saw it as our responsibility to neutralise our impact on the environment by taking the necessary steps to minimise and offset our carbon footprint. In March 2018, with the support of my boss, Procam Group CEO, John Brennan, we were the first hire facility to achieve CarbonNeutral® company certification.
We worked with Natural Capital Partners to offset our footprint, in accordance with The Carbon Neutral Protocol, the global standard for carbon neutral programmes. This involved a rigorous and independent assessment of the CO2 produced from both direct and indirect emissions, coupled with an offset-inclusive emissions reduction program; a wind power project that reduces carbon emissions by supporting the generation of renewable energy. This project plays a key role in helping India meet its growing energy demands, while supporting the transition to a low carbon economy. The project consists of 242 turbines, each with a capacity of 800kW. Annually, the project delivers approximately 375,000 MWh of zero emissions renewable electricity to India’s national grid, reducing CO2 emissions by displacing electricity that would have otherwise been drawn primarily from fossil fuel power stations. This improves local air quality, while avoiding solid waste generation associated with coal-fired power plants.
Since this original assessment was conducted, from partnering with experts, such as albert, and collaborating with our employees, we have reduced our footprint by over 200 tonnes. Due to the nature of our business, we understand that we’re always going to have a carbon footprint, but we’ve made a multitude of changes to lower this.
This year, we instituted newly labelled recycling bins and banned plastic cups, which have been replaced with reusable, polycarbonate glasses. To encourage cycling to work, we offer the Cycle to Work scheme, which allows our employees to save 25%‐39% on a bike and accessories. We also implemented a new Group Environmental policy that properly reflects our business and industry, and encourages our team to do their part, both in the office and on set. This includes everything from limiting printing prior to a shoot and bringing a refillable water bottle on set, to saving any large gel cut-offs for reuse and bringing any damaged/blown lighting bulbs and used batteries back to the office to be recycled appropriately. Procam has made smart and worthwhile long-term investments, such as upgrading our vans from EU5 engines to EU6 models which offer a 10% reduction in fuel consumption, and as of December 2018, our entire delivery and crew vehicle fleet will be petrol, which produces significantly lower carbon and particulate emissions.
Currently, we are in the final stages of completely transforming our packaging to use minimal plastic packaging. In speaking with our passionate and environmentally vocal warehouse and crew, as well as clients, I understood that something needed to be done to replace our use of lay flat tubing. There is a massive use of plastic on set – and we don’t want to be a part of this problem. We conducted an audit on our packaging and after thorough research, identified eco-friendly packaging alternatives that won’t impede on efficiency, nor our clients’ experience on set. These solutions are going to completely transform how we deliver our kit, which I’m very proud and excited to integrate.
I understand that production sustainability is daunting at first, but fortunately, there is an ever-increasing presence of industry partners and organisations, like albert, that are advocates of awareness and change so that we can all work together to be part of the solution – the only way forward.