Posted on 22nd July 2019

Joanne Auston: Senior Production Manager, ITV

I think about environmental issues and how I can play my part a lot, both at home and working as a production manager at ITV. This doesn’t stand me apart from the rest, I think most people are aware that we’re facing some big environmental issues and that we all need to take action.

Those who have environmental concerns front-of-mind will often go out of their way to do the green thing, but that isn’t the case for everyone. It can be time consuming to find greener ways of working and that puts some people off, but it seems more people are coming to realise that this is what is required of them. Whether it is changing transport habits, switching suppliers or reducing consumption; people understand what they need to do, it is just about putting it in to practice.

When looking to making environmental improvements at ITV, we were careful to ensure that changes were prioritised: We used Loose Women’s carbon footprint calculation to help us put together our environmental action plan, but before making any changes we were keen to make sure all the cast and crew understood why they were being made. This helped people understand why would no longer be proving water bottles and that they could expect changes in the way we distribute information. Working with the editor, we got great support for the planned changes which led to some concrete results, like reducing our paper consumption by 50%.

Savings we are able to make in the studio are dwarfed by the potential to getting our viewers on board with environmental issues. However live studio shows would never have items like a rubbish bin in shot, so strategically placing recycling bins on the set can’t work like it can in contemporary dramas. The presenters have spoken about their low-carbon travel options to get around and into the studio and the health benefits of sustainable transport. This provided an introduction to celebrate the savings the production had made too.

There are so many things that a production team can do to reduce its carbon footprint, but others can only be achieved working collaboration with other organisations. TLS have been incredibly supportive of our green ambitions and together we’ve decreased water consumption in the make-up rooms with new water heads and reduced the need for bottled water with plumbed and large bottled coolers around the studios. At Loose Women it feels like the carbon footprint is jointly owned by the whole team, this unified approach has been instrumental in bringing about our environmental achievements to date, and
I am sure it will stand us in good stead moving forward. But TV production is a competitive environment, with many of the ITV daytime shows taking up the eco-challenge, pitching them against each other in a race to be the greenest will be an interesting route to explore in the future.