In the Philippines, the risk assessment was taken on as a challenge by the fixers and went to greater lengths than usual to reduce their impact while making it fun, for example sourcing local bamboo recycled cutlery. In Bhutan, sustainability is at the core of the culture. The country is one of the few carbon negative countries in the world. It has strong sustainability regulations, so the local team found it intuitive to reduce environmental impacts. Heather and Liane arrived on the holy month of Saga-Dawa, a month when eating meat is banned in Bhutan as a means to encourage vegetarianism, this made it very easy for the team to source vegetarian catering for the crew.
The Filipino crew found that the sustainability risk assessment embedded and inspired an awareness for the environment right from the beginning of shoots. This helped to streamline the sustainability process so much that they are sharing their risk assessments with other productions who have subsequently come to shoot in the Philippines.
In this case, the team was able to reduce their carbon footprint by bringing only essential crew and equipment. The team also learnt that working with local crews can bring many other benefits beyond the sustainability wins – a more editorially authentic programme, a boost to the local production economy and a way to showcase that local talent to a wider audience.