In the lead up to the 2023 Ad Net Zero Awards, AdGreen will be sharing Q&As from the finalists of the Best Practice in Sustainable Ad Production category.

This time we are hearing from Makerhouse, who have been shortlisted for their work on ‘Little Journeys’ for Ford.

Get Set Hire van running on Green D+ to reduce advertising production carbon emissions

1. At what stage in the production process did environmental sustainability become part of the conversation?

Right from the get-go. We were already working with AdGreen when Ford briefed us for the company’s sustainability campaign “Park the Car” – designed to get people walking and riding over short distances. Ford is absolutely committed to sustainability and from the outset, was completely aligned with this being the perfect opportunity to walk the walk in terms of sustainable production.

2. Can you share any examples of decisions you made to reduce the carbon footprint of the production?

A shoot like “Little Journeys” would typically involve 30 people, a Winnebago as unit base, extensive wardrobe requirements, and transportation for the hero vehicle. That is where the savings started. We made extensive use of car-pooling and public transport. Furthermore, a crew member drove the hero vehicle to the set, locations became unit bases, and all catering was 100 per cent vegan. The production team encouraged the cast to use their own wardrobe wherever possible, rather than buy new clothes. The little girl in the film wore her own stripey tights, bringing a splash of colour to the footage.

3. Did you learn anything useful about sustainable production on this shoot, that you will carry forward to other campaigns?

Many of the changes we made have set the template for our approach to subsequent shoots. They are easily scalable to larger productions and are now an intrinsic part of the way that we operate. In practice, we found that one solution could lead to another. For example, using the talents’ own wardrobe both reduced costs and carbon footprint, and also saved time on pre-production by reducing the need to prep, source and fit clothes.

4. How did AdGreen’s training, calculator or resources support your reduction efforts?

WPP was a founding partner of AdGreen, and after first using the AdGreen Carbon Calculator in 2021, Makerhouse is now among only 12 recognised AdGreen creative agency super-users. The overall approach that we adopted for the “Little Journeys” short film was informed by those learnings. Some of the ideas we came up with ourselves, but we really relied upon the AdGreen Carbon Calculator as a fantastic resource for both identifying and quantifying further opportunities.

5. Did any of the decisions made to reduce the carbon emissions of your production affect the creative delivery of your ad?

Not at all! Necessity really is the mother of intention. And by involving Creative in the process from the very outset we found that the process worked seamlessly.

Find out more from each of the companies that worked on this production: