Maitee Leonie shares how Outsider developed a sustainability policy that detailed how each department could reduce their carbon footprint on an international shoot. 


  • Reduced the number of crew flying out to the production
  • Reused parts of a previous set to reduce materials emissions
  • Used the carbon calculator early on to instigate discussions about alternative approaches

Making production decisions

We were working with a tight budget and so in order to create a world that really felt and looked like Father Christmas’ home but is also cost-effective, we decided to film in Lithuania. With this in mind we reduced the number of crew flying out and prioritised local shooting crew. 

Having outlined a sustainability policy that detailed how each department could reduce their carbon footprint, we were able to ensure the materials purchased were as sustainable as possible. For example, the art department used paper-snow that could be recycled and construction used 100% FSC timber with 30% recycled from previous sets. 

Filming in a studio also enabled us to have more creative control of the project whilst eliminating the need for generators. Porcelain plates and metal cutlery were used and washed in the studio, paper cups and water fountains were provided in lieu of single-use plastic water bottles. The local Lithuanian crew overall were very encouraging and enthusiastic about recycling and sustainability.

The impact of the carbon calculator

Tayto Christmas was the first production that I worked on since joining Outsider as the Sustainability in Production Lead and as we were very close to the shoot when I started I was unable to make any preliminary decisions using the carbon calculator, although what it did highlight was the importance of using this tool during the bidding stage going forward. The carbon calculator is a useful baseline for understanding what our potential footprint is when exploring where we shoot as well as triggering early discussions on how we mitigate our carbon footprint once we have narrowed down a preferred  shoot location that ideally is the most sustainable.

Outsider are always aiming to improve our sustainable practices in all areas of production, and are in the process of creating project reports that enable us to measure, compare and create KPIs. 

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

Along with ensuring that we mitigate as much waste as possible, it is essential that we offset our carbon emissions and give back by helping fund nature-based and renewable projects. The AdGreen carbon calculator is a great tool that allows us to do so via Ecologi, where we support lots of amazing initiatives. 

Whilst being able to analyse and review the total emissions of our projects it’s important that we have the accredited data and ability to present these figures to our clients if requested, highlighting how integral sustainable practice is for Outsider.  On top of this we also have statutory requirements as part of a group to report our company wide and production/project based carbon footprint which we do so through Gardenia.

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

Involving the client

Both the client, Publicis Dublin, and service company in Lithuania,  Casa Noir were very proactive with sustainability initiatives. Publicis hired a sustainability consultant from Ecoscope, something that is not the norm, and  we would have regular meetings  to create a sustainability plan that would be enforced remotely. We also held meetings with Outsider’s producer and the local producer at Casa Noir, listing all the key areas that create the most emissions and outlining policies to be put in place to reduce this. For example, having a no landfill policy, no red meat on set etc.

Looking ahead

Beginning my time at Outsider  with this project, and coming into a complex equation of working closely with both a service company abroad and a sustainability consultant on behalf of the agency, I immediately learnt the standard to which Outsider has set itself with respect to sustainability and production, which is why I’m here!

Learning creative ways of communication effectively and remotely with crew; I created personalised forms for each department and a crew commuter form to gather external factors that impact the carbon footprint of a project, as well as gain important feedback.

I have learnt that not all studios are powered by 100% certified green energy, but there are other factors that also minimise emissions including hiring studios that use 100% LED lights, have water fountains available and provide kitchens for caterers to reduce the need for generators and catering trucks. 

Having buffet style catering for crew both encourages them to try vegetarian/vegan options they might not always consider (leading them to consider greener food options in their day to day), and  it also decreases the amount of full meat portions. 

The final footprint

Our overall carbon footprint for Tayto Christmas was 4.4048tCO2e.

Travel and transport was the biggest contributor to this with emissions totalling to 3.0019tCO2e. However,  by having minimal crew flying to Lithuania with the DOP, Producer and Main Talent flying Economy instead of 7 crew members flying business class we reduced our emissions from 5.083tCO2e to 2.817tCO2e on flights. 

Our next highest production usage was materials with an overall emission of 1.285tCO2e. We stipulated to our service company that we wanted a strict no red meat policy on set which they complied with and so chicken and vegetarian options were available. By doing this we reduced our carbon emissions from 0.79tCO2e to 0.23tCO2e.

We were able to capture lots of critical data for the materials sector, and despite it increasing the overall carbon footprint it enables us to report a more accurate estimation, plan for mitigation and offset accordingly. I was able to do so by sending specified forms to HoDs and liaising regularly with the service company Production Manager.

We will be offsetting our carbon footprint of 4.4048tCO2e through Ecologi, and doubling the AdGreen carbon calculator sum of £45.25 to £90 as a further commitment by Outsider to help nature-based and afforestation projects.

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

Find out more from the companies who worked on this production:

Production Company: 



If you want to reduce your impact, check out the carbon calculator to help you measure. You can also the AdGreen resources to help you reduce!