Production company Odelay Films know a thing or two about creating content with award-winning commercials, branded content, music videos, film, and documentaries under their belt. Happily for us, the talented team is also as passionate about saving the planet as they are about creating beautiful content. Odelay Films Co-Founder Peter Lee Scott, gave us a run down of their seven key steps:
1. GOING VEGAN
Switching to vegan catering was one of the first changes we implemented as it was so easy to do. CO2 produced by livestock is more than the entire transport sector, so we felt that we were making an immediate difference by doing this. Although vegan catering can be divisive for some, we notify the crew a day or two before. We also feel asking people to go without meat or dairy for breakfast and lunch isn’t a big ask. Especially not when they can still get a delicious meal for both! (Side note - check out Tanami's going veggie experience here too!)
2. ZERO PLASTIC
Zero plastic isn’t always possible, but that’s the aim. Even some small changes make a huge impact. These changes could be using reusable mats instead of correx, providing British-made reusable water bottles on set (or asking crew to bring their own), and using steel water dispensers for all on-set to refill water bottles.
3. PAPERLESS PRODUCTIONS
Going paperless on shoot days was easy to implement but much harder to get used to. We now make sure all crew and agency are made aware that we won’t be printing documents and instead encourage using electronic devices to access what they need. We aid this by providing iPads with all of the shoot documents pre-loaded onto them.
4. LOW EMISSION TRANSPORT
We try to use Bolt Taxis for all of our transport needs. Odelay staff are also encouraged to do the same when booking cars for personal reasons. Of course, sometimes this isn’t possible. In those instances, we offset the use of petrol vehicles and public transport after every shoot.
5. CALCULATING THE CARBON
We’re now recording our operational carbon emissions through the carbon calculator provided by Climax Community. We’ve found tracking our 2019 and 2020 carbon emissions extremely useful in working out how to mitigate them in the years to come. We’re currently part of a small test group using albert's calculator for shoot-specific carbon footprints until the AdGreen carbon calculator is released in September.
Although our main aim is to stop carbon emissions at their source, we understand that this will not always be possible. For this reason, we offset any emissions by using the Carbon Aware Productions . Measuring our footprint as above means we know how much we need to offset. On one recent shoot, we needed to plant six trees for the unavoidable carbon emitted into the atmosphere as a result of the activities we undertook. (Side note - you can also offset via the Creative Offsets hub.)
7. IN THE OFFICE
At Odelay HQ, we wanted to make changes both in our office and on-set. We changed everyday items to ensure they were environmentally friendly. These products range from our coffee pods to bin bags to washing up liquid and even our loo roll. We keep a database of sustainable suppliers so that we know where to replenish our everyday items. This way, no one in the office has the excuse not to buy responsibly!
"We feel asking people to go without meat and dairy for breakfast and lunch isn’t a big ask. Especially not when they can still get a delicious meal for both!"
We mocked up a production on Odelay’s behalf to look at how the changes they implement would positively affect their overall carbon footprint. In this first pie chart on the left, we have assumed a shoot over 2 days with 40 people and no sustainability changes implemented. (i.e. catering that included beef options on the menu, disposable water bottles on set, paper scripts used and petrol cars hired). In the pie chart on the right, we used the same set up but took into account the changes Odelay are implementing across their shoots. (i.e. vegan catering, no water bottles on set, paperless and hybrid cars for transport).
As you can see it's already a vast improvement, going from half a tonne to less than a tenth! Another key area to consider is energy consumption - ask your studio/location if they’re on 100% renewable energy and if possible, move your production office supply over too.
To help you on your shoot, check out our resources section, with tips for production teams, agency staff and crew. If you're UK based and working directly in production or creative, you can also attend one of our training sessions. Our FAQ section covers various topics from waste reduction to offsetting. If you'd like to help inspire others by sharing your innovative sustainable production solutions, get in touch. Just 3 or 4 points and a few images is enough for us to put together a case study.