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Making Production More Sustainable

Commercial video production can be a complex process that begins with strong strategy and achievable goals and ends with the creation of a fantastic marketing tool. Yet too often, the production process focuses so tightly on project scope and budget, script development and talent scouting that one other key component gets lost in the shuffle: sustainability. While production sustainability is not a new concept, it has gradually become a frontrunner in marketing and production agency strategy, and for good reason.

Why Do We Need Sustainability in Production?

Now more than ever, businesses need to consider the environmental impact of their products and services. At the recent COP26 world climate summit, a quinquennial gathering of delegates from nearly 200 countries, leaders from around the globe dove into the importance of making true sustainability changes. The World Meteorological Organization’s climate report compared this year’s global temperatures with previous years and determined that extreme weather events linked to climate change are intensifying. Furthermore, the planet is now at least 1.1°C hotter than the pre-industrial level and at the present rate, global temperatures are predicted to reach 1.5°C by 2040. The overwhelming consensus: we need less talk and more real action toward sustainable practices from every industry, commercial production included.

Developing sustainability goals in commercial video production not only helps improve the quality of life for the entire planet, protects ecosystems and preserves natural resources, but it can also drive production agencies to develop more creative methods of planning and executing content that connects with target audiences. Today’s consumers have high expectations of modern brands, and one of those expectations includes a desire to buy from brands that promote sustainable practices and are environmentally conscious when producing content or packaging products. So how can companies shift their production strategies toward sustainability to support both the earth’s resources and consumers’ needs?

How Can My Brand Move Toward Sustainability?

Commercial production teams can change their habits toward more environmentally sustainable production practices. Sustainable production simply means taking small actions during filming to minimize the three worst offenders of carbon emissions: energy, travel and waste. To help your internal production team move toward zero-waste, carbon neutral, sustainable and regenerative practices—and become an environmental leader within your industry—consider the following adjustments you might make to your production strategy:

  • Reduce energy use by switching to low-energy lighting on film sets, using solar panels on sound stages and trailers, moving to an all-electronic call sheet system, implementing on-set recycling opportunities and encouraging no single-use plastic bottles on set. You can also consider booking overnight stays for talent and crew members at sustainable hotels!
  • Minimize unnecessary travel (and carbon emissions and travel costs to boot) by partnering with local creators and production crews. This can reduce or eliminate the need to fly your entire team to every film location and offer the bonus of developing creative relationships with crews and creators around the globe. For necessary on-set travel, such as transportation of talent, consider renting hybrid or electric vehicles.
  • Reduce production and resource waste by coordinating with local charities to donate building and lighting sets, furniture, appliances, and costumes after filming wraps. You can also reduce food waste by donating leftover catering to local homeless shelters or community organizations.

(spark): A Sustainable Production Agency

As an agile production agency, (spark) can offer full-service strategy as well as function as a production boutique. We deliver specialized strategic solutions to ready-to-go content packages, all while maintaining our commitment to sustainability. (spark) cares deeply about the planet and creating a business that gives back to nature. We understand that if we do not take actionable steps to become a sustainable production agency, the problem will only worsen. That is why the (spark) production team is taking action to incorporate sustainable practices into our production processes. We are thrilled to be partnering with One Tree Planted and Green the Bid, two important organizations that make it simple to work toward offsetting carbon emissions and reversing the effects of climate change.

To offset carbon emissions, (spark) is committed to planting one tree for every client project in cooperation with One Tree Planted. One Tree Planted is a nonprofit dedicated to global reforestation and restoring biodiversity. The organization works with businesses that want to make an impact and help improve their sustainability initiatives. To create environmentally conscious production shoot frameworks for ourselves and our clients, (spark) is partnering with Green The Bid. Green The Bid offers training and education, including step-by-step tutorials, to help move on-set and post-production efforts toward sustainability.

Each member of our global industry has an opportunity and responsibility to move forward with sustainability as a common goal, and (spark) aims to empower our clients with video marketing services that promote sustainable action options. To learn more about how (spark) can develop affordable, sustainable, high-quality content for your brand, reach out to a team member today. We’re committed to advocating for the environment and elevating our clients’ sustainability goals.