Green Filmmaking Practices

Filmmakers and production companies are not exempt from the climate crisis. The triple bottom line helps achieve that. But what does that look like in practice? Can only large companies afford to be carbon neutral? And what does carbon neutral even mean? 

How can social and environmental practices be measured? 

Carbon neutral means reducing the carbon footprint of your project to a minimum. But the reality is that the vast majority of production are not carbon neutral. They reduce their carbon footprint, but are still far from being carbon neutral. As long as so many companies are not carbon neutral the goal must be for companies that afford it to become carbon positive. Carbon positive means your production contributes to offset the carbon footprint of other companies that cannot afford it or just won’t do it. 

There are a growing number of organisations that offer advice on how to calculate your carbon foot print. Below you find a websites that offer tips and tricks in English. 

Green Film is an initiative that will certify your production as carbon neutral if you meet their criteria. But even if you do not get certification, you can download and use their toolkit to minimise the carbon footprint of your short film and social media project.

Albert is a UK initiative that offers free real-world and online training.

Green Filmmaking is a Dutch initiative offering practical advise and tips and a toolkit for download.

Green Filmshooting is a German initiative offering advice and certification.

Climate Neutral offers advice to brands and business and helps you calculate your carbon footprint.

The Production Guide is a US initiative with free advice, a toolkit for download.

The Green Media Production Network is an initiative by Hunter Vaughan. The goal is to bridge ‘perspectives from film and media scholarship, environmental studies, social sciences, and political economy, the GLOBAL GREEN MEDIA NETWORK facilitates collaborations between industry, academia, and policymakers for rethinking a sustainable future for screen culture’.

The production guide is closely associated with the Producers Guild of America. They host events on reducing the industries carbon foot print. In this video viewers discuss climate and film production with actors and environmental activists Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), Lee Rodriguez (Never Have I Ever) and Colby Minifie (The Boys).