“Producing for a Better Planet – Sustainability Practices in Ad Production”
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Jillian Gibbs (00:07):
Hello, everyone happy new year. I think it’s still okay to say that since we haven’t seen you yet. And it’s still January. Um, thank you for joining today. Um, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jillian Gibbs, founder, and CEO of APR advertising production resources. Um, and we help marketers to work efficiently and effectively with all of their creative and production partners in the event and digital and social and advertising production space. And I’m dialing in from sunny, Colorado in the USA. Uh, thanks again for joining us. Uh, these virtual town squares are at the intersection of marketers agencies and production partners, and we know it’s important to bring all sides together so that we can make a difference in a positive and productive way and to support each other in the evolution of the industry and in making changes. So to that end, sustainability is one of the most important considerations for creating necessary and lasting positive impact on the advertising industry that we can all get behind APR as a business is committed to supporting the industry efforts to improve the carbon impact of all marketing and advertising production and reduce activities to achieve real net zero by 2030.
Jillian Gibbs (01:34):
And there are three pillars of activity that, that we’ve invested in to support these, um, goals. The first is industry level participation. You’re very intentional about that, which you can see today, a financial commitment that we’re making to invest in some of the businesses that have developed to support these efforts and also education and client support education of our clients and their agencies to help make this happen. Uh, so without further ado, I’d like to get into the, the, um, the session and introduce Tracy Dunn, who along with Carol pock of APR, our APR sustainability knowledge leads. So in addition to their day jobs, they have a passion for making this topic a thing. And I really appreciate the work that you Tracy and Carol have put into this. Um, they’ll share with you today, some of the best practices, some of the thinking, and then leave you with at the end some key takeaways. So Tracy, if you can set the stage for the discussion and then Carol interact with our panelists to poke at some of the most important things to understand about sustainability and production. Um, and we’ll provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and, um, and to learn more too. So, um, let’s get into it, Tracy.
Traci Dunne (02:52):
Uh, thank you, Jillian. Um, I love every, everybody. Um, a student says, uh, my name’s Tracy Dunn. Um, I’m the, one of the, the two Sustainability knowledge leads here at APR. Um, and I work in the strategic side of our business. Um, at this point before I start to, uh, pass to the panelists to introduce themselves, I thought it was just worth us checking ourselves back in as to why it’s so important for us to be talking about sustainability. Uh, by now we’re all familiar with the definition of climate change, global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, which are causing large scale shifts in weather patterns across our planet. But I’m not sure that it’s as often that we take a moment to really understand what this means to us and our future generations. The reality is that global heating reached one Celsius in 2017 and a C exceeding a 1.5, um, uh, rise in temperature will result in a dramatic difference to our planet, rising sea levels, water scarcity, and lots of species and many more massive implications.
Traci Dunne (03:59):
Currently we’re expected to reach our 1.5 Celsius cap by 2040, which is obviously less than 20 years away. And without action, we’re expected to exceed four Celsius by the beginning of the 21st century, which would leave the majority of our planet uninhabitable, as it says here, keeping global warming below that 1.5 Celsius threshold is what is needed to give our planet the best chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change. Ultimately, it’s all of our responsibility to do what we can in our own corner of the world and in our industry to see what we can do to make any difference we can. So that’s why we’re here today. Next slide, please begin. Um, so before I pass over to the panelists, um, I, I just wanted to say how thrilled we are to be joined by some fantastic experts from the industry we’ve got here at green green, the bed and sky, uh, and for the introduce themselves, we felt it would probably be remiss of us not to outline our connection with some of these guys on the panel, as an organization, um, APR our founding members of add green along with sky, which is another founding member.
Traci Dunne (05:12):
We’re also advisory board members of when the bed, and as you saw, um, from, uh, Julianne taking you through our sustainability mission statement, we commit to education educating clients and agencies. So today is a great start. So without further ado, I’d like to now pass to our panelists to introduce themselves, starting with my cohost Carol, uh, over to you.
Carol Pock (05:36):
Thanks Tracy. Hi everyone. I’m Carol Park. I am a subject matter expert, uh, at APR in the motion industry or emotion division. And, uh, as Tracy has mentioned, I am a knowledge lead, uh, with sustainability with Tracy. And, uh, just recently I have joined the advisory board green, the bid, um, at this time it panelists, if you could please introduce yourselves and tell us about your organization and including how you compliment each other and how you might be different from each other, that would be great. So let’s start with Kat and thanks everyone. Now, for some reason I cannot start my video team. It says, can’t start my video. The host has stopped it all you see is my cartoon face.
Jillian Gibbs (06:26):
Okay. Let’s let’s do you want to go to Fiona? Uh, and then we’ll come back cat while you troubleshoot behind the scenes, maybe hang up and dial back in or Cathy, can you check on that please? This is a live show, things like this happen.
Fiona Ball (06:46):
No problem. Hi everybody. I’m Fiona ball. I’m the group director at the bigger picture at sky. So sky is I’m a media and entertainment business that is across Europe. We’re predominantly in the UK, Ireland, Germany, and Italy, just for a bit of background. Cause I know you’ve got loads of people from across the world, which is great to see the bigger picture at sky is effectively our social and environmental impact work. So my role, um, goes broader from climate change and the environment. It looks at, um, all of our responsible business standards and values that we have across our business. So it looks at the environment, but responsible sourcing in our supply chain and human rights issues, the accessibility of our products and services. And it also then focus once we have the kind of underlying principles in place. It looks at how we as a broadcaster can then engage our customers and other businesses around things that matter to us.
Fiona Ball (07:40):
And for us, that means the environment. So we run a number of environmental campaigns, including Scotia and rescue, which we’ll talk a little bit more about and sky zero, which is our commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030 across our whole value chain. Um, but also the way that we do with sky cares. So our scope has program engages, um, our employees and we work with 40 charity partners across, um, across Europe, um, you know, with volunteering and fundraising, um, for those charities, um, um, with our 33,000 kind of employees. And then we have the work that we do with young people. So young people are really important. Um, part of this, um, this process and they’re really important, um, um, section of the population that we need to engage, we need to engage on the environment, but we also need to support them with the skills and the knowledge, and also to give them a voice in the debate. So we have a number of different activities for young people, including our sky Academy studios, um, actual studios, so that some school children can come into in Milan. Um, um, and also our offices in Osterley and Livingston in Scotland where they can do a piece to camera. Um, they can research it, they can edit it and then they can take that and share it with their family and their friends. So thank you very much for Enjoying, um, uh, bringing me on to the panel. It’s great to be here.
Traci Dunne (09:00):
Welcome Fiona. So should we try again, Kat? Ha!
Kat Friis (09:03):
Sorry, technical difficulties. Um, hi, everyone. Very excited to be here today. Uh, I am Kat freeze. I’m one of the co-founders of green, the bid. Uh, I’m also a producer on the agency and brand side. Um, my day job, uh, green, the bid is a grassroots initiative and we are a community supporting the advertising industry and shifting to zero waste, carbon neutral, sustainable and regenerative practices. I’m so, so happy to be here with Tracy, Carol and Joe. These are super women who collaborate with us at green, the bid, uh, green, the bid is a fully volunteer coalition. We’re based in the U S uh, we were also led by our founding members and our stakeholders of the commercial community, uh, the brands, the agencies, the production companies, the post companies, the vendors, and all of our affiliates pledged to come together and support each other in this hugely important endeavor.
Kat Friis (09:56):
Um, uh, each year the global production commercial production community produces thousands of tons of carbon along with thousands of tons of ways if you’ve been on set, uh, which I’m sure if some of you have, you have seen this firsthand, uh, our in office practices also really leave a lot to be desired. Um, and this happens despite the fact that we already have the technology and the ability to make all productions, both net, carbon neutral, and zero waste. That’s why it’s an amazing to be here today to continue to build this network who cares about our impact and the future of our industry. Uh, historically as an industry also, we aren’t so great at sharing information. So as a community green, the bid aims to break down those silos by applying the B core practice of pre competitive problem solving, um, we try to harness the collective knowledge of our companies that have made inroads into the sustainability space.
Kat Friis (10:49):
Uh, and we feel like in being transparent when we stumble so that others won’t make the same mistakes, we find solutions together across all areas of production, um, working together, we feel like we find our greatest strength. So if you can imagine yourself, if you can imagine surrounding yourself with inspiring people in a creative think tank with the energy directed towards solving the climate crisis. That’s what I feel like being a big community has to offer problem solving together towards this industry change. That reminds me of my favorite African proverb, which is sticks in a bundle. That’s beautiful to you, Joe.
Jo Coombes (11:30):
Thanks, Tracy. And thanks to APR for having me on, um, another brilliant event. It’s so nice to be here and with these great people. Um, I think Kat, I couldn’t have said it better than you, uh, in terms of sort of what is it about and what we’re trying to achieve. So thanks for having me again. Um, so I’m the predict director of at green clean is just to differentiate from green a way based in the UK, Rather than the U S um, we, uh, advocate the zero waste zero carbon shoots and, and production as a whole. So right through the production process from production right through to post, we are enabling the advertising production community to measure their impacts and then work to reduce it. So we offer tools and resources to help them understand that footprint. And then essentially look at ways that we can reduce that. Um, it’s important to say that our measurement tool is not yet available. It will be out in September this year. Um, at that point we will be able to fully allow people to measure and then reduce. Um, so in between times we’ve got a program of training, we have a website with resources, um, and we’ll also have a certification scheme once the camp is out as well. Um, which will be a really sort of exciting step forward for us.
Jo Coombes (12:41):
Um, agri has been going for quite a long time. Um, I started it as a production manager back in 2014, and it was very much a grassroots organization, very similar to green the bid at that point. Um, and for a number of years after that, um, it’s been part of the advertising association here in the UK since September and through the generosity of our board of which APR and Squire members. And we’ve been able to get off the ground in terms of getting the training set up, doing the first steps towards the Catholic development. So that’s been really key and just taking it that step forward for us. Um, and we’re looking at longterm funding models at the moment, which we’ll announce more about in the coming months. So we, um, are looking to kind of obviously partner with great organizations in other territories, putting the bid as one, and we are working with them as much as we can to help accelerate progress wherever we’re able to. So it’s great to be in partnership, um, and helping green the bid as well as much as we can.
Traci Dunne (13:36):
Oh, and I believe that’s a bit of a, uh, a new piece of information. Isn’t it? So thank you for sharing that with us
Jo Coombes (13:42):
Ongoing, ongoing discussion, but yeah. Working towards, so yeah, it’s great to be on things together.
Traci Dunne (13:49):
Fantastic. That’s great. Thank you ever so much guys. Um, so, um, let’s get into it. Let’s start this panel debate. Um, uh, first of all, Joe, um, I wanted to start with you. Um, I think it’s important really that we try to level set the audience from a knowledge perspective. Um, and so I wondered if you wouldn’t mind taking a few moments to kind of explain the difference between kind of green practices, which is a term that we see bandied around quite a lot and carbon reduction specifically, or having a carbon reduction strategy. Cause they’re, they’re quite different things.
Jo Coombes (14:25):
Sure. So I think the, you know, historically in production, there’s been a lot of focus around waste. Um, so, you know, getting people to bring their own bottle, for example, having recycling on set and whilst those measures are really important and they’re very visible to everyone, there’s kind of a, almost, that’s the tip of the iceberg. There’s kind of a hidden, hidden massive life club underneath, um, and really in the work that we have done. Um, so here in the UK, there’s an organization called Albert, which works in a very similar way to agreeing, but in film and TV, and they’ve been established for a much longer period of time and have had a calculator for, for quite a while. Um, and from the data they’ve collected, we know that in terms of production, obviously we do very similar things. We have the same types of activities in appetizing that travel and energy, uh, much, much bigger issues. So although wakes is, you know, it’s an important thing to look at it, accounts and Albert for around 2% of a production footprint, um, with travel being about 40%. So obviously it depends on the kind of production you’re doing, the kind of ad you’re making, but really travel is the absolute worst thing that we need to kind of get a grip on. Um, so whether that’s sending less people to where you’re going, deciding to shoot more locally, deciding to shoot where you’re based. Um, and really what we’re finding is that with the training sessions that we’re doing, that kind of opening people’s eyes up to the bigger picture, um, and really thinking about, um, who’s responsible for these emissions in terms of whether they are sort of baked into the script, if you like. So does the script rely on being in a certain place being with a certain cast member, perhaps there isn’t based where you need to shoot, because obviously that just creates emissions that no production company can, can remove down the line.
Jo Coombes (16:11):
So it’s really about having that collaborative discussion early on when you’re presenting scripts, you know, do these have sort of baked in travel emissions. Um, and then the next thing down is energy. So how we power all of us spaces to our studios or offices or costing studios or post production houses, and really all of that can be mitigated by switching to renewable energy. Um, and Alba has a great scheme that is also open to anyone advertising called creative energy. So if you’re UK based, you can use that scheme to help you switch. Um, and that really takes out all of that carbon element of that area. Um, and then it really comes down to waste after that. So it’s really about understanding the bigger picture and what you can do about those two areas.
Jillian Gibbs (16:52):
Can I want to just punctuate that because, because of COVID and the pandemic and where we’re all grounded and we’re getting very accustomed to virtual video village and not traveling many people in the industry are hoping that things go back to normal, as everybody gets vaccinated and feel safer about travel traveling. Um, and this is a time for us to pause and really think about that. Like, can we do it differently because it does have a bigger impact on the planet. So I just wanted to highlight that as an opportunity
Traci Dunne (17:25):
Slightly. Yeah, yeah. Um, CA I don’t know, because it’s, it’s interesting because we’re talking with, we’re joined here today by people from all over the world. And so there’s going to be different perspectives from people and different starting points from different people sitting in different markets. So would you like to add to, to Joe’s Joe’s points then from a us perspective? Yeah, absolutely. I mean,
Kat Friis (17:50):
It is, it is interesting Jillian to follow up on what you said. We have not been traveling, so Ken, can we commit as a community to maybe not go all the way back to where we were, which was traveling everywhere every time, any place without, without any regard, uh, that would be ideal. So, um, I do think in the U S we’re not quite as advanced as you are in the UK. We don’t have, you know, a nationwide organization, um, uh, pushing for this, for this kind of change. But, um, uh, we do have the same key areas though the same. We need to reduce travel, um, finding alternate energy sources on set and in our offices, um, you know, reducing waste, even though it’s a small portion, I think every little bit counts, I think here also in the U S um, I mean, I think in the U S and abroad, uh, consumers increasingly want to see the brands, they support take a stand on all of these social impact issues.
Kat Friis (18:42):
Uh, and the environment is one of the, one of the biggest issues to, to everyone all over the world. So reducing your carbon footprint of your productions can really help your company achieve its overarching carbon reduction goal. I think many, many brands, uh, in the us and abroad have these large really organization wide commitments to reduce their carbon footprint. Uh, and I think, you know, most CMOs are very busy and they nest, they aren’t necessarily thinking about breaking down the larger organizational commitments into their tactical marketing initiatives. And I think that’s where, where their agency partners and their production partners, if, if, if companies are going direct to brand, um, they can really step in and bridge this gap. I believe that these, these companies can really hero their marketing executives, um, work directly with their day-to-day marketing clients to help educate, help align that marketing team with their larger company-wide goals for sustainability. Uh, especially if there’s a lot of production happening. I mean, things like that can make a pretty big impact on, on how we operate. Uh, and I really think that’s, that’s, uh, an inroads into, uh, getting, um, allowing these marketing companies and marketing agencies to ladder into their bigger agency wide corporate initiatives.
Traci Dunne (19:54):
I mean, that’s, that’s interesting as well, isn’t it, because I think that there can be a risk sometimes of corporate organizations, um, making commitments as an organizational C-suite level and that not perhaps trickling down into, uh, marketing into agency relationships into production, um, Fiona coming from the client side. Is that something that you’d like to pick up on? You know, you you’ve obviously really started your journey and are quite far far down now, uh, quite advanced towards sustainability. Was this something that you, you, you experienced at the outset, do you think?
Fiona Ball (20:29):
Um, I think, you know, from the outset we made, we made a commitment that, um, um, you know, re a really ambitious commitment. I mean, first of all, I think you have to make the commitment really ambitious in order for you to think very differently about how you’re going to achieve that target and really innovate. Because I think if we’re going to, um, you know, stay below one and a half degrees, that means that all businesses need to sign up science-based targets to at least half their absolute footprint in the next 10 years, you know, w you know, time is kind of limited, and that does take, um, a commitment that has to be set from the, from the top of the business. And then from that is really, really important. Yes. To get engagement across the business, have responsibility across the business for what, what they are going to deliver on what their roles and responsibilities are, you know, in order to get there, you know, for us, we, we have a commitment.
Fiona Ball (21:20):
Um, um, as part of, uh, we have a governance structure, we have a production working group as part of that, which is, which is led by, um, all led by exec sponsors, which is led by Gary Davies who are empty of content. And they then have set their own kind of targets around how they’re going to, um, you know, reach, um, targets and, um, what the milestones are on the pathway for them to be net zero. So for us, then we’ve, we’ve sack further commitments around having all carbon neutral productions, um, and net zero productions, not just for our content, um, but also for our sky sports, um, um, areas of the business and that’s going used as well. Um, and, um, and as, and as part of that, you know, um, how we, how are we going to get that? How are we going to achieve it?
Fiona Ball (22:06):
Um, understanding and awareness of what the issues are, is absolutely critical, whatever, um, you know, whatever location you are within the business. So what we’ve done is carbon, uh, literacy training for all of our production teams, whether they’re, um, content editors, you know, commissioning editors, um, so that everybody has a, um, an awareness of it. And also, you know, one of our key things is not only reducing our footprint, which we use Albert for, for all of those genres. Um, but it’s, it’s also ensuring that through the content, we are engaging our customers and our viewers as well. So even our reporters have gone through carbon literacy training so that they can understand how they can start to include, um, you know, how, how individuals, the importance of, of reducing your own footprint, um, can be within the content that they produce.
Traci Dunne (22:55):
Interesting carbon literacy training. I think that’s a brilliant term. Um, thank you. Thank you ever so much. Cool. Moving on to the next question, there’s often the perception that, uh, productions that are trying to be green are actually more expensive, but is that in fact really the reality? So, uh, Joe, if you can kick that question off, that would be great.
Jo Coombes (23:19):
I think it really depends how you approach your production. And, you know, as we all know has a hundred budget before, you know, you might make savings on one line and you might need to, you make to up the budget on another. I think it really depends how you’re shooting, what you’re shooting, what your intentions originally are. I mean, certainly if you send less people somewhere, if we’re talking about travel in a first instance, being the biggest problem, you know, sending less people traveling shorter distance, you’re
Jo Coombes (23:46):
Going to save money in terms of flights, per DMS hotels. Um, but you know, it really depends where you’re going. Maybe you were going somewhere because crew costs were cheaper, so that might make it, you know, have an impact there. So it really depends what you’re doing, I think. And, you know, if we talk about energy, it’s really about sort of, you know, using less energy in theory will cost you less money. You’ll be paying for less units at a studio where you’ll be paying for less, you know, liters of fuel or whatever. You’re going to feel, whatever you’re putting into your generators. So, you know, in this sort of energy world, it’s about having a conversation with your DP. If you’re at know production company level and sort of, you know, asking is this the lowest, you know, lifts we can, we can sort of, um, be hiring in terms of our power needs.
Jo Coombes (24:26):
You know, so it’s, it’s those sorts of questions. And certainly, you know, presumably, uh, or presuming that your waste provider or your waste transport provider charges by volume, then you know, the less waste you produce, the less we’re going to cost, it’s going to cost you to get rid of it as well. So I think just purely in kind of those terms, you can make savings. It just depends how you’re shooting as to whether there might be, you know, offsetting costs somewhere else. Um, and actually what I’ve said, offsetting, if you, you know, if you are looking to offset your emissions, and I think we’re going to come back to that in a little bit, but if you are looking to do that as a way to mitigate your footprint, and obviously it’s something that you should only do with unavoidable emissions. It’s something you should not really plan for in the first instance.
Jo Coombes (25:07):
But if you are doing that, that will see cost you some money. And if you aren’t engaging with any kind of consultancy to help you reduce the impact, then that’s also a cost that you will incur. So it really depends how you are going to approach it. Um, in, at Green’s case, all of our resources are free. And we also offer that carbon literacy training as well, that Fiona was talking about it free as well to those in the UK. So, um, you know, we’re trying to keep those resources free and available for everyone so that everyone has equal access to, to making the reductions that they can. So I think in short, there are definitely savings to be had, but it really depends how you’re intending to approach your shoot in the first place.
Carol Pock (25:44):
Right. Kat any, any further insights for the U S specific compared to the UK that you’re seeing?
Traci Dunne (25:51):
Yeah. I mean, I, I wholeheartedly agree with Joe. A lot of it is really just education on the outset and a mindset, right? If you, if you have your production plan, but you know that there’s an, there are alternate versions of your production plan. I think you can, you can really attack things and make sure that your costs are, are, you know, if you’re picking from Peter and giving DePaul that you’re not having some extra ordinarily large amount of money that you’re spending to make this production sustainable. Definitely, definitely the travel, um, the, the, the biggest thing. Um, I think this is also a really great question because, because honestly, you know, um, a lot of my time on the ground, um, in production myself, so in many of the things happening as part of a green production production plan, uh, are already in the budget.
Kat Friis (26:34):
So you already have waste removal, you already have water, water for crew. Um, you already have PA’s. So I think, um, you know, these things are already in your production line items, so it’s really just shifting the mindset, you know, eco PA’s are often doing things on a set. The PA would have had to done would have had to have done anyway with trash and hydration. Um, also providing water stations or reusable water bottles instead of plastic is actually cheaper than single use. Again, I know it’s sort of bottom of the ladder, but, you know, anyone’s been on set on a production and sees all the single use water bottles. It’s pretty heartbreaking. Um, uh, you know, a great alternative as aluminum. It’s a tiny bit more expensive, but, uh, 92% of all the plastic lenses in the ocean are landfills. So that’s a heartbreaking statistic.
Kat Friis (27:19):
Um, and 75 of 75% of all aluminum ever made is still in circulation. So, um, um, and honestly the minimal cost of having a sustainable production is usually offset by pretty immediate savings. You know, as Joe was saying, there’s less refuse to cart and dump. It’s going to save you tons of crew hours, your transportation costs and your disposable, your disposal fees are going to go down. Um, if every crew department enters the production with a waste mitigation mindset, then less materials and resources will be purchased to begin with. So, um, donations can also have really great tax benefits. Um, and we have some great pictures here of some really fun things. Um, okay. So the first thing you’ll see, this is a before, so this is a before and after from an old Navy shoot, uh, it was going to cost five K for the dumping fees alone on top of the union labor to break all of these, uh, tubes down.
Kat Friis (28:14):
And instead a truck and driver was rented for 500 bucks, donated them to a local school who turned them into beautiful, durable, fun slides. You can see those on the right and as a bonus, the production and the company received, uh, a donation receipt worth about 65 K. So that’s, you know, that’s an example, that’s, that’s really, you know, top of the heap on, on savings. Um, we have a couple more that are, that are also pretty fun. Um, uh, we turned these beach kiosks into a guard Jack for a local school and a display for a gardening company. And that was going to be about two grand appalling fees. And it turned into a $10,000 taxable donation. So there’s some savings for you. Um, and then, uh, the last one you’ll see is some, uh, rescued. It’s a, like a futuristic first-class plane lounge set, um, and that was headed to a dumpster, which is just the worst thing ever. And it was turned into seats in a local art gallery instead. So you’ll see, you can see the things that were going to go into landfill, um, turned into usable items, uh, and you can, you can often get a tax credit for it. So, so there can definitely definitely be savings, um, as well.
Carol Pock (29:24):
Great, fantastic examples that are really inspiring to see cats since sky’s been actually doing sustainability, uh, for a, a while. Now, do you have any further examples or, or data you’ve shown, Um, that have actually been more profitable to have a green set? Yeah.
Fiona Ball (29:47):
Yeah. I mean, I agree with, I agree with Kat on the, um, there’s many things that you can do, um, particularly around reusables are on airways way. You can make some significant kind of savings. I mean, from, from sky as a whole, um, across our whole business, um, we used to get through 3 million, um, you know, um, non reusable kind of drink containers in our cafes across the site, um, which was a huge cost to the business. And, and we, we gave away, um, water bottles were usable elementary and water bottles, and also were usable hot drinks containers to, to, um, encourage people to, um, to stop using it. And we just took away all of the single use plastic, and that actually paid back, you know, the costs from, from, um, distributing that payback in just three months. So actually there’s some really quick wins that you can, you can do to, um, you know, get some savings overall.
Fiona Ball (30:37):
I would say, um, on, on the environment in general, we’ve normally found that it nets out, you know, there might be some areas as Jay was saying that you will have to pay a little bit more, you know, for, um, but you’ll make significant savings. And I think the key to this really is before you light anything in the, in the development stage, in the, in the budgeting stage is, is do an assessment on the overall carbon footprint in terms of what you think the production is going to do, and look for areas that you can make those savings so that, you know, either travel or location or the energy use your diesel. Um, and then, you know, once the process is GreenLake, you’ll be able to kind of make those savings there and reduce your carbon footprint. The key to it is planning, I think,
Carol Pock (31:19):
And just having the mindset to be aware of it and, uh, think about it upset upfront from the very beginning. Yep. Definitely. Tracy, I’m going to turn it back to you.
Traci Dunne (31:30):
Okay. Thank you, Carol. Um, so moving on, uh, to, uh, something we’ve mentioned a couple of times already, um, on the panel debate so far today, which is a, an, an industry initiative called add net zero in the UK, which has an industry-wide drive, uh, to reduce the emissions from marketing and production to real net zero by 2030. Um, and so, um, I wanted to really just have a little bit of a conversation about that, um, with you guys and talk a little bit about what the potential challenges that people might face when they hear that bold ambition, um, and what kind of resources are out there for them to support them if they want to get started, um, probably best to start with you on that one, John.
Jo Coombes (32:21):
Sure. So I guess for those who don’t know, Avnet zero is a industry-wide strategy that came out of the advertising association in November last year. And it was kind of really born out of the fact they had put together some climate action groups within the AA sort of bringing together lots of people from different across the industry. Um, and out of that, um, out of those groups, they produced a report, the offense area report, which, um, essentially laid out a strategy to get to net zero by 2030, or laid out suggestions of what we should be looking at and monitoring. So it looks at monitoring five different areas. So your operational emissions, which essentially everything to do with running your business, that isn’t directly related to one of the other areas. So running your buildings for example, and how your staff get to work, um, production, which of course at green is here to support anyone looking to move emissions from production, North green, the bid, um, media planning and buying which account plate has being developed for as well, um, awards and events, and then finally, um, content and sort of looking at how we can change behavior and drive sustainable lifestyles through the work that we actually produce.
Jo Coombes (33:28):
So covering those five areas, um, four of them are measurable, I guess, in terms of straight carbon emissions in terms of what we’re doing, the behavior change is a little harder to measure, and it’s not quite measuring the same way, but, um, the tool, I’m sorry, not the tool. The strategy is ambitious, which as fairness, that is the only way to go. Um, and you know, it’s going to be a challenge. There’s, there’s no, you know, no beating around the Bush. And, and also there is a call for it to be real net zero, which for those who don’t know really means limiting or really not using, not using any offsetting at all. So, you know, that’s, if we think about what we do at the moment in terms of the activities associated with advertising, that’s not really possible. We don’t have, you know, we don’t have solar planes for example.
Jo Coombes (34:11):
So we’d have to all stop flying, which, Hey, that might happen. But I think it’s unlikely. I think you would agree. So, you know, it’s going to be a challenge and we’re really looking for technology and products and services to evolve with us as we move towards net zero by 2030. Um, but really the first step is measuring. So, uh, the people behind the strategy and the AA are working at the moment on how we actually map out all of those areas of those five areas and measure what we can at the moment. So we establish a baseline and then start to work out how we reduce down over the next eight, nine years to 2030. So for example, the act green carbon County to the out later this year, we’ll help you with the production side of things. There’s going to be a media account today to help you with the media side of things. So once we get those benchmarks, we will then be able to look how we can move forward and get to net zero by 2030 and real net zero wherever possible. Um, so yeah, so that’s kinda what we think about, but very ambitious, but you know, the only way to do it, I think,
Traci Dunne (35:09):
And companies can, can sign up, you know, organizations can sign up. Uh, the reason is punch now, isn’t it it’s that it gives us those 10 years. So there’s no need to panic. You know, you can sign up now, start digesting all of that information and guidance. That’s going to be coming out and make your, uh, you know, start to take some small steps on your journey. Um, yeah, thanks. Be nicely to you. Fair. And actually, um, on this one, because, uh, I thought you might have some tips to share with anybody that is a commencement of that journey.
Fiona Ball (35:39):
Yeah, sure. I mean, I would say I would, um, as Joe said that the first thing to commence on, on the journey as to is the measurement piece is to really understand, um, you know, before you make your, uh, um, net zero kind of target, what, what is your footprints? Um, you know, for sky, for example, um, production is actually quite a small part of our footprint where media and entertainment business that also has poor band, um, TV, telephony, um, and, and streaming. And, um, actually when we have a look at our footprint across our whole value chain, so that looks at our operations, our supply chain, and also the use of our products and customer homes. The biggest part of that, um, is the use of our products and customer homes. So the, the, the set-top boxes, the, um, you know, the wifi routers that enable people to watch TV is the biggest part of that footprint.
Fiona Ball (36:27):
Um, so that, so the key part, um, um, when you have a look at it, also our direct business operations is a really tiny part. It’s only about 4%. The biggest part is, is in, in, in our scope three. Now that won’t be the same for every business, but it’s really important that you do measure and you do that initial baseline. So you understand where the carbon hotspots are and where you’re, where you need to focus your kind of strategy on, um, the next, the next thing is really looking at what are the, what are the areas that will really influence your carbon? You know, whether that surrounds the energy that you use. I mean, we’re, we’re, you know, predominantly most of our 2 million tons of carbon that we produce each year across our value chain is from energy and energy use in some form, whether it’s through our customers or supply chain or in business.
Fiona Ball (37:12):
So that’s for us, a big focus area is how we can switch to more renewable energy. Um, and there’s commitments out there that people can join around Ari 100, for example, to do that. Um, and, um, and also have a look at, um, other areas. So travel, obviously either in production or for a business like ourselves is, is another area that, you know, we really need to work out how we transitioned to completely zero mission fleet, for example, and travel over the next 10 years. Um, so it’s really working through that. Then I would say once you’ve measured, that the biggest thing then is, is, is getting a whole business that is aware and understanding what your commitment is and what the challenge is. Um, and the COVID literacy training is brilliant for that. It really does. Um, get everybody up to speed. We do only have kind of 10 years to do this.
Fiona Ball (37:58):
So it’s not something that can be refined to a CSL sustainability team. It really does have to be embodied within the business. Um, and, and so to do with that also we’ve launched things called, um, on that zero champions. So they’re individual champions from around the business that are passionate about this, and there’s so many people that are passionate about this because when you look at the new influx of talent that are coming into businesses nowadays, they are the number one thing they are looking for is to work for a business that has sustainability at the heart of its values. Um, and these people are passionate. And so we’ve got zero champion networks that we use to really help, um, you know, um, spread the word and, and really, um, engaged across the business.
Jillian Gibbs (38:41):
Fiona is the, is the carbon literacy training required
Fiona Ball (38:45):
For everyone, um, in certain areas of the business that is so production it’s before the requirement for us to do. Um, but yeah, it depends on the area of the business.
Jillian Gibbs (38:55):
That’s great. I love the idea of the net zero champions.
Traci Dunne (38:59):
Hmm. Yeah, that’s a great idea. Moving on. Um, would you be able to each talk about any landmark events that are upcoming that, uh, definitely impact the level of, uh, carbon reduction that you’re seeing? So, um, maybe you can start, um, I actually think this is a better question for Joe to start first because the UK is so much more advanced than we are, and it’s very inspiring. So I’d love to bathe in her, in, in what the UK is doing
Jo Coombes (39:34):
You back in the Paris agreement now,
Kat Friis (39:39):
And we rejoined the Wnt Joe’s trickling back. Good.
Jo Coombes (39:43):
Just rejoining. What are those good things? Um, I mean, the, I guess the biggest, um, event coming up for us is cop 26, which will be in November, which was postponed from last year. Um, I’m actually in Edinburgh, in Scotland. So for me, it’s just a short train ride away in Glasgow. Um, but it provides quite a good, um, uh, backdrop for us to be able to sort of plans, comms and events around it. So for us, I think that’s definitely a focus later this year.
Traci Dunne (40:13):
Uh, actually speaking a cop 26. I mean, the, the one thing that, um, is pretty, um, we can be pretty secure in the knowledge that will happen after that cop 26 with, you know, the meeting of all of the global leaders glow, um, in one place to talk about sustainability is that there will be impending legislation, uh, and, you know, in, in, you know, massive targets for organizations coming out of the back of that because, you know, ultimately, uh, time is ticking and it’s going to be impossible for them to come out of that meeting without having to, uh, having made some commitments to set legislation, to, you know, inspire organizations and potentially find them if they don’t, um, adhere to this legislation. Um, I know Fiona that you guys I think are pretty involved in co-op. Is there anything you can share?
Fiona Ball (41:04):
Yeah, of course. I mean, we’re, we’re, it’s newly out and I’m, I’m beginning of this, um, this month, but we, um, we’re, we’re principled with a media principal partner for [inaudible] and so we’ll be working with them, um, uh, very closely in, in looking at what we can, what we can do to kind of, um, share what happens to cop, um, with, with participants, but also the wider public, um, both in a cop, um, event itself, but in the run up to it as well. I think it’s, uh, it is a very big moment. I mean, it’s, uh, you know, it’s 10 years after the Paris climate agreement and I think, um, you know, it’s, it’s w it’s the start of kind of the next critical kind of 10 years, um, ahead of us, I think, um, in terms of, um, UK commitments, I think that, well, the UK has signed up the government has signed up to be net zero carbon by 2050.
Fiona Ball (41:57):
I think it is. Um, whereas I think, you know, a lot of, a lot of businesses, um, and sectors can go much faster than that. There are sectors obviously that that will take time and are much more complex, but I think ones that are so innovative as, as, as media and production, I think can go much faster than that. And I think, um, as part in the run-up to cop, um, the government are having, um, um, uh, West for people to sign up to something called the race to zero, um, which are individual kind of commitments to be net zero carbon. Um, and, um, there’s a number of different organizations. I think Albert are having a look at being one of the partners to race to zero, um, so that, you know, individual production companies can sign up to that as well. Um, in that also there is, um, a small, um, there is a, um, a group that’s helping small and medium sized companies as well in what their net zero carbon, um, targets should be. So that’s probably something tablet account under race to zero.
Traci Dunne (42:58):
Um, and we’re going to follow up actually, um, uh, attendees, uh, with a bunch of links to all of the different industry initiatives that we’ve been talking about today. Um, so if you’re desperately trying to scribble down all these things, but are not, we’ll follow up and we’ll let you know. Um, so literally we’ve got one minute before, would you to be moving to Q and a, um, and so I just wanted to literally ask you guys to wrap up the panel with one key top tip that you would like to share, or you’d like to finish with, uh, before we start to take some questions, uh, I don’t know who would like to start anybody let’s to jump in first, go, and then Jake, Joe,
Jo Coombes (43:42):
Um, I guess I was thinking about what my top tip would be, and I think, I mean, given that travel is the biggest, I think really that’s the main one to focus on. And as we come out of COVID, you know, can you adopt the travel policy? You know, if you’re an agency, can you think about who really needs to attend? Is it always a max of three people isn’t always, you know, are you going to limit your long haul destinations for the year? Are you going to, you know, what, how can you make that personal commitment as a business to reducing your, your air travel in, you know, whenever we can start to fly again. Uh, so I think that would be my, my top tip for you. Yeah. Sorry. I was still than anyone else’s top tip.
Kat Friis (44:18):
I can say I’ve been in second. That one too. I think less is more so as an overall mindset, reduce, reduce, reduce, that’s a good start for pretty much everything. And I definitely like would, Joseph’s make a commitment to travel less for productions, definitely make a Commitment to travel less for meetings because we have all been able to meet online perfectly fine all year long. It’s going to be great if we keep doing it.
Jillian Gibbs (44:41):
And if I could build on that, I think it’s worth asking the marketing team and the agencies who are working on the productions in a virtual environment, virtual, how is virtual video village working for you and get people to start thinking about, you know, what it’s it’s okay. Or it doesn’t work always in these scenarios, but it does in these, you know, and, and differentiating between what does work and where it’s appropriate will help us get to traveling less. So having that,
Carol Pock (45:08):
We actually jump in a little bit on that at is something that I have been living for the last six to eight months. And actually it’s been working very, very well. And in fact, we have found that if everyone is remote, it actually works a little bit better than if you have a few people there on site, like the creative director and the brand director, um, that actually ends up being that the communication is basically only with them and, uh, the people who are on a zoom, uh, tend not the decisions that are being made, but when everyone is on, uh, you know, a remote platform and we have to take, and, and, uh, how we’ve been doing it is texting as well for different chains. So, um, uh, the brand can be talking to the account team and then production can be talking with the producer and all of that kind of thing. Uh, we have found that it’s worked very, very well. Right.
Jillian Gibbs (46:08):
I think it’s, I think that’s a really important, but people have different experiences. So being intentional about having that conversation is really going to get us to the next level, you know, after the pandemic is resolved.
Carol Pock (46:20):
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I’m fine.
Fiona Ball (46:25):
I think my top tip would be the mindset. I think, take this as an opportunity rather than something that you have to do. You know, this could be a real competitive advantage to people who are first movers. I mean, production companies and agencies are my supply chain. You know, they’re there, I am looking to, you know, to join with partners that, um, you know, that have got ambition in this area and will help us to reduce our own footprint. So I’d say, you know, take this as a, as a positive and opportunity, and also be ambitious, you know, don’t do something that, you know, you’re going to achieve, put some, you know, ambition and a target.
Traci Dunne (47:02):
Thank you. Thank you guys. Um, okay. Listen, I want to try and start taking some of the questions now that we’ve been receiving. Um, we’ve got one here from Rafa, uh, who would like for us to go into a little bit more detail about, um, it’s hot, next email production practices. So for instance, he saying he or she is saying on location, power generators, props waste, like the examples we were talking about, um, and is also, They are interested also in finding out whether Instituto versus on location productions have less footprint.
Kat Friis (47:39):
Yeah. I mean, I can take it and skin Carolyn can jump in and Fiona probably as well. Um, uh, I think on the, yeah, definitely. I think depending on where you are and depending on how long your shoot is, right. It’s either going to be economical to do a solar generator, um, or it’s not. So I think the longer your shoot is generally the, the more possibility it is to do a solar, solar generators. Um, some of your small shoots, you just won’t do it, unfortunately. Um, I think, uh, prop waste, um, Oh gosh, there are. So there are so many, I mean, you can donating all of your food to food banks. I think someone on the call, uh, it’s preparation, right? It’s knowing in advance. And I realized that a lot of productions happen at the speed of light, but the more you educate yourself and your team ahead of time, even when you’re not in production. So that’s the thing is, is educating yourself and your team and your marketing executives and your agency and your company when you’re not in production about these things allows you to have the knowledge you need when you’re in production to act fast and quick on your feet because you’re not learning anymore. So I think that that, that actually might, I’m gonna change my top tip is educate yourself when you’re not in production. I’ve been with the studio versus on location productions.
Carol Pock (48:56):
Um, I personally think that, uh, probably being in a studio is, uh, a little bit more sustainable than being out on location. I think you have more disposable items that you use out on location. Um, I don’t think that you have the resources built in for, uh, proper disposal of waste that a studio system would have and that kind of thing. So, um, people driving to distant locations adds to it and such where most of the studios are more centrally located. So I would think that would have a larger impact than a studio shoot. Yeah.
Jillian Gibbs (49:36):
And actually do an analysis of that because you can argue both things, right. It depends on how much you have to build on location, right. How much you have to add, because you’re in a park, there’s little to no waste, right. In terms of constructing something, versus if you’re on location in an interior and you’re, and you’re adding to the space. So I would say, I think we owe it to the industry to actually do an analysis of whether in studio or on location or what the parameters are that might influence the changes, right?
Kat Friis (50:06):
Yes, my, my, have you call it that thing stick in the ground? My data, I say, you know, if you’re shooting in a studio, there’s a potential for it to be powered by renewable energy, which then negates all of that. You know, anything you’re, you’re plugging into that space is essentially, you know, you, there is no carbon impact. So that’s really important as well, you
Jo Coombes (50:28):
Know, asking your studios, how are you powered, making sure they’re aware that it’s important to you as a customer, you know, you’re the customer at the studio you’re choosing where to shoot. So, you know, and if you’re in the luxurious position of having more than one studio, which in London is, there’s not so many, um, and there’s definitely a favorite, you know, but making them know that that’s important to you is really, you know, that’s like a great way to start as well.
Kat Friis (50:50):
Now your dollars on power, right. It’s across the board in purchasing, purchasing power with your dollars. Exactly what you said, Joe fair. And I didn’t know if you had anything to add in, on the practicalities there, or I can, if not, I can move on to the next question.
Fiona Ball (51:05):
No, I mean, I think everything’s said, I think in, in studio you have a bit more control over, you know, over what you do, what energy you use, you know, your waste, um, et cetera. So I think it makes it a little bit easier. Um, but, um, but you’re completely right, Joe, you have the opportunity to choose which studio you go to. And as part of asking that we’re building an [inaudible] studios in North London, you must ask your, you know, the studio, do you have, you know, renewable green energy? Do you have the facilities to, um, you know, recycle or, you know, um, water, water fountains, you know, and even your food, food waste is, is incredible. And actually, you know, food is quite a big contributor when you look at climate change as well, and carbon emissions in terms of disposables, um, from, from the cutthroat, but also the types of food that is served. So ask you yeah. Osteo studio, get them to do the work,
Traci Dunne (51:59):
Ask the question. Exactly, exactly. Um, so I mean, I guess we can’t get to the end of a panel debate in our current climate without mentioning COVID. Um, so, uh, this question here, um, which raises the point that there’s sort of conflicting perspectives about what impact COVID has had on sustainability with the increased PPE, et cetera, et cetera. Um, so, um, I’d like to throw that over to the panel as well, to, uh, for you guys to sort of share your perspectives on, on, on, you know, what, what kind of impacts do you think that, you know, um, COVID has had on sustainability in general taken into consideration all of the, all of the elements that it’s, uh, our new normal represents.
Fiona Ball (52:53):
I don’t mind, I don’t mind. I think from our perspective, we’ve learned a huge amount from remote, remote, um, production. Um, I think the teams have massively pivoted to be able to do a lot of things that before we would have gone on, on, you know, out and out and about on outside broadcast vehicles and all sorts of things. And we’ve learned a huge amount about that and that’s, uh, that’s reduced our carbon emissions significantly. I think there have been some, uh, really unfortunate, um, circumstances around things like PPE and the maps of single use plastic. Now, you know, we, we, you know, been campaigning since 2017 around single-use plastic and we will, we will, we’re really getting somewhere. And I think, unfortunately we’re taking a bit of a blip around, um, you know, the amount of single use plastics that, that is now available and, um, and, and how that’s disposed of properly.
Fiona Ball (53:40):
Um, but I think also just this general, um, has loads of lessons that we can take we’ve, you know, travel, I think has reduced the overall carbon footprint, I think is about eight, 8%. You know, we still got an awful long way to go. Um, so, you know, if we’re going to get a 50% reduction in the next 10 years. So I think the important thing is, is to learn the lessons that we’ve done, you know, take on and really embrace the hybrid working environment that we have done, you know, really looking at whether we need to go onto site, um, go into offices or, or location for filming and, um, yeah, and, and kind of take the lessons that we’ve learned that the positives, um, to move forward really
Traci Dunne (54:18):
Interesting, but interesting stats there. Thank you, Fiona. Uh, Joe, I think I agree with Videon and actually it was great to have that stat as well because I’ve kind of assumed that we kind of netted out in a good place, um, uh, you know, due to the sort of lack of travel, but it would use travel, but it’s good to get, to have a number to pin that on as well.
Jillian Gibbs (54:45):
I’d love to be able to look at the industry before COVID, uh, and the impact of, you know, making decisions to, to as cancer just travel everywhere. Just that’s what you do. You just go, you get it, you get there. And, um, and now that we’ve paused and we’ve, we’ve, we’re approaching it production very differently, live actions in particular, we have, you know, a year from now to look at how it’s changed. Assuming things have back to normal in terms of people are feeling comfortable that they’re able to travel and production volume is up. Um, what is it, what is it, what does it really look like? Like have we made a difference? Have we moved the needle from what, the way we behave before to now, because we have to make an impact on the planet. It’d be interesting to look at that too.
Kat Friis (55:30):
And I think, um, I can jump in here quickly. Uh, you know, like I said earlier, we, aren’t generally an industry that likes to share information with each other. We’re very competitive. Right. And I think that’s the key to what a lot of us are doing here. Is this the notion that we in this, we can’t be competitive. Right. So, so in order to track that, because that’s also one of the things that I am trying to figure out how to do is to track what it looked like before. COVID I know what it looks like during COVID, um, and then how we, how we advise people on what place they can get to after COVID, because data is very important to understand how much we were doing before, how it changed her mood, um, because it really can make a huge difference, uh, in how we act like the, you know, understanding what we did before. And I think we’d be horrified at ourselves quite frankly.
Jillian Gibbs (56:19):
Yeah. Well, let me think. We need to do this for everyone, you know, come together and find a way to measure this. Let’s help me crazy. Would you please share the key takeaways so we can sign off? Cause it was like we have three minutes left.
Traci Dunne (56:32):
Yes, exactly. So suddenly we’ve come to the end of that panel and the time is just shot past. It feels like we could be chatting about this all day. Um, so, uh, we’re just going to literally spend a couple of a couple of minutes, uh, taking, uh, you know, giving you some key takeaways from this discussion. Um, uh, first from my point of view, you know, I think I really, that last conversation was really key for me. You know, the fact that we’ve had to change our practices to accommodate this, this devastating pandemic that we’re living through. We shouldn’t actually, from a production perspective, we just waiting for it to be over so we can return to what was before when we to learn from it, we need to learn and adapt and, and, um, make sure that actually we’re not returning to what was before and where, where we’re actually creating a new version of what is going to be normal for us going forward.
Traci Dunne (57:23):
That is more sustainable. Um, so that was really key for me. Um, and secondly, I guess, you know, don’t be daunted by the task. You know, everyone is going to be starting at different points in their journey and that’s okay. As long as you’re starting, as long as you’re starting to educate your staff, you’re starting to think about how you’re going to measure. You’re starting to think about what your journey’s going to look like towards reducing your carbon emissions, then you’ve already started. So it’s, you know, don’t be daunting to start small and take baby steps. That was my key takeaways. I don’t know if he wants to share yours count.
Carol Pock (57:56):
Sure. Um, I have a few, a little bit more a us centric. Um, as we’re all seeing, we have to take action. Now we can’t wait any longer and we have to dive in and get going. And one of the things that I think I’ve seen out on production is it needs to be, you know, definitely starting with the client, but I think there needs to be a lot of education, um, with the crews on production and, uh, enlightening them, um, so that they are willing participants to help recycle and, uh, do what they can to, uh, uh, lower waste and emissions and such. And then I think that, um, we need to see this as just like the, uh, diversity and inclusion, uh, initiatives that are all going on. Sustainability also has to be seen that way. And, um, something that would constantly have to be talking about planning for and having that mindset, I think then we’ll finally start to see some change. So that’s it.
Jillian Gibbs (58:58):
Well, I’ll wrap it up. Um, thank you everyone for being here and for having a voice and, and for being intentional about the steps we can take and the steps you’ve taken to make a difference. Um, I really appreciate that you’ve taken the time today to share with the audience and we have some to do’s so that we can continue the dialogue and continue to help measure, um, so that we can measure the difference. Um, so, um, I’ll end with my favorite African proverb, which is sticks in a bundle or stronger. Let’s do this together. All right. Thank you everybody.
Thank you everyone. Thank you so much. Thank you everybody. Thanks guys.
COVID-19 Production Resources
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COVID-19 PRODUCTION RESOURCES
To stay ahead of COVID-19 restrictions, APR developed crucial resources – like a Shooting Location Tracker and Global Industry Reports – for Advertisers to use for free.
Ask a Production Expert
Our Subject Matter Experts are available to address any production concerns you may have. Simply click the button below to connect with an expert, today.
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