It's not all about what happens when we're shooting, we spend a large part of the time in pre-production and our energy use in the office has a sizeable effect on our industry's carbon footprint. Here are some tips to help minimise that effect, and to help you communicate what you're doing to freelance staff who're just passing through.



Try these on for size - a lot of these measures will save you money. If we've missed anything, let us know!


 How green would you like your office to be? Write an office environmental policy, display it prominently, email it to all staff - you could use the memo below as a starting point
 Send your policy to any freelancers in the form of a memo (see below) along with details of your car accounts, wifi passwords etc before they start with you
 Assign an environmental officer, just like you would a fire marshall, to keep things up to date and people informed
 Use any sales meetings, as well as bidding process and PPM meetings to let the agency and client know how you operate - many are very receptive to acting this way and are already doing so themselves
 Review your policy regularly and make sure you are up to date with compliance surrounding waste, recycling, hazardous materials etc See our FAQs for more on this
 Consider adding your policy to any employment contracts
 Consider sending a memo to any regular suppliers (studios, caterers, location managers etc) on how you would like your shoot conducted, in line with your environmental policy - you could use the questions for studios/caterers and the advice for crew to form the basis of these memos
 Keep up to date with new technologies and sustainable products that will help you reduce your impact both in the office and on set, and likely save you money too - see our Low Energy Lighting Guide for example
 Encourage staff to come forward with ideas they may have to improve things
 Train your cleaners so that they are aware of your recycling schemes and energy efficiency measures
 Use your social media to shout about your green successes and help inspire others - going green makes for great PR!


 Set up eco printing as standard on any machines: double-sided, black and white, and adjust margins on any regularly printed docs to get more on a page
 Switch to digital processes for things like ordering petty cash, logging invoices and per diem forms
 Make it a rule not to have printed PPM books for your teams - instead ask for the final digital copy and annotate via apps like Notability and iAnnotate
 Make it a rule to not print call sheets on your shoots, instead print a couple of A3 versions and stick up in prominent positions
 Save scrap paper for sticking down petty cash receipts
 Recycle any used cartridges and toner. Usually they can be sent back to the company they were purchased from. If you have smaller domestic style cartridges, find out how to recycle them here.

See Go Paperless for more hints and tips


 Renewable office electricity tariff - if you're looking to switch check out Creative Energy
 Make sure the last person turns off all lights, computers, printers - and knows where the switches are!
 Replace any old style bulbs with energy-efficient ones
 Controllable air con and heating (some old buildings have this set based on the seasons)
 Lighting on sensors


 Remove individual bins by desks - these are rarely separated for recyclables by cleaning staff and increase plastic bag use (as they are changed every day in most cases)
 Clearly labelled recycling bins in prominent places to help everyone understand what goes where - it's your legal requirement to use the waste hierarchy, see here for more info
 Recycle old batteries, light bulbs, printer cartridges, Nespresso pods, even hard drives - see the links on Rehome Your Leftovers
 Clear out any old props, costumes and go through our rehoming guide to see if anything can be put to better use, or recycled


 Skype for foreign meetings rather than flying people in/out for short trips
 Trains considered before planes
 Bikes considered before cars for couriers
 Check your car account - do they do hybrid or electric cars? Addison Lee now offer 'Addison Lee Eco' but you must formally add this to your account and then select/request the hybrid car, the option isn't there as standard
 Give visiting directors and crew Oyster cards instead of organising cabs - they'll get a better feel for the city and feel like a local!


 A full set of our signs - laminated if possible meaning you can keep reusing them. These cover recycling and waste, collecting items for reuse, and encouraging bottle and cup use on set
 Black Bags & Clear Bags, clips for signs (croc clips are great)
 Blu Tack and/or double-sided tape for sticking up A3 copies to tables, drapes etc
 Canvas and/or reusable bags for runs


 Organise a plumbed in cooler rather than freestanding or bottled water, or encourage use of tap water
 Supply real cutlery to staff for lunches - and encourage them not to pick up disposables when buying lunch


 FSC certified toilet paper
 FSC certified printer paper
 Natural and chemical free cleaning products


Here is an example memo, feel free to amend this to suit your office.

Welcome to our office! We’re working with AdGreen and trying to operate more sustainably so we just wanted to let you know about the green measures we’ve taken. You can find more info at their website:

You can recycle the following in our office, please pay attention to the signs at the bins:
Paper, card, plastic bottles, glass and cans. Please put any recyclables and food waste in the these bins - we don't have bins under the desks as they discourage recycling

We work on a digital job file basis, and also organise our invoicing electronically. We do not use a PO system. You’ll need to annotate invoices in Preview or similar. You can upload your signature too, and sign them off that way.

You can also use this method to annotate other docs like recce floor plans, storyboards and PPM books. We only print a few A3 call sheets, and don't print PPM books in a bid to save paper and ink. We keep scrap paper by the printer for scribbles and receipts. You’ll need to get set up on our printer with the following defaults: draft mode, double-sided and black & white.

We don’t offer bottled water, but we have a filter. Our kitchen is stocked with cutlery and actual bowls and plates, so no need to get those rubbish plastic forks at lunch either.

Please consider using trains instead of planes where possible, and giving visiting crew and directors Oyster cards instead of organising cabs. If your director is abroad, consider offering up a Skype video conference for the PPM or other meetings, instead of flying someone in for the day. If you do need to book a cab, we use Addison Lee and request hybrids (they have a new Add Lee Eco sector).

Please turn off your computer and any lights near you when you leave. If you’re the last one out (lucky you!) please turn off all remaining lights, and the printer. Leave the heating/air con – it’s all on timers.

We don’t like plastic bags in the office, so please use one of our snazzy canvas ones, or a bag for life – see the office manager who is responsible for all of the above.

Lastly, we run our shoots in line with AdGreen's checklist which you can find here:  This means cutting down on call sheet printing, providing water coolers, rehoming leftover food, props and costume, and engaging all client, agency, cast, crew and heads of department on the issue.