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Why Best Practices For Sustainable Production?

Why Best Practices for Sustainable Production?

A common claim is that it takes 21 days to form a habit. The reality is, it can take anywhere between 18 to 254. Although this tidbit has been debunked, there is a silver lining: change is possible — even if it takes longer than 21 days. When we first viewed the task of compiling a best-in-class list of Best Practices for Sustainable Production, a classic archetype revealed itself: we were David, and changing habits for the greener is definitely Goliath. But like all goals we set for ourselves, we take it step by step.

Best Practices for Sustainable Production aims to simplify the ambitious endeavour of greening everyday work activities. With every step taken, we are one step closer to reducing harmful emissions.

The first step to developing a comprehensive guide was understanding our impacts. These impacts refer to the day to day activities of production: everything that happens from pre-production to post-production and how they affect our surroundings. You can only imagine the flurry of activity that happens through all production stages. It’s a busy industry and generated a busy list of activities!

We simplified the list to 10 common operational areas that would help us identify YOU. The person who will rise to the occasion to make a change, enforce a green habit, and be a leader in the industry.

The resulting list of Best Practices for Sustainable Production encourages individuals to start — no matter where they are starting from. You can be working in a remote location, you can be trying “to be green” for the first time, or maybe you’re just trying to stay on budget and make a small change. No matter who you are, there is a starting point for everyone. If the goal you set doesn’t have a Best Practice associated with it, suggest it to SMPC. The list will grow.

The Best Practices for Sustainable Production allows you to not only choose where you start, but shows you other areas you have impact on, given your role within the industry. Paired with these practices are a list of vendors that may be able to support you achieving your green goals. Reducing emissions, waste and/or energy doesn’t have to be complicated. Best Practices for Sustainable Production, paired with the Green Vendor Directory, makes your goals manageable and supported.

After all, practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes progress!

10 Environmental Impact Areas:

Environmental Leadership: Sharing your green goals and stories with the public
Organizational Leadership: Communicating your green goals through the organization


Paper:  Reducing paper use and recycling paper efficiently (e.g. recyclable paper, sustainable ink, printer maintenance, paper only recycling)


Production: Broader opportunities to reduce emissions, resource consumption and waste reduction. (e.g. Reducing use of packaged items on set, Sourcing sustainable equipment, reducing energy on set, donate leftover items when possible)


Construction: Recycle materials, and use sustainable sourced products (i.e. stay away from Hazardous Materials) as well as sustainable practices to clean up areas


Vehicle: Optimizing fleet (Alternative fuels, freighting) and considering ways to get to work (i.e. active transportation)


Craft Services and Catering: Reduce food waste (use compost bins, use water bottles, eliminate single-use practices and single serving containers)


Power Supply and Storage:  A reference to Auxiliary power, this impact area addresses how to use generators efficiently, sourcing the correct generator for the job, searching for alterative energy and power storage


Studio Electricity: Reducing energy in buildings (eg. turn off the lights, talk to facility management about sensors)


Studio Gas: Reducing heating and cooling demand (eg. keep rooms insulated, upgrade heating)

Other Considerations for the Best Practices:

A department responsible for an environmental impact.

A specific professional within a given Department is responsible for an environmental impact.

Impact Area
The 10 environmental impact areas: Environmental Leadership, Organizational Leadership, Paper, Production, Construction, Vehicles, Craft Services and Catering, Power Supply & Storage, Studio Electricity, Studio Gas).

Action Area
The focus of the action to remedy an environmental impact area. There are four action areas: Leadership, Emissions, Consumption and Waste.

Action Item
The Action Item to address the environmental impact. Some of these actions appear in more than 1 impact area.

A ranking of Advanced, Medium and Easy to illustrate the level of difficulty when implementing a given environmental best practice

A summary of possible challenges an organization may face when implementing an environmental best practice

How the action improves the original environmental impact

The resource used to source the best practice action

Verified by
A subject-matter expert that has verified the validity of the given best practice action item.

Targets usually set in best practice

Cost Savings
A dollar amount (USD) in reference to the cost savings from a given action. This dollar amount must be labelled explicitly to describe the cost savings per square foot, per vehicle, per staff member, etc.


Interested in getting involved? Learn more and get in touch!

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