Kids tv leads BBC in 'going green'

Swashbuckle team

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CBeebies show Swashbuckle is one of a number of shows in the Children's department that will meet new environmental targets.

Every in-house Children's production will use the Albert carbon emissions calculator, while 20% of Children's output will comply with the albert+ process - a checklist of questions related to sustainability that needs to be followed by programme-makers.

One of the key objectives is also to reduce carbon emissions by 5% across all of Children's output by next year.

Nick Leslie, the BBC's sustainable production manager, says 'it's a big statement'. Although other BBC departments are starting to use albert+ on a programme-by-programme basis, he adds, Children's is the first to have 'gone out on a limb' and approved 'set-in-stone' targets.

The sets on every production must be reused, sold or recycled. It coincides with a move to biodegradable products used by any catering providers - so no more polystyrene cups or plastic disposable water bottles.

The Swashbuckle production team, for instance, stuck to limited travel and low-emission vehicles whenever possible, with energy management measures such as switching off studio lights.

As a result of meeting its green targets, the second series of the programme - which began on Saturday - was awarded an albert+ certification badge in the on-screen credits.

'Swashbuckle managed to achieve a reduction in their footprint, which is great,' says Leslie, 'but they also employed techniques which we would call 'best practice' - things like communicating [green ways of working] to all the crew, the cast, everyone involved in the production and seeing if they've got any ideas on how to improve.'

Swashbuckle follows in the footsteps of CBBC's All at Sea, the first show to be given an albert+ accreditation back in November. BBC One drama From There to Here was the first to bear the albert+ kitemark in the end credits.

A child walking across a ball pond on the Swashbuckle set

All Children's dramas will now follow albert+, as well as certain entertainment and live shows. 'It demonstrates that you can do sustainable production on all different types of genres,' Leslie says.

Bafta, which has been working closely with the BBC on sustainability, plans to expand the usage of albert+ throughout the world of production.

The aim is to have an industry-wide standard, with a kitemark in the end credits denoting an environmentally-friendly production.

Children's Presentation, meanwhile, have introduced a 'Green Week' initiative once a month, in which all props are reused, with scripts written around the existing set materials.

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