Sustainable Production

 

At BBC Sport the 2018 Winter Olympics set was designed for reuse for Commonwealth Games coverage.

Embedding environmental sustainability in our core business of programme-making is one of our priorities - from first draft to final transmission. We are continually exploring and implementing ways to lower the carbon emissions generated by our output, but crucially without affecting its quality. This means tackling practical, day-to-day challenges (such as reducing, re-using or recycling all our waste) and spreading sustainable values throughout the production supply chain. The BBC Sport set above is a great example: it was first seen on screen during the Winter Olympics in January 2018, but was designed with re-use in mind and used again for the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 and will be a permanent fixture in the BBC Sport Media City studio.

Our Sustainability team provides advice and guidance to production teams, and has developed practical guides to sustainable production and low energy lighting.

albert the carbon calculator

albert, which was developed at the BBC, is the UK television industry's carbon calculator.  By using albert at the start of the production process to predict the expected carbon footprint, a production team can highlight opportunities for improvement and take steps throughout to lower the actual carbon footprint - thereby reducing the impact on the environment.  The use of albert is mandatory for all commissioned BBC TV and Children's content . There is more information on the BBC Commissioning website.

In 2011 we shared albert through an industry partnership with BAFTA, where it is now available, free of charge.  It’s being used by more than 200 production companies and broadcasters in the UK television industry.

albert certification

We've now developed albert certification, a practical companion tool to albert. It gives production teams a structure to guide and focus their efforts towards reducing environmental impacts, with points awarded for positive actions. The process is then audited by BBC Business Assurance and high scoring teams are rewarded with an albert sustainable production certification mark of one, two or three stars.

Countryfile

Being firmly rooted in the British countryside, Countryfile regularly features environmental stories and the producers recognise the importance of greening their own operations, achieving albert sustainable production status for their 30th anniversary programme in July 2018. They’ve replaced their Land Rover Discovery crew car with a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, a 4x4 plug-in hybrid. They’ve saved energy by pre-editing rushes stored on back-up drives and sending selected footage to the BBC’s Factual Production Library which enables other productions to cut travel, carbon emissions and costs on future shows. To cut waste, Countryfile have stopped making DVD programme copies now sharing them electronically. They also use Countryfile branded aluminium water bottles and avoid disposable coffee cups by choosing reusable cups or flasks instead.

Inside No.9

Hit BBC Two comedy Inside No.9 brought green thinking into the production process early on when producers asked all departments to factor sustainability into their work. Teams on location cut CO2 emissions by using local mains power rather than diesel generators; cast and crew travelled in low-emission taxis; ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ principles were factored into the design of sets, props and costumes; and small consumables like reusable water bottles and rechargeable batteries were also used. Inside No.9 is a great example of a programme successfully weaving green practices into all aspects of production, showing that even on a comedy, sustainable production is no joke.