In terms of carbon emissions, the creative industries are, of course, comparative minnows. Creatives don’t (often) stand in fields all day churning out methane. We (mostly) couldn’t tell you the first thing about producing ferrous metals, and our idea of gas extraction is opening all the windows whenever I am in the studio.
That said, though, we do have our own responsibilities.
According to the World Resources Institute – which exists to balance industrial needs with environmental concerns – transport and powering commercial buildings amounts to around 21 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
I’m aware that a great deal of sanctimony floats around the internet on a daily basis when it comes to this subject. I’m hoping to avoid that. But we thought we’d outline a few ways in which we take responsibility. Perhaps you might find one or two of them helpful too.
In terms of transport, we’ve invested in lighter equipment, as well as bags which allow us to move heavy equipment around on trains more easily. Elinchrom’s Quadra lighting range is designed to be light as well as bright. They’re far easier to carry than most other photographic lights, and they perform to an excellent standard too.
Given that photographic lights are often the heaviest things to carry around on a location shoot, this makes public transport far easier to navigate. For journeys to neighbouring counties and London, we often travel by rail nowadays.
When a car is required, though, ours has a smaller engine than most. At 1.5 litres, it’s an economical as well as an environmentally friendlier choice.
That’s our transport taken care of. Now it’s time to look at the efforts we make in the studio.
Our office is, as far as possible, paperless. Almost all of our work remains in electronic format from start to finish, and we even try to encourage our clients to send invoices electronically wherever possible. It’s a system that works well – we use online calendars rather than a physical diary, and leave notes in electronic format when we can too. Once you get into it, the whole system works a treat.
Other things that we do include using environmentally friendly cleaning products around the studio – as far as possible – and saving courier packages up, reducing a bit of mileage on their part.
Obviously, our contributions are tiny. Every individual company’s contributions are. But that doesn’t mean they don’t count. And they do add up. It’s just a matter of being sensible.