Environmental Sustainability in the film exhibition sector

Recommendations and resources to help develop environmentally sustainable work practices.

Across the film exhibition sector, organisations are working towards reducing the environmental impact of their work and making it more sustainable. Many organisations are sharing their knowledge and experience, and there are many organisations providing resources and tools for arts organisations to use and learn from.

The BFI is keen to recognise and build on the work already taking place in this area and to encourage those not yet integrating environmental considerations into their planning to do so. Below are the details of some key organisations and online resources and tools that might help you develop your own environmentally sustainable work practices.

The Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent organisation helping companies around the world reduce their carbon footprint. The website has a wealth of free tools, guides and reports covering every element of general business practice and infrastructure.

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts

The CSPA is a think tank for sustainability in the arts and culture. Its activities include the publication of reports, research initiatives, information distribution, the creation of online tools and conducting conferences and workshops on sustainable arts practices. As well as tools and resources, the website also has links to other organisations and initiatives with a focus on environmental sustainability in the arts and culture.

Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland seeks to connect the arts and culture with others working towards environmental sustainability. It does so by working with artists and individuals interested in how environmental sustainability connects with their own work, providing Scottish arts organisations with training in carbon measurement, reporting and reduction, and by helping to shape other organisations’ policies and strategies. CCS’s tools includes a free ‘Quick Carbon Management Calculator’.

Sustainable Event Management ISO 20121

ISO 20121 was inspired by London 2012 and provides information, training and certification in how to reduce the environmental impact of event delivery.

Julie’s Bicycle

Julie’s Bicycle is a charity that supports the creative community to act on climate change and environmental sustainability. It provides training, information and certification in environmental sustainability for arts organisations, and has lots of resources and tools including a free carbon calculator. The FAQs section provides a good introduction to climate change.

Carbon Literacy Project

The Carbon Literacy Project raises awareness of the impact of everyday activities on the climate and what steps can be taken to reduce emissions as an individual, community group or an organisation. The project certifies individual trainers and company training providers and organisations themselves (to run in-house training) in providing carbon literacy training.

Examples of best practice policies and strategies

There are many excellent examples of the work film organisations are doing to reduce their impact on the environment. Producing and publishing an organisational strategy is a great way of formalising your commitment and promoting sustainable practices. For inspiration, good examples include HOMETyneside CinemaCurzon and Depot.

10 tips for running a more sustainable cinema

  1. Commit to a renewable energy provider
  2. Regularly maintain your equipment and infrastructure (clean filters increase efficiency, reduce costs and use of fossil fuels)
  3. Engage an energy consultant who can measure all your equipment and make energy saving recommendations
  4. Appoint an in-house ambassador to help drive the green agenda
  5. Serve tap water instead of bottled
  6. Reusable containers for stock/deliveries (prioritise traders that do, or use your buying power to convince traders to adapt)
  7. Eradicate single use plastic wherever possible by using reusable, compostable or recyclable alternatives (incentivise customer refill options, eg 10% off drinks served in own cups, glass, industrial compostable single use cups)
  8. Separate waste types and recycle
  9. Use local suppliers and distributors
  10. Engage and inspire your customers with regular environmental themed screenings, promotions and campaigns

First published in the blog post ‘How to build and run a sustainable cinema,’ by Natasha Padbury and commissioned by the Independent Cinema Office as part of its exhibition industry blog series.

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