We believe we have a responsibility improve our environment and we are working hard to reduce the impact our industry has on it.
As a division of Vancouver Film Studios, we are following their example in making sustainability not only a core value within our business , but one of our top priorities. To that end, we have implemented multiple initiatives throughout all departments in our office and warehouse and are striving daily to become more environmentally and socially responsible.
This year, we officially became a Certified B Corporation™. As part of the B Corp certification process, we amended our legal governing documents requiring our Company to balance both profit and purpose. What this means is that we have put in place positive core practices beyond what is required by regulations, including an emphasis on the betterment of our environment.
How we do it
We're a B Corp!
Being a B Corp means being a part of a community working towards a stronger and healthier environment. All our environmental initiatives are measured in our tri-yearly B Impact Assessment. We are constantly working to improve our score, and in turn, our world. To learn more, check out our Certified B Corporation page or our take a look at our assessment on the Vancouver Film Studios directory page on the B Corp website.
Around the Shop & Office
Impact is achieved in both big and small steps. Everything we do has an impact on our environment, not to mention, the future of our planet. A few of our sustainable practices include:
-Working with Keep It Green to recycle responsibly and reduce the amount of garbage cans in both the warehouse and office.
-Two out of our three in-house forklifts are electric (the third one is propane, a low carbon, clean-burning energy source).
-No single use items in our kitchens. This means we have no water bottles, plastic cutlery, straws, etc. anywhere to be found!
-Only using 100% compostable coffee pods in our office.
-Requiring all employees to complete Carbon Literacy Training from CreativeBC.
Working with Others
We want to ensure you get the best rentals gear for your production and so we work with vendors all over the world to source inventory. However, safely shipping gear around the globe means lots of packaging, and often we are left with excess refuse that is not always recyclable. In an effort to reduce our negative environmental impact, we are working closely with our vendors to drastically reduce the amount of packaging when shipping our gear, especially plastic. We are pleased to report that Matthews Studio Equipment has already begun to send our grip and stand orders without any plastic packaging at all!
We now offer more choices of LEDs than traditional tungsten fixtures than ever before. (Did you know that LEDs are 80% more energy efficient than conventional bulbs!?) We are also packaging any expendables we can in environmentally friendly packaging, such as recyclable cardboard boxes, FSC certified recyclable and biodegradable glassine bags - all sealed with our Backlot branded Greenguard Certified stickers!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Our aim is to eliminate waste and lessen stress on our natural resources, and we encourage this circular economy within our community. Our recycling bins from Keep It Green handle just about any type of waste you can imagine and we have also implemented our own recycling processes:
-Damaged cable is cut to be repurposed into a shorter cable or stripped so we can reuse the heads and recycle the copper wiring inside.
-L&D fabrics either go into our fabric bin where we reuse them for patches, donate them to independent productions, or send them back to Best Film to be repurposed. All other remains are sent to Keep It Green for recycling.
-Our flags are repaired inhouse. Flags we can't repair ourselves get sent to Best Film to have the frames reused and refurbished with new fabric.
-Bins for used/extra gels are provided at the front of our warehouse. Any production can add or take from them as needed. Think of it as “Take a Penny, Leave a Penny”, but for gels!
-Whenever a 4x4 frame comes back skinned, the gel/filter is left on it so hopefully future productions can benefit from it. (Also, it can save your grips from having to spend hours reskinning frames.) It’s a win-win!
-We try and fix everything in house, no matter how small. If we can't do it ourselves, we send it out for repair or refurbishment. If we have gear that is no longer being rented, we donate it to theatres or school programs in need of equipment. It's rare for us to throw anything out!
What you can do as a production
Have we inspired you to try and make your sets greener? There are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. The following are just a few small ways you can help out:
- Hire craft services and catering services that use compostable containers, cutlery and plates. Encourage your cast and crew to bring their own reusable containers.
-Reduce or even ban plastic water bottles from set. (Set dec will also thank you for the reduction in empty bottles they have to clear from the set!)
-Rent LEDs instead of tungsten.
-Donate your props and set pieces to a reuse it centre like Keep it Green.
-Use recycling bins instead of garbage cans. Removing garbage cans will encourage (force) people to reduce their garbage.
-Encourage your production members to attend a Carbon Literacy Training session (its free!).
-Save and reuse or recycle old costumes or props/set pieces.
-Donate anything useful that you don't need to schools or microbudget productions.
-And...we might be a little biased on this one... RENT instead of buying!