The Problem - The film industry has a significant impact for global emissions and resource use. There is much progress to be made here, especially in the way of water, waste, set design and construction, and transportation. According to Earth Angel, almost 1,000 movies and TV shows are made in the U.S. alone every year, with an estimated annual carbon footprint of 500 million metric tons of greenhouse gases. There is definitely potential in this industry to reduce impact; for example, Zeitguide reported that 755 tons of waste were diverted from landfills or reused while making The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - that’s the same as 3 Statues of Liberty.

Taking Action - There are some great things being done by the film industry - see the references below for some examples or JOIN US! (this link goes to a special rate for members interested in the chapter - good until 8/31)

  • Check out the Producer’s Guild of America’s Unified Green Best Practices Guide, a representation of best current practices for green production based on producers’ experience.
  • Take a look at the PGA’s Going Green and Saving Green, a guide dispelling the myth that going green on set costs more.
  • Use the Code of Best Practices in Sustainable Filmmaking, produced by American University’s Center for Social Media, Filmmakers for Conservation, and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking-- complete with a checklist.
  • The film industry is also doing great things to promote sustainability and more sustainable practice; for example, check out this cool video about The Natural Step framework.

Here’s a link to more film sustainability resources

Join Us! - ISSP members are gathering together to create a Sustainable Film/Entertainment Industry Chapter. There are many other great people, stories, and resources out there-- we hope to facilitate conversation about them and help to bring forth even more. We will be having a chapter organizing committee meeting this summer and will launch the chapter this fall with a webinar featuring a panel of industry experts.

Are you part of or do you know of a good sustainability story in the Film/Entertainment industry?  If so, drop us a line at We will be highlighting the best stories in a report prior to the first chapter meeting and will have a panel discussion based on those stories at the meeting.

Additionally, if you want to be a founding member of the chapter or want more information, send us an email at or contact Micheline Birkhead, the chair of the ISSP Sustainable Film/Entertainment Chapter.

If you already know that you want to be a member of ISSP and be part of a community of sustainability professionals in all industries around world working to make sustainability standard practices - Join us!  (this link goes to a special rate for members interested in the chapter - good until 8/31)