Sustainable production

Channel 4 is committed to achieving net zero carbon. This section outlines your responsibilities as a Producer, and some of the resources available to help you achieve carbon neutrality.

Channel 4 is committed to achieving net zero carbon. We require all productions to use the tools provided through albert to measure and report carbon footprints. As of 1st March 2022, it is mandatory that all productions also complete albert’s ‘Carbon Action Plan’ to achieve sustainable production certification. The process will ask you about your use of energy, materials, transport, and accommodation, as well as evidence of carbon reduction initiatives.

Please note both the calculator and carbon action plan must be started in pre-production to qualify for certification. Guidance on using the albert tools, including a ‘cheat sheet’ is available here:

Further training is also available through albert here:

Top tips:

  1. Start early – Get ahead by familiarising yourself with the platform and training materials. Draft your estimate carbon footprint in pre-production to get an idea of the data you’ll need to collect.
  2. Set goals – Using your draft footprint, work out which areas have opportunities to improve. There’s lots of inspiration for improvements with case studies and role specific ideas on albert’s website
  3. Tell everyone – communicate your goals with a green memo setting the expectations and asking for suggestions.  Get everyone involved (including cast and suppliers) to explore the opportunities that come with sustainable operations.

Areas to consider for a sustainable production:

  • Energy – gather meter readings for all filming and non-filming locations. Use low energy equipment and spaces, and look for accommodation with 100% renewable energy.   
  • Materials – reduce, reuse and recycle – in that order. Aim to remove single use materials where possible, prioritise vegetarian catering and source everything with sustainability in mind
  • Waste – Donate sets, props and costumes where feasible and recycle anything that’s left. Avoid landfill at all costs.
  • Travel – use low carbon transport like public transport and electric cars for crew, talent and equipment. Avoid unnecessary journeys and minimise plane journeys when alternatives are available

See albert’s Production Handbook and case studies for more inspiration

Sustainability onscreen

As a broadcaster we know we can inspire change through our content, raise awareness of the importance of climate change and promote behaviours that can have a positive impact on our planet.

Channel 4 have signed the Global Climate Pledge, committing to the following principles.

  1. We will reach more of our audiences with content that helps everyone understand and navigate the path to net zero, and inspires them to make greener choices.
  2. We will develop processes that help us to consider climate themes when we are commissioning, developing and producing content.
  3. We will ensure that our efforts are informed by the science.
  4. We will recognise the importance of fair and balanced representations of visions for a sustainable future.
  5. We will work together:
  • learning from and inspiring each other
  • sharing relevant industry and audience insights and developing relevant metrics
  • improving how we measure our impact.
  1. We will communicate regularly with our colleagues, partners, and audiences so that we can all play our part in meeting this shared challenge.

These overarching principles are the foundation of our commitment – in addition, we will develop and publish our own “company-specific commitment”. We’ll revisit this every year, to review progress against our plans and challenge ourselves and each other to do more.

We will work with production companies to achieve net zero together.

Sustainable Production Executive: Frankie Singler