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Closing The Loop: Circular Economy Week 2023

At Futuretivity we help businesses develop models and strategies to improve resource use, reduce waste and increase impact. This week is edie’s Circular Economy Week 2023 and so we’re focusing on how production companies can tap into circular models and suppliers both on-set and in-office.

The Circular Economy is a $4.5tr opportunity for us to find more value in the energy, materials and resources we use in our daily lives. Reuse and recycling is part of the story, but actually the Circular Economy is a fundamental shift from a linear value chain - source, produce, use and dump – to a circular loop that ensures maximum use of resources and minimises unnecessary waste. The Circular Economy is based on sharing, leasing, repair and refurbishment, as well as reuse and recycling, in an (almost) closed loop that places high value on the products and resources we use.

Circular models offer opportunities for our creativity to improve the impact of our productions, on location and in offices. Here’s our top tips for bringing the Circular Economy into our work and onto our screens:

1. Rent and Reuse – Shifting towards a circular approach by renting production equipment, sets and costumes needn’t be a headache and could even earn extra revenue for your production company. Online platform Circular Arts Network (like Gumtree for creatives) shares everything you could need for a production (free and paid). And check out storage providers Cama - their nifty software tracks production assets, helping reuse, dispose and monetise props and costumes without waste.

2. Travelling Light – Transport is unavoidable on production, but it’s a big polluter. Do you send production staff and their kit on location? Or could you source locally to reduce cost and carbon, increasing your production legacy in the community? And when you have to move around try car sharing and EV vehicle hire like Green Tomato Cars (check Albert’s suppliers directory for more).

3. Conscious Consumption – Whether banning single-use plastics, mandating reusable water bottles and compostable packaging, or partnering post-houses with purpose, there is a growing cohort of industry suppliers helping productions consume better in-office and on-set. Sustainable caterers Doing Good Catering and creative studio Coffee & TV both incorporate environmental and social values across their operations.

4. Leave No Waste – However responsibly we plan and manage our productions, filming generates waste. Deploying a ‘Leave No Waste’ policy focuses everyone on landfill risk and options to recycle, repurpose and re-use everything on-set. Ensure locations are left pristine and local communities benefit - Sky’s Sustainable Production Guidelines includes a waste management checklist, whilst food heroes Fareshare and Olio get catering leftovers to those in need.

5. Circular Strategies – Applying circular models across your productions and business isn’t rock science, but you need a strategy to minimise waste and maximise impact. Futuretivity works with production companies to develop circular capabilities and creativity in sustainability on-screen and off - get in touch for strategies, support and connections to help your business thrive.

At Futuretivity, we work with creatives and production companies of all sizes and stages on the journey to climate positivity. Join us and those across the industry working towards a more sustainable, more impactful, more resilient future.

We will be hosting a Creative Sustainability event on 5th July for PACT members, bringing together commissioners, production companies and brands to explore and develop fresh approaches to sustainability on and off screen – save the date and stay tuned, registration details coming soon.


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