UK Film Industry Pioneers Sustainability Standard Developed by BSI

By Bsi Group, PRNE
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

LONDON, May 18, 2011 - The British film industry, in conjunction with BSI, is taking the lead in
the global entertainment market with the announcement at the Cannes Film
Festival of a new British Standard that will improve the industry's
environmental, social and economic impact. For example, in London alone,
screen production accounted for 125,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in 2009,
40% of which came from studios and 28% from TV and film production.

After seeing how the British Standard, BS 8901, has helped the events
sector address sustainability issues and save money ahead of the 2012 London
Olympic Games, the UK Film Council, whose funding responsibilities have now
transferred to the BFI, asked The British Standards Institution (BSI) to work
with it to develop a new industry standard for film.

The resulting standard, BS 8909, is a specification for 'sustainability
management' in the film industry from production through to cinema exhibition
and home entertainment that helps companies focus on how their activities
impact the environment, the communities they work in and their wider economic

Oscar winner Colin Firth, who is fully behind the new British Standard
said, "As one of the founding partners of Eco Age, I'm delighted that Eco Age
has project managed the trials of the new British Standard for sustainable
filmmaking. BS 8909 is an exciting step forward - it gives the film industry
a robust framework for managing our social and environmental impacts."

Eco Age, Firth's ethical retail organisation has played an integral role
in the launch of the standard, having run three of the pilot schemes and
offering support and guidance to the pioneering organisations who have
adopted the standard - including Ealing Studios, Dogwoof, and the BFI.

BS 8909 can be applied across the film supply chain from planning to
production, through to editing, distribution, screening and archiving. These
extend beyond 'going green' and into areas such as the way filmmakers
interact with communities where they film; for example, providing local
employment opportunities or sourcing local products.

BSI's Director of Standards Mike Low says: "The film industry has pockets
of excellence around sustainability issues, however, the new British Standard
BS 8909 provides a comprehensive framework for all parties involved in the
development and launching of films to adopt. It encourages companies to
address the environmental, social and economic impacts of their work - from
the initial concept for the film right through the process, even down to any
merchandising and advertising."

Complying with the new standard shows that processes and protocols are in
place so that a film company's environmental impact is minimised and its
social and wider economic benefits maximised. For example:

    - Environmental: by reducing carbon emissions produced by wasteful travel
      arrangements; such as improved route planning, selecting vehicles with
      lower CO2 ratings, ensuring that more people travel together or
      adopting a more sustainable means of transport
    - Social: by establishing clear guidelines for minimising the impact of
      the filming schedule on local communities; such as limiting hours of
      work, engaging early with communities about parking arrangements,
      noise,     and catering, or by ensuring that child cast members are
      chaperoned are able to cope with the demands of a busy working
      environment. The entire supply chain can be considered too, which
      means, for example, that companies that produce a film's associated
      merchandising will be able to adopt the standard too
    - Economic: by helping communities benefit from film activities: for
      example, by hiring local people and compensating them properly or
      sourcing local props, extras and catering.

The introduction of BS 8909 is expected to be just the start of a process
of assimilating sustainability management into film production. Whilst
companies may be undertaking many activities that comply with the standard -
such as recycling office supplies or running low-emitting vehicles, for
example - they will need to examine their whole range of activities to
achieve best practice. As the standard is adopted by the industry, the
British Standards Institution expects to develop a certification scheme that
could be offered through trade associations or supplier audits.

For further information on the standard please visit:


BSI partners on BS 8909:

The origins of BS 8909 began in 2010 when the UK Film Council asked BSI
to develop a standard specifically for film after noting the success of a
similar standard in the events management sector. Although the UK Film
Council has now been disbanded, BS 8909 has the support of the UK's leading
film organisations, including:

    - The BFI (British Film Institute)
    - Association of British Certification Bodies
    - Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph
    - Cinema Exhibitors Association
    - Film Export UK
    - Production Managers Association
    - UK Screen Association

About BSI Group:

BSI Group is a global independent business services organization that
develops standards-based solutions to improve management practices and
promote innovation. BSI can help businesses, governments and other
organizations around the world to raise quality and performance in a
sustainable and socially responsible way. From its origins as the world's
first National Standards Body, BSI Group draws upon over 100 years'
experience to work with 70,000 organizations in 150 countries from its 50
offices. To learn more, please visit

Media enquiries, Linda Tyrrell, Account Director of The Henley Group, +44(0)1-491-570-970, fax +44(0)1-491-575-327, linda at; or Other enquiries, Judy Wakelin, PR and Brand Executive of BSI, +44(0)7765-234466, judy.wakelin at

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