Ethical Performance
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BBC trailblazes towards sustainable production

June 2013

The aim to get the ethos of sustainability embedded into the production of all TV programmes is behind the launch of Albert +, a new sustainability tool from the BBC.

Nick Leslie, who runs the initiative at the British broadcaster, told Ethical Performance that the BBC has been piloting the tool over the last few months.

Programmes trialling the tool include ‘Springwatch’, ‘Jonathan Creek’ and the recent documentary, ‘Goodbye Television Centre’. So ‘Springwatch’, for example, used renewable energy sources for its non-broadcast power requirements (eg its on location production office and its catering facilities) and the documentary ferried ‘big name stars’ around in low energy vehicles (such as the Toyota Prius).

“It’s about getting producers to think holistically and giving them ideas on how to improve what they are currently doing,” explained Leslie.
“We’ve found that going in at executive producer level gets real success and gets everyone involved thinking about the issue.”
The tool acts as a sustainability checklist and builds on the BBC-developed programme production carbon footprint calculator called Albert.

The calculator is now used industry-wide and Sky, for example, will not greenlight a programme unless it meets Albert criteria.
Once Albert + has been proved to be a robust model, both internally and externally, Leslie hopes that programmes made using the tool may eventually be able to sport an Albert+ badge in its credits. “It could act as a kitemark for sustainable production,” he said.

BBC | UK & NI Ireland | Sustainability

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