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Crime busting drama makes arresting production progress

August 2015

BBC One’s new primetime drama The Interceptor has been awarded full marks for its efforts in sustainable production, having received a three star rating by industry certification scheme albert+.

The eight-part series, which follows a law enforcement team as they hunt down criminals, used only electric vehicles as unit and production cars during the making of the show.

This makes The Interceptor the first large scale television production to use electric cars behind the scenes during the production of the drama. Using this type of car saved eight tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions – enough to drive 50,000 miles or twice around the globe. Driving green also enabled the BBC to save over £10,000 in fuel and congestion charges.

Cast and crew committed to reducing their energy output while making the show. The construction team ensured materials for props, paints and timber were sourced sustainably, with water based paints and FSC timber chosen for the set. Low level lighting was used in the efficiently run studio while the team reduced the amount of paper consumed by not printing scripts and 92% of waste was recycled.
The catering team sourced sustainable food alongside water fountains and reusable bottles rather than plastic bottles for water, all of which significantly reduced the team’s carbon footprint.

Howard Ella, producer of The Interceptor, said: “It was important for us to have the whole team on board and committed to working towards the same mission from the start.

“Everyone from catering, set designers, script editors and actors fully embraced the sustainability task to ensure the show achieved the albert+ status, reaching the three-star rating is testament to how dedicated the team was.”

“None of what we did is rocket science it is just a case of changing habits and embracing a new culture in the industry. With an eight-part drama series like this we had enough time to organise and plan ahead meaning that by the time the production ended nearly all waste was recycled. It’s such an important thing to do and something all of us programme makers should be doing as a matter of course, if you plan ahead it’s a win-win situation – for the production and the environment.”

The BBC, as a public service broadcaster, has always focused on supporting the whole sector which ultimately led to the development of albert. Created in 2010, it offers a way for production teams to calculate their own impacts, understand where they can make a difference (whether that’s in making sure cast accommodation is closer to the set to reduce transport, or saving power by using low-energy lighting) and compare themselves with similar types of productions.

It has been adopted by most industry players, with the likes of Sky, Channel 4, ITV and BBC all working together as members of a BAFTA-led consortium to make the tool even better. It is complusory for all in-house children’s and BBC TV productions to use the system.

Sky has gone further, asking all its suppliers to do the same.

Around 280 companies have signed up to use albert, incuding big independent production firms like Twofour and Kudos, and it has more than 1,800 users.

Albert + goes one step further. It has been developed to help companies certify their impact reduction and continue to manage their impacts. Successful productions are given a 1, 2 or 3-star rating and get to display the albert+ badge uring TV show credits.

So next time you’re watching your favourite show, keep your eyes peeled. 




UK & NI Ireland | Carbon Emissions

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