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Palma Pictures Sustainability

During the course of 2013, we calculated that our friends, clients and crew consumed 47,000 little plastic water bottles on set with us.

A company like ours, one that prides itself on beautiful locations, stunning environments, and providing high quality production services… well, we can’t just go on like this.

Our answer is this water bottle.

Palma Pictures Water Bottles

By drinking from it, instead of a disposable plastic, we can help preserve the spaces and places we cherish and minimise our impact on the locations you love.

But there’s a catch. We can’t prove that together we’re making a difference unless you send us a pic… so tweet a quickie selfie of you and the bottle to @palmapics.

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We recently offered free production services for a cause that we firmly believe in, the Expedition Med campaign. The project is very much in keeping with the spirit of what we’re trying to do here at Palma Pictures with the protection of the environment…

Save the Med

The spot is to help a French NGO gather 1 million signatures on a petition to send to the EU, putting pressure on them to bring legislation into force to reduce the amount of plastic used in product packaging. A huge amount of the plastic ends up in the sea and makes its way into the food chain.

Apart from reducing the amount of plastic in packaging, converting to more biodegradable materials, the campaign aims to raise awareness amongst consumers so that we can make a choice when shopping. Click here to sign the petition.

The shoot took place during a gloriously sunny day at Portalls Vells beach, what wasn’t so glorious was the garbage. We dressed the beach with rubbish we found from beaches across Mallorca – illustrating the point that too much plastic is floating in the seas of the world.

Plastic Beach

Many thanks to Katrin Peters who was director on the shoot and DOP George Tsikos, also a big thank you to everybody who volunteered and gave their services for free.

On the note of plastic in the sea, you should watch this video on Garbage Island in the Pacific, scary.


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Greenshoot are a company after our own heart, they’re striving to reduce the impact filming has on the environment. We love the work they’re doing and have invited them to write this guest blogpost. If you’d like to know more about what Palma Pictures are doing in this area then click here to talk to Tracy Courtney who runs our Sustainability Department.


A while ago, as a shoot hardened copywriter of numerous commercials, I was finally let loose to direct one of my own scripts. Which was great. But it did make a nagging doubt I had about the way productions were run even more poignant. Just how wasteful will my production be?

Everything was thrown away off shoots, straight into landfill, nothing recycled, nothing reused. This was waste on a titanic scale. Every film, every commercial… with a rough calculation the filming waste going into landfill was around 115,000 tonnes a year.

Simultaneously, three old filming friends were having similar misgivings. And one night, round a pub table, we came to the same conclusion; someone should do something about it. But who? Lighting dept, do lighting, Camera dept. do camera, Environmental dept… er…?

So we started Greenshoot, the Sustainability department.

Three years down the line and we are working on our 7th feature film, Gambit, with Colin Firth, a champion of ours from way back. Plus, we are about to help our first corporate client on their commercials. We have evolved to be a consultancy with as much focus on reduction in carbon emissions as recycling waste.

Greenshoot Feature Film

As the first company of our kind in the world, there was no business model, a brave new world. What could we realistically expect to influence and just how many traditional working practices could be made more sustainable? To reduce the carbon footprint means looking at every area of a production. We have found the answers gradually, learning on the films we’ve done.

And where have we made a difference? Wins:

  • The supply chain, making it as ethical as possible – carbon neutral water, ‘green’ stationary, compostable kitchenware, hybrid taxis, etc.
  • Waste recycling – over 94% of all on set and construction waste.
  • Reuse of props – donations to charities.
  • Energy use – green supplier.
  • Crew and Cast travel – car sharing.

Plus, we’ve looked at the social and economic impact of filming. What are the affects on a community when a film crew and cast of 400 pitches up?

And most importantly it’s about education – educating the crew in a slightly different way of working, but one that can make a difference.

We commissioned our own filming specific carbon calculator (and if we say so, an incredibly robust and accurate instrument). Now we’re collecting benchmarks for film productions to create a score chart that will measure improvement from film to film.

Last month, we were part of the launch of the BS 8909, a British Standard for Sustainable Filming. We were involved in trailing the standard that will eventually become an International Standard. It will provide a framework for productions to base their sustainable filming policy on.

British Standard 8909

So it’s slowly becoming a global thing, this sustainable filming thing. In fact, last year Greenshoot Pacific was set up to cover Australia and beyond. Not long till it’s a green filming world everywhere.

Paul Evans, Greenshoot

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Palma Pictures Environmental Training Art 1

Palma Pictures have made a big step in the progress of our Environmental Management System by holding a training course for all of our local art department collaborators.

There were about 30 people present to hear the training of the system which we’ve developed as part of our mission to reduce our environmental impact and achieve the official certificates ISO 14001 and EMAS.

The training day was run by Silvia Sanchez, our environmental consultant, and Tracy Courtney – our in-house Eco-Warrior!

Art Department Environmental Training 2

Art Department Environmental Training 3

Art Department Environmental Training 4

Art Department Environmental Training 5

To learn more about the Palma Pictures Environmental Policy and our Sustainability Department please click here.

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