In early 2023, Screen Ireland launched the pilot phase of its Sustainability Advisor Programme. Through the programme, a trained Sustainability Advisor is allocated to all Screen Ireland-funded feature films and scripted TV projects. The Advisor helps to calculate the carbon impact of the production and creates a Carbon Action Plan designed to reduce environmental impacts on-set. Screen Ireland hopes that the Sustainability Advisors programme will help to make sustainability standard practice on Irish film/ TV production sets.


Screen Ireland understands the importance of environmental sustainability and wants to support and encourage environmental best practice across the screen industry. As part of its Sustainability Plan, published in 2022, Screen Ireland made it mandatory for every production it funds to document its carbon emissions and develop an action plan to reduce its carbon footprint.

To support productions in doing this, a pilot phase of the Sustainability Advisor Programme was launched in early 2023. Through the programme, Sustainability Advisors support production companies in using the Albert carbon calculator to calculate the carbon impact of their production. They also help the production company implement a Carbon Action Plan to reduce environmental impacts on-set. At the end of the project, the carbon calculator data is sent back to Screen Ireland along with a report/ case study to enable the learnings to be shared with the wider industry.


While some large production companies may have a dedicated sustainability manager, most do not have the budget for such a resource, nor do they have sustainability knowledge and skills within their team. They therefore need support to help them know how to (a) calculate their carbon emissions and (b) take steps to reduce their environmental impacts.


Recognising this, Screen Ireland developed the Sustainability Advisor Programme. The initial pilot phase of the programme covers Screen Ireland-funded feature films and scripted TV projects. These productions receive grant funding from Screen Ireland to cover eight days worth of support from a Sustainability Advisor over the duration of the production.

To date there are six, trained Sustainability Advisors who are part of the programme. These Advisors are individuals from the industry who have on-set experience and have received training from Screen Ireland (in collaboration with Albert) on how to use the Albert carbon calculator. Screen Ireland plans to grow the cohort of Advisors in the future, with two additional Advisors already lined up to receive training.

Production companies can select their preferred Advisor from a list provided by Screen Ireland. Alternatively, if they wish, they can use the grant funding to pay for a sustainability expert of their choosing, so long as that expert completes the mandatory steps to document the production’s carbon impact and create a Carbon Action Plan.

It is at the discretion of the production company and their Advisor to decide how to allocate the Advisor’s time, however a typical use of time is as described below.

A Sustainability Advisor will typically allocate four days to this stage. During pre-production, Advisors will spend their time working with Producers to understand needs, agree on sustainability goals and co-create a plan, which sets out the various environmental sustainability actions for implementation, including a plan for material use once production is completed. The next step is to share this document with the production team, who are responsible for its delivery, allowing time for discussion. The Advisors will also set up the Albert carbon calculator, demonstrating its use to the production office and producers. The Advisor will also begin collecting content and materials that will aid the development of a case study, e.g. quotes from cast/ crew, video content and photo opportunities.

A Sustainability Advisor will typically allocate two days to this stage. During the ‘shoot’ stage, the focus is to brief the crew – across all departments – on the sustainability plan and support them with any questions/ advice they may have. The Advisor will also help with practical actions, such as helping to set up recycling stations and waste disposal areas and ensuring the correct procedures are in place for implementing all of the planned environmental actions. In addition, the Advisor will review the carbon calculator, confirming all the information inputted is accurate and reflects the production timeline.

During the ‘wrap’ stage, the Advisor typically allocates one day to support the project, working with the production team to develop the set-deconstruction – strike – plan. The strike plan will prioritise reuse and recycling where possible, with the Advisors guiding the strike crew on what materials can be repurposed and shared.

During delivery, Advisors typically allocate one day and focus their efforts on completing and presenting the results of the carbon calculator. They will prepare a report to share with Screen Ireland, which should include the following:

  • A report outlying initial plans made with the producer/s and details of successful and unsuccessful initiatives taken during production.
  • Promotional material, including any photographs or videos of initiatives in action.
  • Details on the carbon calculator, its progression and results
  • Quotes from cast and crew.

In summary, the duties of the advisor include but are not limited to the following:

  • Completing the Albert carbon calculator and implementing measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the production.
  • Analysing key areas of carbon emissions and implementing a reduction strategy, including actions on energy use, waste management, recycling, and travel.
  • Working with department heads on initiatives that can be implemented across the production, such as carpooling and waste management.
  • Recording of the measures in the form of a report or case study to be submitted after the production has wrapped.
  • Troubleshooting any environmental sustainability issues that may arise during production.

Results and Benefits

Promotes sustainability in the film industry: The Sustainability Advisors programme is a crucial step towards promoting sustainability in the film industry by reducing the carbon footprint of live-action feature films and TV drama projects. In addition, the initiative encourages sustainability as  standard practice for all productions, helping the sector become more environmentally sustainable.

Offers grant funding which encourages action: A lack of time and a dedicated resource is a barrier for many companies acting on environmental sustainability. The grant covering approximately eight days of work for a Sustainability Advisor, gives production companies the resource and know-how they need to reduce their carbon footprint through, for example, energy-efficiency projects, recycling, and carpooling initiatives.

Ensures mandatory carbon calculation compliance: The initiative ensures that production companies meet Screen Ireland’s mandatory carbon calculation requirements.

Creates case studies for information and learning: The programme is creating a bank of case studies for those in the film/ screen sector to learn from and apply to future productions.

Trains and certifies advisors: The programme is creating a cohort of trained Sustainability Advisors who combine screen industry experience with sustainability knowledge and who, through their work with production teams, will help to upskill the industry as a whole.

What’s Next?

The programme is currently accepting applicants. Reach out to Screen Ireland or apply online here NEW: Sustainability Advisor Initiative for Film & TV Production – Pilot | Screen Ireland

Contact Us

If you want to find out more about Sustainable Media Ireland, are interested in becoming a Member, or are keen to collaborate, please get in touch by sending us an email.

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