Be a Leader in sustainability at every stage of the production.

The DGA Sustainable Future Committee works to empower DGA TEAMS with a climate action plan to promote clean energy and decarbonize our work and workplace as our #1 priority. We also prioritize reduction of the plastic and landfill waste we generate everywhere we go. There's no perfect approach. On one hand, everything we do has a carbon footprint. But that also means there's a sustainability opportunity in every department and every choice.

As AD's, SM's, and PA's, your unique positions of leadership empower you to become a natural force for positive change as you communicate and coordinate with all departments in prep, rehearsal, and shoot, whether live or recorded. Given our global climate crisis, adhering to sustainability guidelines is now as important as following safety and harassment guidelines.

Be ambitious but never despair at not achieving everything. Every effort shifts the meter toward a sustainable future for our industry, our families, and our world.

There's no limit to what we can achieve together.

  • Let your Production team know that it’s important to reduce the environmental impact of the production, and that it can be done without compromise to the production.
  • Support your Line Producer and UPM to ensure that your production has a sustainability plan. Challenge your production to exceed expectations. Lead by example.
  • Inspire all departments to find creative options offering lower environmental impacts. Can you achieve your creative goals with the elements you need and, at the same time, reduce your carbon footprint? Ask your department heads, what is the biggest challenge from a sustainability perspective? A week of night shoots? Several company moves? That giant set build? The explosions? Once you know the biggest challenges, a small reconception or adjustment to your approach can make a huge difference to the planet.

  • Your studio or production company likely has a Sustainability Department. Access, review, and implement the production company’s sustainable guidelines. Some studios efforts are unstructured, and others have mandated practices which is helpful. If a studio representative holds a sustainability meeting, they are sometimes selective about who attends. Make sure you and your department heads are a part of this process. The office and your team should make sure information about all studio practices is available to cast and crew.

  • Some studios and Producers will hire a Sustainability Supervisor at the start of prep to coordinate and support best practices across departments, manage clean energy infrastructure, and communicate the sustainability goals and progress on your production. This person can also ensure that Eco solutions presented are vetted and not coming forward as a form of greenwashing.
  • Be aware that Sustainability Supervisor is an emerging position and nomenclature is inconsistent. But a SUPERVISOR is considered to be a senior crew hire empowered to interface with and onboard all DEPT HEADS and CREW – and who oversees and manages the sustainable production objectives. This is different from any "ECO PA" – a PA level crew hire who supports the moment-to-moment functions of set and production office under the guidance of the Supervisor. Companies who provide Sustainable Production Services include Earth Angel and Green Spark Group. These and other "for hire" services are a simple solution should your studio not offer infrastructure and resources. Discuss with your Line Producer making this a line item in your budget.
  • If your show has a Sustainability Supervisor immediately get in synch with them about the goals, procedures, and communication essential to sustainable production.
  • If no Sustainability Supervisor is hired, insist your that your Line Producer or UPM connect you with your Studio Sustainability Dept to learn first-hand their standards and practices. When in doubt turn to Here you will learn the basics – and be able to initiate action and focus the conversation where awareness on your production is lacking. Inspire others with your passion.

  • When you break down a script, look at it through a sustainability lens.
  • Evaluate your script locations and if there are multiple distant locations scripted, recommend consolidating the number of cities you need, and within each city help reduce the number of company moves. Production "carbo-sense" is production common-sense when clustering locations.
  • Encourage climate mindfulness in the choosing of locations. If possible, prioritize locations with clean energy resources that your production can utilize for carbon and budget savings.
  • Ask your Location Managers to work with the local film commission to learn about the area where you are scouting for relevant environmental concerns.
  • Communicate with Production Designer & DP early on to understand location, construction and set dressing efficiencies, and the potential for set wall re-use.
  • Schedule cover sets for the new normal of extreme weather – e.g.: extreme heat, wind and wildfire smoke, and storms. The "100 year" weather anomaly is now happening once a week somewhere. Be prepared to protect your company when it happens on your shoot.

  • Communicate your support for a production-wide sustainability plan. Let the crew know you value sustainable choices and support making a plan that is achievable for every department. Announce the show’s intention to be sustainable at all prep meetings and make ongoing announcements on set and in concept and production meetings.
  • Include a daily eco-fact or sustainability reminder on the daily call sheet. Use Call Sheet tips on Green Production Guide.
  • Most Unions and Guilds have sustainability committees. Be knowledgeable about Inter-Guild initiatives and priorities and offer support and feedback where efforts are being promoted. An Inter-Guild & Unions Sustainability Alliance with Working Groups includes the below members:
  • Incorporate sustainability into the daily safety meeting tailored to the specific day’s work and location.
  • Communicate to background actors to bring their re-usable water bottle and coffee containers and to follow the production sustainability protocols.
  • Positive Outcomes: Look for wins. They're everywhere. If you find green solutions that ALSO make the movie better, gives back to the community, and makes someone's job easier or more fun – these solutions are more likely to catch on, be adopted in future productions, and make a huge difference in the long run.

  • Select and choose Green Suppliers that work sustainably and provide sustainable goods and services. Studio Sustainability Departments should be providing list of these vendors, but always check the Green Vendor Guide:

  • Energy comes at a cost to the budget and our climate crisis. We are now in a transition to clean energy moving toward electrification and removal of diesel generators from our sets. Encourage the production to make a clean power plan in pre-production. This prep may be new to many on your crew, but it is where our entire industry is heading. Challenge and inspire your departments to rethink business as usual.
  • The Emissions/Cost Optimizer (tutorial here) is a user-friendly excel doc to calculate the emissions and cost analysis of Diesel Generators vs Clean Energy. How close are the budget numbers really between dirty energy and clean tech? This excel doc is a great way to challenge optics and institutional thinking. Help your teams understand what emissions you are all willing to accept — and discover serendipitous savings from clean energy alternatives. Grid-ties, battery stacks, right-sizing generators, solar power, and renewable diesel are key examples. While not the AD/SM/PA’s job, know these tools exist to help your team discover the best possible price with maximum climate benefit. Know that a win-win is possible.
  • Collaborate with your DP, UPM, and Locations team in supporting a clean power plan based on the unique circumstances of your production. Encourage them to "right-size" any diesel generators that can't be eliminated. Studies show that on average, 80% of diesel generators are run at less than 20% of capacity, where they burn least efficiently. Low output is where Diesel generators run the dirtiest. We are over-powering and thus overspending and creating unnecessary carbon emissions. Encourage use of smaller, electric, and appropriate size generators on set and base camp.
  • Be proactive and check out new and emerging low-carbon systems and technologies. The future is here. Many union sustainability committees are supporting and hosting clean energy vendor showcases with groups such as The Clean Power Initiative

Fossil Fuels are the greatest contributor by far to greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing the transportation foot print you will automatically reduce carbon emissions.

  • If you are driving your own vehicle, consider a fuel-efficient choice when you are ready to replace your car. If you need a rental car, ask for an electric or hybrid vehicle.
  • Ask production for an electric or hybrid van/truck when needed for set kits. Consider sharing with another department if possible.
  • Encourage staff and crew to use public transportation or carpool.
  • Encourage implementation of a no-idling policy. Idling contributes to wasted fuel and unnecessary pollution. Ask all drivers to refrain from idling to minimize exhaust emissions containing numerous harmful gases.
  • Coordinate cast arrival times with captains to minimize trailer heating or cooling to reduce fuel use.
  • Organize green rooms and close basecamp parking to minimize shuttling.

  • Work with other departments to understand their power needs so you can encourage and facilitate electrification instead of diesel generator power.
  • Encourage the replacement of small generators with small mobile battery-powered generators or a small grid tie-in to supply smaller power needs like the craft service table or work-lights for night work.
  • Access grid power wherever available. When scouting or booking locations, ask for grid ties at every set, basecamp, basecamp parking area and technical truck line on location to reduce the use of diesel generators.
  • Consider the fuel use of shuttling from location to basecamp and try to reduce wherever possible. For example, it is better to park within walking distance to set, even though there may be a higher site rental fee. This saves added drivers, vehicles, and fuel rather than using a less expensive parking lot farther away and having to run shuttles all day.
  • Consider the impact of how much you carry and how much you bring on a production. If you can reduce the number of trucks and material needed, this will materially reduce fuel consumption and overall carbon footprint. Offer your Director and Line Producer alternative sustainable choices.
  • Support choosing lunch and holding areas with grid power over those that need a separate diesel generator.
  • Collaborate to support LED lighting, and the turning off of lighting setups & trans lights when not in use.


  • When evaluating choices for stage rental, make sure they have adequate house power and/or grid-tie capability for lighting, basecamps, and heat/AC, so that diesel generators can be avoided.
  • Seek stages that provide clean and renewable energy infrastructure, including EV charging stations. This includes offices, stages, mills, workshops, backlots, parking areas for equipment trucks, caterers, basecamps, air conditioners, and other support that requires electricity.
  • Encourage Production to consider power-drops if the facility doesn’t have enough power to run lighting, basecamp, and craft service/catering. Grid power access can be installed at stages with necessary approval and turnkey installation by a licensed and temporary power vendor.
  • Use electric support equipment — lifts, golf carts etc.
  • For a deeper dive, read Albert’s Studio Sustainability Standard Report


  • Using green office supplies will make a difference on your production. Encourage recycled content office supplies whenever possible or obtain used office supplies. Plastic pens and highlighters take 400-500 years to decompose. ECO-PENS are real and widely available.
  • Encourage re-use of lanyards and visitor badges.
  • Encourage an office recycling program, including harder-to-recycle items like batteries and ink cartridges.


  • Encourage use of Non-Toxic certified cleaning products and paper products (including paper towels, toilet paper and tissues) that are bleach-free and made of 100% recycled content paper.

  • Work with the Production Designer, Director of Photography, and Producing team to encourage circularity (re-use) and the re-purposing of sets.
  • Support your design teams and department heads in their efforts to use sustainable materials.
  • Discuss overall re-use in Production, Art Direction, Construction, Costume Design, Set Dressing and Props. Empower your art department to design and build for re-use and ultimately for donation.
  • At the end of the production, express support for sets, props, materials, and costumes to be donated to local non-profit organizations such as schools, theater groups, and shelters.

  • Encourage teams to place visual reminders around office and workspaces to remind staff and crew to reduce, recycle and re-use. Make it easy to comply in the office, on set and on location.
  • Encourage the Office, Locations, Craft Service and Catering Departments to create a responsible waste management plan that includes office and on set recycling — and composting. More than half of all landfill methane (an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2) is produced by food waste (US EPA). Find a local garbage hauler who supports your waste management plan.
  • In addition to composting, recycling, and trash, encourage the set-up of department-specific bins, for example, fabric recycling and donation bins in the Costume Department, or battery recycling.

  • One of the most impactful ways an individual can reduce their carbon footprint is by adopting a plant-based diet. People who follow a plant-based diet account for 75 percent less in greenhouse gas emissions than those who eat more than 3.5 ounces of meat a day (University of Oxford). Reduce or eliminate red meat from catering, provide plant-based options, and serve sustainably sourced fish and chicken. Check out DefaultVeg, an interesting initiative gaining traction in many industries.
  • Request the use of real (washable) plates, glassware, and cutlery wherever possible. As a second choice provide only compostable dishware and cutlery.
  • Talk to catering about sizing portions appropriately to avoid food waste. Set up a local recipient for your excess catered food and follow the plan for the smoothest pick-up process and track how much you are donating and where. Organizations such as Every Day Action safely, swiftly and legally rescue left-over catered meals and delivered them to those in need.


  • Lead by example. Use paperless software for digital distribution, start paperwork and accounting documents. For script organization consider Scriptation, PDFExpert, or other available software.
  • All paperwork (schedule, call sheets, sides, maps, etc.) should be defaulted to digital only with an opt-in policy mandated for hard copies. Not everyone will make the transition. But the default expectation should be paperless distribution.
  • If printing is required, print only the updated sheets required and print double-sided. Set all printers to default to double-sided printing.
  • Default to paperless. Limit the number of printed sides to essential cast/crew only.


  • Encourage re-usable coffee and water bottles on tech surveys and scouts.
  • Remove single-use plastic on sets and screen.
  • Encourage people to bring their own water bottles and ask production to provide water bottle-filling stations in all areas on and offset. Model behavior by bringing your own re-usable bottle and coffee cup to set. Reusable, plant-based (and compostable!) water bottles are now real — check out S’wheat Bottle (wheat husk based) and Join The Pipe (sugar cane husk based) as examples.

  • Encourage your teams to remember that every cast or crew member that is flown in from out of town carries a huge carbon footprint. Every item from a big box store that was manufactured across the globe has a larger footprint than something sourced locally.


  • Reduce air travel in every manner feasible by using alternative means such as trains, buses, and video conferencing.
  • Reduce Pre-Production travel and remind everyone to use video conferencing to minimize travel CO2 - both flying and driving. Consolidate meetings, scouts, casting sessions.
  • Choose hotels with a clearly stated and implemented environmental program. Many green hotels use clean energy from renewable sources, and all are attentive to water conservation and separate waste collection.
  • For long term hotel stays, ask that the rooms be serviced less frequently.
  • Work with car service and rental car companies that supply electric or hybrid vehicles.
  • Avoid private air travel. Private air travel is the most-polluting single action any production can engage in. Aircraft fuel not only releases CO2, but also nitrogen oxide contrails which contribute twice as much to global warming as aircraft fuel C02. Furthermore, an aircraft burns more fuel on take-off than it does in flight or landing. Avoid a second (or even third take-off) by putting personnel on direct flights as much as possible.
  • Both EQUITY and the UK’s ALBERT offer a Green Rider which allows actors and filmmakers to consider the carbon impact of all requests made by and for the production — including air travel — to help reduce the production’s footprint wherever possible. See below for organizations where you can find a carbon calculator and purchase carbon offsets. In this way, you can also offset other activities that produce significant emissions.


  • When being transported by a car service, using a car rental, or having a personal driver, request a small or mid-size (not SUV) electric or hybrid vehicle.
  • Idling contributes to wasted fuel and unnecessary pollution. Ask your driver to refrain from idling to minimize exhaust emissions containing numerous harmful gases. Encourage Production to offer warming and cooling stations for drivers in extreme weather.


  • Ask the production to purchase carbon offsets for plane tickets. Most airlines provide them. The cost of carbon offsets is typically $10-20 per ton of CO2 equivalents. It should be noted that flying premium is more carbon polluting than economy by allotting more space to transport fewer passengers.
  • There are also many organizations where you can find a carbon calculator and purchase carbon offsets. (SEE LINKS IN RESOUCES) Using these tools you can also choose to offset other activities that produce significant emissions such as driving a gasoline-powered car. A carbon offset or carbon credit is used to offer a reduction in carbon emission by investing in an increase in carbon storage, such as planting new trees, and subsidizing biogas, solar and wind power projects for vulnerable communities to OFFSET the emissions that occur elsewhere.
  • Use a carbon calculator to estimate the emissions that you cannot fully avoid and buy the appropriate quantity of offsets. Know that many of the best carbon offset services embrace strong climate justice missions in their work — reducing CO2 and doing good in communities impacted by climate change.

  • Work with locations and the local film commission to learn about the area where you are shooting for relevant environmental concerns.
  • Participate in a community give-back program (e.g., tree planting, food drive, in-person/virtual volunteerism).

  • "Fast Fashion" in the form of t-shirts, sweatshirts & hats come with a steep carbon price tag – and quickly ends up crowding landfills. Consider a crew gift that reflects your show’s sustainable efforts. EXAMPLE: make an environmental nature-based donation to the local community you are shooting in or consider a sustainable gift that supports local businesses such as: experiences — memberships, gift cards, massage, concert, a meal.







    For more information on Best Practices, and Carbon Calculation, go to






    • The Emissions/Cost Optimizer (tutorial here)






    • Albert’s Biodiversity Guide for Productions









For people who want to help fund broader emission reduction efforts, certifications from watchdog groups like and can help identify worthwhile projects.