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 a Location Manager, your unique position of company leadership empowers you to become a fulcrum for positive change. Given our global climate crisis, adhering to sustainability guidelines is now as important as following safety and sexual 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.
  • Ask your Producers and the DGA Production Team to utilize available resources to create and implement a sustainability plan to include clean energy, paperless production, food donations, waste management, recycling and composting, and elimination of single-use plastics (especially water bottles).

  • 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 Locations team are a part of this process. Lead by example. You will inspire others.

  • Some studios and Producers will hire a Sustainability Supervisor and on set ECO PAs to cover the communication and management of sustainable practices. The Sustainability Supervisor begins at the start of prep to coordinate and can support best practices across all departments, manage clean energy infrastructure, and communicate the sustainability goals and progress on your production. This person can also ensure that Eco solutions are vetted and not coming forward as a form of greenwashing. This is different from an “ECO PA” which is an entry level crew hire who supports the moment-to-moment functions of the set and production office under the guidance of the Supervisor. Companies providing 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.


  • 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 “carbon-sense” is production common-sense when clustering locations.
  • Work with the local film commission to learn about the area where you are scouting to shoot for relevant environmental concerns.
  • We are in a transition to clean energy moving toward removing diesel generators from our sets. Identify clean energy resources in the production cities you are scouting and working in. Accessing the power grid wherever possible can often eliminate a generator completely.
  • If you are asked to scout hotel availability, look for hotels with a clearly stated and implemented environmental program. A truly green hotel uses clean energy from renewable sources and is attentive to water conservation and separate waste collection. Ask questions.


  • Be pro-active and work with your UPM and local municipality to implement power drops for frequently used locations. This has been piloted in the UK and Vancouver and is in progress for production cities in the US including LA and NYC. Check out Vancouver’s Clean Energy Power Kiosk specs.
  • Read the UPM Pro-Tips if you are asked to scout stages for a Stage/Facilities Tip list.
  • Request that the production and third-party service companies to use 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.

  • As locations are selected, create a memo for your UPM, AD and producing team, outlining any environmental concerns and special items required to support sustainability in each location.
  • 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. Support the UPM and 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.
  • Work with other departments to understand their power needs so you can encourage and facilitate electrification instead of diesel generator power.
  • Suggest using battery stacks, hybrid generators and grid-ties wherever possible to minimize the amount of fuel used to power the sets, base camp, video village, craft service, DIT, sound, and smaller sets.
  • At night, power working trucks and catering with battery sources.
  • Ask your UPM to use The Emissions/Cost Optimizer (tutorial here). a user-friendly excel doc to calculate the emissions and cost comparison of Diesel Generators vs Clean Energy. Understand what emissions your production is 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. Download (excel doc here) The Emissions/Cost Optimizer excel doc to input your show’s details for easy comparison.
  • Be proactive and check out new and emerging low-carbon systems and technologies. The future is here. Many union sustainability committees are supporting 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Grid-ties can be installed at locations with necessary approvals and turnkey installation by a licensed and temporary power vendor. When possible, coordinate with subsequent productions to leave grid-ties for the next company to use.
  • Be pro-active and work with your UPM and local municipality to implement power drops for frequently used locations. This has been piloted in the UK and Vancouver and is in progress for production cities in the US including LA and NYC. Check out Vancouver’s Clean Energy Power Kiosk specs.
  • Choose lunch and holding areas with grid power over those that need a separate diesel generator.


  • If you are scouting 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.
  • 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.
  • Make sure the facility has a waste management plan to include recycling and composting.
  • Support production to equip offices, stages and workshops with clean filtered water systems and refill stations to eliminate the need for single use plastic water bottles.
  • Support production to provide refillable water stations on all locations and clean water hook-ups for catering, craft services and trailers to avoid the need to run water trucks.
  • For a deeper dive, read Albert’s Studio Sustainability Standard Report


  • Use 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.

  • Coordinate with Office, UPM, Craft Service and Catering to support a responsible waste management plan that includes office and on set recycling and composting.
  • Ensure the set-up of the bins for prep, shoot and wrap. Provide smaller bins where they will be most useful.
  • Place visual reminders around the sets and support areas to remind staff and crew to reduce, recycle and re-use. Make it easy to comply on location.
  • Make sure that the waste hauler being used will recycle & compost.

  • 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.
  • Eliminate all use of #6 polystyrene plastic products (Styrofoam) and use reusable dishes and cutlery.
  • Use reusable bags for shopping and ask suppliers to take back packaging for larger items such as computers and furniture.
  • Purchase office and food supplies in bulk to reduce packaging.
  • If you use coffee pods return them through a take back program.
  • For take-out meals, refuse all plastic cutlery. Establish office preferences for restaurants who offer food in sustainable packaging. Let your preferences be known to food vendors.
  • 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.
  • Food donations are protected under Good Samaritan Act’s in North America. See local regulations in other regions.


  • Lead by example. Use paperless software for digital distribution, start paperwork and accounting documents. For script organization consider Scriptation, or PDFExpert, or other available software.
  • Reduce the amount of paper your department generates and implement a “print on demand” policy for printing documents such as location scout schedules, art department floorplans, menus, shooting schedules, sides, etc. Encourage “recycled content” paper whenever possible.


  • Encourage re-usable coffee and water bottles on tech surveys and scouts.
  • Remove single-use plastic on sets and screen.
  • Ask production to support 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.
  • If single use water is unavoidable, use aluminum-canned water.

  • Every cast or crew member that flies 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.
  • 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.


  • Ask Production to purchase carbon offsets especially for airplane 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.
  • Be aware of nature-based companies to purchase carbon offsets, here are a few to consider:,,, among others. 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, such as those emitted on your film/tv production.

  • Support the local community where you are shooting around relevant environmental concerns.
  • Purchase from local businesses to support community, avoid shipping, and cut emissions from delivery.
  • 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.