The Question of Quality: Production in a Net Zero World
With much of the advertising world signing up to hit Net Zero within the next 8 years, it’s clear our industry is starting to take sustainability seriously. But how do we move beyond pledges and into meaningful action, and how do we convince our colleagues and partners to adopt new ways of working that will really make an impact?
If we want to embed sustainable practices in our industry for the long term then we need to put quality at the heart of the conversation.
No matter what, when it comes to production the bottom line will always be the quality of the work. As businesses we can make as many sustainability pledges as we like, but the reality is, if we start to produce sub-par work, then our phones will stop ringing.
Our industry has developed ways of doing things over many years, and to be told to change those overnight, or to suddenly focus on new priorities, can be scary. As such, the sustainability mission can sometimes be viewed as a contradiction to creative ambition. The two goals – make great work and reduce emissions – can be seen as an either/or. The problem is that if these two things are seen as competing with one another then – for better or worse – the quality of the work will always come first.
For widespread adoption of sustainability practices to truly take hold we need to reframe this decision from an either/or to a win-win.
As producers, creatives, and production partners we have a responsibility to assure our colleagues and partners can consistently create world-class work and do so in a sustainable way. We have to shift sustainability from being seen as a negative choice – eliminating flights, reducing scope, cutting back – to a positive & proactive decision that can supercharge the success of a production!
Here at JustSo the key to this is our emphasis on collaboration and communication, creating an environment of openness where these relationships can be nurtured, and develop. For example, throughout the pandemic – when it was physically impossible to travel – we reshaped our approach to global production by working with a wider array of global partners. We put (a lot) of time and effort into building new relationships, fostering fruitful collaborations, and curating a diverse community of talent across every continent; ultimately unlocking teams and people who we otherwise might have overlooked for more traditional options.
These new relationships brought fresh perspectives, new talent, and untapped knowledge that added a unique layer of nuance to the work we’re now making with our partners, from The Olympics to Netflix. And, our productions have had a massive reduction in carbon emissions, whilst the finished product is, quite simply, better.
Moving forward, we’re excited to continue collaborations with diverse and emerging talent around the world and to bring their unique cultural perspectives to the content we’re creating with partners. If we want to convince the wider industry and our partners to consistently adopt sustainable practices, we can’t frame them as a compromise or a negative decision, as these approaches will never last if they are seen as coming to the detriment of the finished product. We need to frame the move to sustainable ways of working as a proactive, positive choice, made with an open mind and in pursuit of fundamentally better work; embracing new modes of thinking and all the holistic benefits they can bring to a production.
JustSo’s Global Creators is a curated community of diverse filmmakers around the world, allowing our partners to harness global perspectives to tell authentic cultural stories, all whilst reducing carbon emissions and increasing production efficiency. If you’ve got any thoughts on sustainable production, or you’d like to learn more about our model & approach, then feel free to reach out!