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Become Reel Green from Home


Jennifer Sandoval, Green Spark Group

In response to COVID-19 measures, Reel Green training has quickly been adapted, now offering digital classrooms for free online. You can now learn with Reel Green online while productions pause, stay home and do their part to support B.C. in flattening the curve. Sustainable production efforts in British Columbia were formalized 10 years ago through the Reel Green initiative, a resource centre with a collection of best practices to help productions reduce their environmental impacts and improve their overall environmental footprint.

The Carbon Literacy course is a unique, engaging and solutions-based training session offering attendees the information and inspiration to live and work in a more sustainable way. After training, attendees will have a sound understanding of the science of climate change, understand how to act to reduce their impact, recognize the impact that production has on the environment and retain knowledge of the tools and techniques to lessen this impact

Powered by The Albert Project, the Reel Green Carbon Calculator is a one-hour digital training session to learn how to track the carbon footprint of your production. Calculating the carbon footprint of your production is an important step in understanding the impact of film production. Having consistent data and metrics from the industry can help organizations like Reel Green understand priority areas for sustainable practices as well as help productions understand and measure their carbon impact.

These courses are for crew members, independent producers, film students and all of you in the film industry. Anyone interested in taking initiative to grow their skillset for the future of a more sustainable industry should attend. The courses are free for industry members and will elevate your on-set skills. Gain expertise now while there’s time before the industry returns to set.

The Reel Green initiative is a mainstay at Creative BC. They look ahead to the next decade about how to empower and inspire productions to innovate and implement sustainable production practices, and industry stakeholders to collectively support this effort. They prioritize education, engagement, communications, and resources as they develop a platform for the reduction of environmental impacts and stakeholder engagement at the local level to set an example for other jurisdictions globally.

Take both courses online via Zoom: 

Carbon Literacy training – 2 hours
Check here for dates, times and to register

Carbon Calculator training – 1 hour
May 20th, 2020 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM | ONLINE Carbon Calculator Training | Register

Learn more about Reel Green initiatives here.

Zena Harris, President, Green Spark Group 

“The leaders of every single industry organization I deal with feel strongly about sustainability.”

Zena Harris first learned about corporate sustainability 20 years ago while she was working for a large corporation. “I was frustrated with how things were being done, and I knew there had to be a better way.” After studying organizational psychology, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in sustainability and environmental management from Harvard University. 

In graduate school, she realized that the film industry was lagging behind when it came to sustainability, and so she started to do some research to develop some best practices. It just so happened that she moved from Boston to Vancouver, where she discovered a strong film and television industry. “It was a right-place, right-time scenario. I started to work on set, focusing on sustainable production work. I could see where the gaps were, and I made it my mission to fill those gaps and help the industry transition.”

Zena started Green Spark Group to help educate people in the film industry around sustainability. “When I talk to people about climate change, it’s so overwhelming for them. There are so many things to do, but I try and put their mind at ease. If you just think about two or three things you can do right now, that makes it more manageable. That’s how we change behaviour.”

Changing behaviour is an education process. Most recently, Zena’s been trying to shift people’s ideas around donating food. “For a lot of them, they get hung up on a perceived barrier. So I’m sharing stories about how other shows are donating food, and if I give them one good example, they get behind it.”

Zena believes people need to tell their stories to inspire each other about what’s possible. The Reel Green initiative focuses on bringing people together to inspire and catalyze a movement that will transform an industry. “The way our industry has been able to become an icon and shift our culture in various ways is through storytelling and inspiration. We need the data, but people need to hear it in inspiring ways.”

B.C. is known as a sustainable production centre, recognized for the resources and efforts put toward sustainability – and it has become part of the dialogue in Vancouver. Organizations like CreativeBC are stepping up to help spread the word. “Creative BC provides a space to discuss sustainability. They spend time being thoughtful about how this could best be incorporated in the industry. They are willing to get out there and talk about it, both locally and internationally.”

What is needed now is scalability when it comes to educating everyone around sustainable practices and their impact. The more we talk about this, the more people become aware. “This industry loves a challenge, and we need to challenge them to do more. We really do need to act more urgently. There’s a big crisis on our hands and we all need to act a little bit more mindfully, with more intent to reduce our impact. It’s such a creative industry that when you empower people with information and give them the tools and resources to act on their ideas, great things can happen.”

Discover more about Green Spark Group and Reel Green.