To define sustainability, we refer to the harmony of three basic elements: economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection. Below you will find a list of tips to help you carry out your audio-visual production in a balanced way and film sustainably in the Canary Islands.

Locate responsibly

film sustainably in the canary islands

The first step to a sustainable shooting is to have in mind the following criteria when selecting a location:

  • To select a reduced number of locations and try for them to be as close to each other as possible. This requirement is quite easy to accomplish in the Canary Islands because all the locations in the islands are situated just a few kilometers away from each other. 
  • Find out the different characteristics and environmental regulations for each location. The City Council from each island can facilitate all the information you need to make your shooting environmentally friendly.
  • Consider the environmental effects of your productions in the selected areas and take them into account when choosing a filming spot.

 Communicate in green

Communication is an essential tool in the implementation of sustainability measures for audio-visual productions. The team must be aware of this objective, that is why:

  • Inform and define the objectives for every single department and state which measures will be applied to make the filming process sustainable. 
  • Define communicative measures which make this new production model visible. For example, through informative signs or lists to verify sustainable actions.
  • Give your team and the external public the environmental results obtained. It is always comforting to see that the efforts bear fruit.

Protect the locations and the socio-environmental setting

Depending on the production type, the impact on the environment can be greater or lesser. To minimize the possible damage, we recommend following these measures:

  • Signal the occupation zones and protect the vegetation and natural resources nearby.
  • Try to lower the acoustic and luminous pollution, especially if it is an exterior location.
  • Anticipate any possible discomfort for the citizens by contacting city halls and neighborhood associations. Thus, they will be aware of any alteration made to the environment and they will not influence the filming process.
  • Foster local employment and the inclusion of disadvantaged groups. In the Canary Islands, there is a wide audio-visual sector which is professionalized, and you can hire any audio-visual material or other services from them.

Move in a sustainable way

Planning the mobility factor in a production work must be efficient but also, it must comply with the following requirements:

  • The location of the accommodation should be close to the filming location.
  • The use of shared cars must be planned to replace the use of individual vehicles.
  • The movement of the means of transport will be optimized using the whole load of each vehicle.
  • Whenever possible, less pollutant or electric vehicles should be used.

Implement a more sustainable catering

sustainable catering in the canary islands

A countless amount of measures can be used so that the catering service becomes more sustainable. Among them we are mentioning the most relevant:

  • Use a local catering service which is located near the filming area.
  • If the filming location is situated in a natural environment, hire a catering which buys local and seasonal products, reduces the meat intake, and uses biodegradable and reusable utensils. It is essential to avoid the use of single use plastics.
  • Promote fair trade coffee.

Reduce the consumption of materials

  • Avoid, whenever possible, the purchase of elements and materials to film, promote the rental of audio-visual materials from local companies. 
  • It is necessary to get those materials, so communicate your objectives of sustainability to your suppliers by selecting products with a responsibility certificate.
  • You can also reduce the use of paper and printouts and choose digital documents. If the use of paper is indispensable, promote the use of certified ecologic or recycled paper and vegetal impression ink.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle

Those are the 3 popular “r”. These measures for reduction, reuse and recycling of waste are becoming easier to implement. Some of them are:

  • Avoid non-reusable products.
  • Promote the reuse of materials and the composting of organic waste.
  • Plan the volume, type, and number of recycling containers as well as their distribution throughout the whole location to promote the separation of waste.

Make efficient use of electric energy

You can reduce the consumption of energy by using more efficient energetic measures. Three key points are:

  • Education in efficient energetic habits. Turn off the lights if they are not necessary, avoid the standby mode in electronic devices, unplug chargers after they have been used, etc.
  • Use efficient generator sets and class A appliances.
  • Use LED lights or low energy consumption bulbs. 

Implement good practices in the use of water

Water is a scarce and expensive commodity. Reducing the intake of water by using it efficiently is possible and necessary. To do so, you can:

  • Avoid the use of packed water of individual use. Instead, promote the use of reusable bottles and refilling points.
  • Avoid the polluting load of waste into the water by promoting the use of ecologic and biodegradable cleaning products.
  • Reduce the intake of water by taking measurements for flow reduction in tanks and toilets.

Carry out an environmental follow-up

tips to film sustainably in the canary islands

Lastly, we recommend evaluating the implemented measures. Thus, you will be able to validate these productions based in a sustainable model for the general society as well as the cinematographic industry. Some ways are:

  • Delegate sustainability functions to some members of the team or hire a Green Runner or Eco Advisor whom, in a professional way, will carry out the environmental follow-up of the production.
  • Design an environmental follow-up plan which includes checklists, an evaluation indicator system or to calculate carbon footprint. As for protected natural spaces, coordinate these actions with the institution with manages them.
  • Make up for the emissions produced directly or through associations, foundations, or local businesses.

At Las Hormigas Negras we believe it is fundamental to undertake the path towards sustainability, that is why we support sustainable production in the Canary Islands. These pieces of advice have been taken from the Decalogue for sustainable productions of the Tenerife Film Commission. Those production companies which comply with the requirements can obtain the seal of sustainable production.