Bectu supports the Scottish Government’s drive to improve sustainability in film and TV

29 September 2021

BECTU is extremely pleased to announce the forthcoming appointment of a Screen Sustainability Manager, with backing from strategic partners across Scotland.

Bectu has been at the forefront of screen sustainability across Scotland and the new Screen Sustainability Manager will play a pivotal role in ensuring that sustainability will be at the centre of film and TV production in Scotland going forward.

The Screen Sustainability Manager will:

  • Develop a centre of expertise with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of film and television production across Scotland.
  • Provide support to productions and practitioners by developing and providing relevant training, sharing best practice, promoting sustainability, and supporting implementation of new ways of working.
  • Be a sustainability point of contact for the screen sector in Scotland

This landmark project has been achieved with the support of Screen Scotland and cross Scotland partners including Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Glasgow City Council.

BECTU Officer Paul McManus said: “This is an important appointment with huge significance to the Scottish screen industries. The Scottish Government is quite rightly driving forward with ambitious plans on sustainability and as BECTU, we are keen to play our part in ensuring that the thriving screen industries can meet the challenge of net zero and ensure that Scotland continues to be a location of choice for local and global production companies.  

“The fantastic relationships that BECTU Vision has forged with industry partners over the past decade will stand us in good stead to make sure this new role provides industry leading education and upskilling for Scotland’s film and TV workforce.”

Scott Donaldson, Head of Film Education at Screen Scotland said:Making film and television truly sustainable is extremely challenging and depends on a wide range of factors, many of them outside a production’s control and dependent on the local context. This appointment will be critically important in providing the screen industries across Scotland with the support, advice and training they need to work towards sustainability, and we are delighted to support BECTU Vision in addressing this daunting challenge.

Derek McCrindle, Head of Place at Scottish Enterprise said: SE is delighted to be supporting the development and delivery of a Sustainability Screen Sector project which supports our net zero ambitions by reducing the environmental impact created by film and TV productions. Within the Screen Scotland partnership, this project will help shape support for companies and the wider supply chain in the screen sector, building on the increased collaboration which the partnership has facilitated.”

Jane Morrison-Ross, Chief Executive of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) said:We welcome the new post of screen sustainability manager which fits perfectly with our core values and will help protect our natural assets.

“The South of Scotland has a long history of attracting location filming so we are really delighted to be a partner in this initiative as we continue to develop our approach to the Screen Industries sector. 

“This is another valuable resource to encourage our local filmmakers to be more sustainable and contribute towards our journey to NetZero, which is at the heart of everything we do at SOSE.”

Iain Hamilton, Head of Creative Industries at Highlands and Islands Enterprise said:Highlands and Islands Enterprise is delighted to be able to support BECTU with an excellent project like this.  The Highlands and Islands has some of the most incredible and iconic scenery used in many films, and a project like this will help ensure the sustainability of the environment by providing invaluable skills to the thriving screen sector in the region.


Further information on the role

Whilst the climate change emergency is a crisis for all sectors, film and television production can be extremely wasteful. There is a growing international movement to address the environmental challenges in screen production.

Based on the recommendations of Creative Carbon Scotland’s report for Screen Scotland, Greening Scotland’s Screen Industry, How Scotland can become the leading country for environmentally sustainable film-and TV-making, May 2020, the Screen Sustainability Manager will drive and co-ordinate strategies to reduce emissions in screen production activity to meet the Scottish Government targets to reduce greenhouse gas to net-zero by 2045.

The new Screen Sustainability Manager post is created by the trade union BECTU which represents workers in film and television production and will be based with the union’s skills and training department in Scotland, BECTU Vision.

The 18-month post will be tasked with raising awareness, developing resources and providing consultancy for productions to develop a tailored environmental plan with targets and monitoring processes.

Accompanying this work will be the creation of a business case for a longer-term Screen Sustainability Hub which will provide a centre of expertise for environmental sustainability development and knowledge dissemination.

The project has received support from across Scotland with funding from Screen Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Glasgow City Council.

The new post will be advertised within the next month ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26 to be help in Glasgow 31 October and 12 November 2021.