Sustainability at Casual: Securing our Future

Posted by Nick Francis
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We are living at the best time ever to be alive. It can sometimes be hard to remember that though. With the huge technological and industrial advances that humans have made, our impact on our planet has got more and more profound. Concern around this grows by the day and a desire to do something about it is significant for any rational person.

This puts a business with a multinational footprint and global ambitions in a bit of a bind. How do we continue to build a business which delivers for our clients, and provides security and invigoration for our staff, and safeguards our planet for future generations? How do we use the amazing opportunities we've been given to minimise our impact and to return some of our good fortune to wider world?

Morgan Stanley - Kiribati

This film we produced with Wall St Journal for Morgan Stanley highlights the one of the earliest victims of the climate crisis in clear terms.

With this in mind we have set a series of goals to minimise and mitigate our impact. To begin with though we wanted to share where we're at from an environmental and social point of view. This includes an audit of our impact for the financial year 2018/19. These numbers are our best calculations and are meant as a yardstick for us to refer to to judge how we're doing year to year - this is a work in process which we plan to add to and improve over the coming months and years. While this might make for a bit of a dry blog - we wanted to share it all here in the interests of transparency and accountability.

We should add that the impacts detailed below are from our internal operations - not from project work that we have undertaken on the behalf of our clients. We are have made some changes to our creative process to help our clients to understand and minimise the impact of their projects. 

1. Environmental

 

Travel

UK internal

 

No of Journeys

Miles travelled

Car

3

276

Taxi

57

906

Flight

7

19330

Rail

16

2232

Total

83

 

 

US internal

 

No of Journeys

Miles travelled

Car

6

460

Taxi

256

2690

Flight

47

229741

Rail

20

5577

Total

329

 
     

Cycle Hire / Ferry

147

 

 

Flights:

Total output for air travel in financial year 2018-19 – 37.8 tonnes CO2e 

Given a single transatlantic flight (London - New York) melts 3.3sqm/35.5sqft of polar ice (which makes us feel pretty bad), this is an important area for us to focus on. We have already reduced the number of management / board off-sites we have each year from 12 to 4 - this significantly reduces the amount of flying we do as a company.

We have also built a global network of trusted filmmakers so that we can minimise the impact of our work on our clients’ behalves.

Carpooling:

Where possible we use carpooling to help our staff get into and out of the office in LA and cities where cars are essential to get around.

Water bottles / Refuse:

The production industry is well known for its reliance on dreaded single use water bottles. We have purchased metal water canteens for all our staff to use and encourage all crew taking part in our shoots to bring their own water bottles. Where possible water is sourced from safe taps or refilled from large bottles of mineral water. 

Where possible office staff / crew food should be bought with a view to minimising packaging. There may be instances where this is not practical and so a sensible approach should be taken.


2. Energy:

It is our aim to have all energy for our offices sourced from 100% renewable sources. We have already made the switch in our London office (July 2019) and are in the process of moving over suppliers our New York offices. According to WeWork our offices in California will be 100% renewable by 2023 - which is better than nothing.

London - 97,000 KWH*       ~          26.90 tonnes of CO2e

New York - 21,230 KWH      ~         5.89 tonnes of CO2e

California - WeWork

* This figure is high and may be an inflated by a lack of a proper meter reading.

Carbon Offsetting

Our total carbon output as a company is 70.7 tonnes Co2e or 2.07 tonnes CO2e / employee. This gives us a baseline to aim for next year.

We are going to offset all our current output with certified offsetting projects through Carbon Footprint - watch this space for more on this.


3. Social:

Everyone at Casual Films is committed to sharing some of our good fortune with other people around the world. Here are a couple of the ways that we plan to do this...

The Casual Films Academy

Casual Films Academy - Overview

What's the Casual Films Academy about then?

The Academy was founded in 2012 and provides free video production training to young people. It aims to broaden participation in our industry to those from non-traditional backgrounds. During the training, they make a video for a charitable cause who can then use it for their own promotions. Over the years we have trained over 100 young filmmakers in London, New York and Oakland. We plan to continue to hold these in all our home cities in the future.

Fair pay / Living Wage / Slavery policy

Casual Films is a signatory of the London Living Wage and is committed to paying the local living wage in each of the territories that we operate. We are also committed to working with suppliers who can demonstrate that they do not use slaves.


Helping our Clients

Low Carbon / Lowest Impact stickers

Nearly every time we produce a treatment we share three different creative approaches. This gives a range of creative ideas, budgets and timeframes to choose from. From now on we are going to start to use the two following stickers, to help our clients to understand the impact of the projects that they are commissioning.

Enviro Stickers

For internal productions - animations, stock edits, re-edits - where the majority of the energy used is from renewable sources we will be able to identify them as Low Carbon with the fetching sticker on the right.

If there are a series of three external productions we will identify the one with the lowest environmental impact with the 'Lowest Impact' sticker. This is for projects where there is an output but 

Carbon Tracking

For clients of ours that are interested in tracking the carbon output of their production, we are able to offer this service on request.


Senior Management Commitment

Casual's directors' board are committed to fulfilling the points and goals outlined in this document. We will review and report back on it annually in September.


Check out more of our films - including some sexy new ones - by visiting our Vimeo channel. We've got everything from sustainability to skydiving on there so you're bound to find something to help you while away your lunch break...

Watch on Vimeo Banner-1

If you want to discuss any of the information on this blog please feel free to drop Nick an email: nick@casualfilms.com

We look forward to speaking to you soon.

Topics: Casual Academy, About Casual, Culture & Values

What's it like filming in a rainforest in London?

Posted by Nick Francis
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We’ve recently delivered a series of films for London Zoo on Behalf of Evening Standard Independent Group. It’s been a real labour of love for the crew, particularly Olly Atkinson, who has always had a bit of a soft spot for our furry friends. In his rich and varied careers before Casual he produced none other than the Secret Life of Hedgehogs. David Attenborough watch your back.

To find out a bit more about the process of shooting in the zoo we caught up with Olly to ask him about some of the challenges of shooting in a synthesised rainforest. Misty camera lenses and plastic cased GoPros watch out – the climbing anteater is about…

London Zoo Olly Interview

Casual's London MD, Olly Atkinson, who produced the films explains some of surprising challenges of shooting in a zoo! Keep watching to see the film at the end


Whatever you want to make a video about or expert global team are on hand to help. Fill in your details and thoughts on the form on this page and one of them will get back in touch very shortly. We've produced work from the Canadian Arctic to the Iraqi Desert (and a fair few conference rooms in between), so our staff understand your challenges and how to translate them into effective video content efficiently, whether your films subjects are going to try to break open and eat the camera, or not.

You can find the book a call back form here.

 

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Production process, How-to, About Casual

How we defined our values & built the culture at Casual

Posted by Nick Francis
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One of the most valuable things we ever did at Casual was define our values. This helped us to understand exactly who to employ and promote, and who was not quite right and might do better elsewhere. It is amazing how many business problems stem from people problems. Get the values right and so many things take care of themselves - particularly for a services business.

Culture and Values at Casual

 

How did we do that?

1. With management write down the attributes that make each of your 5-star/top performers great.

2. Which of these are shared?

3. Condense these to around 5 main ones which don't overlap too much.

4. Assess all staff against these values. Do they exhibit them: most of the time? Some of the time? None of the time?

5. Have a conversation with each staff member discussing the values and their grading. Be honest.

6. Help them to understand what they need to do to exhibit the values most of the time.

7. This gives you a clear framework to help challenging employees to succeed. Give them time to come back with examples.

8. If they can't get there, be prepared to say that this is not the right place for them - the ones who do fit will flourish.

9. Follow through. Recruit, incentivise and promote those who exhibit the values.

10. Over time this should build a strong and thriving culture.


CASUAL FILMS VALUES
 
What attributes make our Casual Filmers great?
 
Passionate about making our clients happy
There are lots of ways you could choose to have your project produced. We’re extremely grateful that our clients choose us. In gratitude, we employ people who are naturally passionate about delivering and delighting those who made that choice.
 
Can-do and proactive
Filmmaking is about continual problem solving. We require our staff to think on their feet and act on initiative. Our team are solution focused, taking much of the weight off you, our clients. 
 
Team spirited and accountable
 We work closely together so that you get the benefit of the experience and skill of our whole crew. We hire and promote people who show the personal leadership required to happily take accountability for their actions.
 
Doing more with less
We produce work which our clients believe is tangibly more effective. To do this, every penny invested needs to show in the final product. We are only able to do this by employing staff who think creatively and with thrift.
 
Open and positive
Video production is not the most important job in the world, but it might be one of the best. The process of working with Casual should be enjoyable for everyone involved. Having a positive mindset, even at a 4am call time, is central to this.

You can read more about the Casual Films team here: Great People.
 
If you want to speak to a 'Great' Casual person, click here to book a call:
 
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Topics: About Casual, Culture & Values

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