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

The Casual Academy

Posted by Nick Francis
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You may have noticed that a couple of weeks ago we ran our first ever Academy from our new office in the San Francisco Bay. As it's Thanksgiving and the holiday season is a great time for being charitable, we thought we'd share a bit more information on what the Casual Films Academy is...

Casual Films Academy - Overview

 

What is the Casual Academy?

We set the Academy up back in 2012. We wanted to do something which had a benefit to the world. We saw the potential of a win:win in video production, as both the process of production and the final output can be beneficial.

The main aim of the Casual Academy is to broaden access to the media industry. It provides 16 to 25 year olds with hands-on film training while making films for charities. This training is provided by filmmakers who mentor them through the production of a film for a small local charity. The charity gets a promotional film and the young people a piece for their showreel, and the experience of working to a brief from a real client.

Casual Films Academy Back On My Feet

Back On My Feet - New York, 2016

The course is designed to give the young people experience of the four main roles in the production process. Namely: creative/scriptwriter, producer, director, editor. This helps them to understand the different skills involved in each role, so that they can understand where to focus their energies to effectively enter the industry. The finished film is then presented to the charity at a premiere, which is attended by the young people’s friends and family. There is then a further career advice session to help them understand where to go next.

Casual Films Academy Beating Bowel Cancer

Beating Bowel Cancer - London, 2016

Why is this necessary?

For most people the way into the creative industries is via a three or six month unpaid internship. This limits access to all but the significantly privileged - particularly given the living costs in our home cities. This theme is reflected by the relatively limited variation in socio-economic backgrounds among those working in production, creative and media companies.

If our industry is the mouthpiece for business and culture, how can it be representative if it fails to properly reflect the views, ideas and backgrounds of all people?

Casual Films Academy Manor Gardens

Manor Gardens - London, 2015

What’s the plan?

We've run the Academy 10 times over the past six years. It has potentially global appeal, with young people, charities and professional filmmakers who are willing to give some of their time to help. If you fall into one of those groups, do please drop us a line. We're always looking for new people to work with.

Topics: Purpose driven video, Casual Academy

The Casual Films Academy charity comes to Oakland!

Posted by Nick Francis
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We have recently completed the first outing of the Casual Films Academy Charity in our new spot in California. We worked with a number of young people from Guardian Gyms to make a series of films to help the non-profit to expand into a second larger space.

Back in 2012, we realised that the process of producing films gives the opportunity for a double win. On the one hand, the film itself can be used as a valuable promotional tool for a local charity that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford one. On the other the process of making the film gives the opportunity to give access to young people to experience the many benefits of working in a creative team and making something. Since then we have worked with well over 100 young people. This year, with the help of our excellent staff, we brought the idea to Oakland, San Francisco Bay, CA.

Casual Academy Oakland

The Cause

The local cause we decided to work with was Guardian Gym - a non-profit martial arts gym based. They offer free classes to kids in the community, where they practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing and are mentored, gain self-confidence. This helps them to develop important life skills like discipline. It works in a similar way to Tom's Shoes - one paying adult membership also pays for a young person’s membership. 

Guardian Gym’s model has been so successful that they have outgrown their space. They need more funding to help them to open a second, larger facility to accommodate more members – both adults and kids. The videos we made with our academicians (if we can call them that!) are intended to promote and raise money for this second location. 

US000_CasualAcademyOakland_Guardian_IG_Diego_v2

15s Instagram teaser of Diego's film

The Films

We created five 30 second videos, each focused on a different young person. They filmed and edited these with minimal direction and guidance from CF resident filmmaker James Fair. That's worth repeating - these films were shot and edited by our Academy students. Each video tells the story of how Guardian Gym has helped them overcome a challenge they faced. You can see the films by clicking here.

The young people seemed to really enjoy the community atmosphere and collaboration of the production. They got proper hands-on experience and were really able to take control of what they were making. Watching them, you wouldn't guess that they were shot and edited by kids between the ages of 10-13 (and 18). They turned out to be amazing, and showcase how committed and dedicated these five kids are to both Guardian Gym and the Academy. 

 

US000_CasualAcademyOakland_Guardian_IG_Khadijah_v2-1

15s Instagram teaser of Kadijah's film

"Capturing some of our kids while they participate in a project to learn how to film, edit, and tell a story with the Casual Academy. Such a great learning experience for them to find a potential passion early in life. We can't tanks James, Lydia and Sanica enough."

- Guardian Gyms 

A massive thank you to everyone involved in the the project. It wouldn’t have been possible without the time, effort and energy that our Oakland team put into it. If you want to make a donation please click here.

If you want to learn more about the Academy - if you have a local cause you think would benefit, or a young person in one of our home cities who is interested in getting involved then do please let us know. If you want to make a donation to the Academy - nothing is too small (or too big!) - to help us to help more special cause please contact us on hello@casualfilms.com

Topics: Purpose driven video, News, Casual Academy

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