Guideline to Green Production

Apr 17, 2020
'Forever Is Now' (2020) / Local Studio

What is Green Production?

Green Production is a specific business strategy that practices sustainability on set. Sustainable practices support ecological, human and economic health, and vitality. The Utah Film Commission encourages and supports green production practices in all areas of the filmmaking process, so we’ve put together a guideline for every film department to going green on your next production.


Art + Set Donation

  • Sell or donate unwanted set materials to local theatres, high schools, acting schools or other productions before opting for disposal
  • Support charities that are willing to pick up, recycle and reuse materials


  • Rent or lease larger items such as furniture and computers as an alternative to purchasing


  • Select paint and products with environmentally friendly labels
  • Dispose of paints and other hazardous materials in a responsible manner, e.g. returning paints to retailers, or store for future use
  • Do not allow residuals from washing paint down storm drains
  • Use recycled wood from managed forests but be mindful of old growth or endangered species


  • Unplug video players, monitors and other similar equipment
  • Use digital processes for filming and sound recording if allowed
  • When using film, ensure that suppliers have end of life management programs and remain compliant with local regulations for disposal of photogenic processing chemicals
  • Avoid sending waste film to landfills by asking your supplier about recycling or other eco-friendly options
  • Use environmentally considerate textiles on frames instead of poly-based materials for bounce and filtration
  • Recycle color gels so they can be used for future productions


  • Use hydroelectric based power when possible to avoid emissions from generators
  • Replace flickering, dim, and burned out lamps
  • Replace light bulbs with lower-wattage, longer life, or energy- efficient alternatives, such as fluorescents

Catering + Craft Services

Catering and craft services are needed daily. Here are a few ways to improve waste and encourage recycling on set.

  • Buy organic and locally grown food to offset greenhouse gas emissions
  • Dispose of liquid wastes at approved disposal sites; do not use storm drains
  • Have recycling bins for plastic, glass, cans and metals near craft services and catering trucks
  • Create easy to read signage that details proper practices, post information for cast and crew to remember good environmental practices
  • Use reusable plates, cups, utensils and linens whenever you can instead of using disposables
  • Avoid using Styrofoam and plastics as much as possible
  • If paper products are unavoidable, look for ones with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content
  • Encourage cast and crew to use personal travel mugs
  • Consider using a food rescue service for leftover craft services and catering

If you are looking for local catering or food rescue services, see our Utah Support Services Directory.

Eco Management

Ensure that the production office, stage facilities and shops are set up to encourage waste reduction and promote conservation.

  • Purchase reusable water bottles for cast and crew
  • Rent portable water dispensers
  • Rent recycling and waste receptacles
  • Reduce paper use

Make-up + Hair

When it comes to hair and make-up, a few changes can go a long way when it comes to being eco-friendly.

  • Use brands that minimize packaging, as well as those that are committed to avoiding animal testing and use of ingredients that cause adverse health effects
  • Use refills to avoid disposing of non-recyclable make-up containers, avoid the use of aerosols containing ozone-depleting substances
  • Have recycle bins ready for staff use

Production Office

These six suggestions will assist the production office in becoming more eco-friendly and aware.

  • Use applications and paperless script solutions to reduce your paper use or go paperless altogether
  • Think before you print
  • Set up compost, garbage, recycling stations according to your hauling company’s waste separation guidelines
  • Have the same compost, garbage, recycle plan in the office as on set
  • Create easy to read signage that details proper practices for composting and recycling
  • Turn off non-essential lighting, computers, monitors, printers, etc. when not in use or not in the office


Suggestions for the Transportation Department:

  • Plan ahead. Take only trucks and technical equipment needed for the day/location
  • Plan travel to avoid peak traffic periods, roadwork and getting lost
  • Use alternative fuel vehicles and purchase the cleanest fuel available
  • Monitor fuel efficiency, maintain appropriate tire pressure, and reduce unnecessary travel
  • Create a no-idling policy. Idling for an hour wastes one gallon of gas  it is bad for your health, and it is illegal in many cities, including in Salt Lake City and Park City
  • Avoid short journeys in the car, try walking, riding bikes, or use public transportation when you have the options
  • Whenever possible, power down any generator that is not in use

Check out the Green Production Guide, developed by film industry leaders with environmental expertise, for more information about how to reduce the environmental impact of your production.