10 Things You Should Know About Albert...

Albert is the UK’s only carbon calculator that has been created specifically for the TV Industry. It was initially developed and used at the BBC but in the last year a team of broadcasters and indies have come together to create a pan industry version of the tool that can be used by any production company.

The chief aim is to see every UK production company signed up and using Albert. But more importantly than that, the producers of Albert want to work with all levels of the supply chain to bring about practical change that could see our industry save itself money and reduce the negative impact the industry has on the environment.

WFTV caught up with the Albert team to find out more...

1)    Why is it called Albert?

Albert is a commune in the North of France…Albert was also the UK Prince Consort until 1861. We could try and find a clever link between these facts and our calculator but the truth is there was no rhyme or reason to our decision.  Although surely it’s more catchy than ‘The TV Carbon Calculator’?!

2)    Who is using Albert?

Currently Albert has over 600 unique users who have created over 750 footprints. It is used by over 35 companies including many of the biggest indies and broadcasters but we also have a number of the smaller production houses on board.

3)    Do you have to be a scientist to use Albert?

Thankfully, not at all! Albert is designed to be completed by production staff and asks just 25 questions about each different element of production. It’s based online so if you get pulled away from your desk, you can save your footprint and pick up from where you left off next time.

4)    What have others learnt from using Albert?

Many production companies have recorded enough footprints now to understand which areas of production typically contribute most significantly to their footprints. This allows them to take action on a particular element, be it travel, power on location or accommodation. The BBC has completed over 350 footprints in-house. From these footprints we were able to work out that for every hour of TV produced, approximately 9 tonnes of carbon is generated.

5)    You sound like a scientist now. What is a tonne of carbon dioxide?

This is a common unit of measurement for carbon dioxide. To put the BBC’s figures into context: 9 tonnes of carbon dioxide is enough to fill almost 50 double decker buses, it weighs the same as two adult elephants or 1, 800 cats and it’s close to the footprint you would expect from eight ‘typical’ UK citizens over one year. So you can see why we’re keen to start reducing it down from 9 tonnes per hour in the TV industry!

6)    Who runs Albert?

Albert is administrated by BAFTA who are an independent charity. The aims of the project are developed by members of the Albert consortium – a group of 12 broadcasters and indies who want to create a more sustainable TV industry. They have each donated time and money to the project to allow it to get off the ground.

7)    What are the aims of the Albert project?

You can only manage what you can measure. With this in mind we aim to have every production company in the UK (and eventually beyond) foot printing their productions with Albert. We also aim to be the leading TV think-tank on sustainable production and provide the industry with the knowledge and experience so they can bring about change.

8)    What can we actually do to reduce the carbon footprint of TV production?

Well, you can build sets from pre-used materials, use fancy (solar, vegetable oil or wind) generators, sleep in hotels with sound environmental policies, ask your crew to travel together, manage waste responsibly or, as the BBC Comedy production Mongrels showed us, use low energy lighting. This cut their electricity bill by over 40% saving on the footprint and the bottom line.

9)    Where can I find more information?

You can follow Albert on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. These will provide you with relevant stories, case studies and tips for sustainable production. For more info about the project itself as well as guidelines on sustainable production you can visit our website – www.bafta.org/albert.

10)    How much does it cost?

Using Albert is completely free, and we hope to keep it that way. Join us now – email: albert@bafta.org.

Twitter: @AlbertCalc
Facebook: http://www.fb.com/albertCalc
LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/Q09uai