The 5 R's - ReTHINK, ReFUSE, ReDUCE, ReUSE and ReCYCLE – are of great importance for sustainability in advertising film productions.

Implementing the 5 R’s in film production and storytelling support the production process to become greener and more sustainable, reducing the ecological footprint.


means thinking about how our actions and stories impact the environment.

In the context of green production and green storytelling, it is about questioning common working methods and narrative forms and finding sustainable alternatives. This means, for example, considering environmental impacts in all areas of production and examining the impact of storytelling decisions.

Not only how, but also what is produced and told is important! Green Production begins with the campaign idea. Both have an impact on the environment, the production balance and ideally a role model for the viewers who encourage action.


means asking questions like "Do I really need this?" or "Is there a more sustainable alternative?"

If scripts are not produced abroad but on site/ at home, or are implemented with CG/VFX, (air) travel is avoided. If scenes can be told alternatively and resolved creatively, complex gameplay with SFX and artificial snow, or night shoots can save a lot of resources and energy. Even fewer locations can tell a story, or clever shooting logistics can reduce frequent changes of location. Implementing archive material is also an option that also saves time and money.

Basically, it is about avoid materials, unnecessary waste and working methods that have a negative impact on the environment.

For example, disposable materials or materials that are harmful to the environment should not be used and filming locations that endanger ecologically sensitive areas should not be an option.


means reducing travel and transport, energy and material, minimizing the amount of waste and conserving resources.

Reduction is one of the most important principles and relates to the hotspots of transport and travel, energy and waste and reduce the use of resources as much as possible. The less is consumed, the better for the environment and the climate.

The travel and mobility of cast, crew and clients can leave a significant carbon footprint. This can be minimized by leveraging local talent and resources, and agency and client implementing digital meetings and remote circuits instead of travel. Attempts to reduce the number of vehicles on set, supports carpooling and in the selection of vehicles encourage to look for more environmentally friendly options and to choose climate-friendly travel alternatives and accommodation.

Through the use of energy efficient technology, good planning and organization, waste of resources such as energy, Paper, construction and consumable materials and water are avoided, thus reducing waste and costs.

Digital tools also help to save paper and printer ink. Reusable materials such as drinking bottles and crockery instead of disposable products and the use of environmentally friendly building materials reduce waste and hazardous waste disposal.

This also includes avoiding Styrofoam and toxins. Recycling stations on the set help with consistent waste separation.


means using items more than once.

Reusing materials and products helps reduce waste and save resources.

This means buying fewer new items and instead going back to what you already have or can borrow. Those are the main criteria in particular in styling and art department. For example, using single-colored shirts for other productions, as well as utilizing prop rental houses and reusable set components.

This can also mean using existing film material in new ways or using archive material.

When it comes to food, care should be taken to avoid food waste and to pass on leftover food or meals. In the case of meals, this can be passed on to the team, or if too many goods have been bought, the delivery of edible items to organizations like The Tafel.


means putting a product to use instead of throwing it away.

An important first step in every production is the consideration of how and where each purchased item can be used after shooting, or whether it is really needed. It is also important to avoid waste and to consistently and correctly observe waste separation.

When new materials are needed, recycled or eco-friendly materials should be used, especially regarding paper, props, sets and styling.

By recycling materials such as paper, cardboard, plastic or wood and metal, waste can be reduced. New products can be made from aluminum and plastics, for example.

Reusing hard drives and collecting ink cartridges, printer toner, electrical waste and equipment including defective hard drives (which can be sent for silver reclamation) to appropriate organizations also has a major impact reuse/recycle schemes.