The VMA department encourages students to commit to make Emerson Productions more eco-friendly. 

Emerson College has been actively pursuing its Climate Commitment since 2007, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2030. To do so, it is crucial we take individual and collective actions to mitigate the effects of climate change. The Green Production program aims to educate, advise, and support students to run environmentally friendly and sustainable film productions. By working together we can make a positive impact on the planet’s well-being. 

In collaboration with the Green Film School Alliance, the VMA department has developed a Seal that recognizes student productions that meet the program’s standards. Awarded Capstone productions must provide spending records in order to be eligible for an additional $100 added to their reimbursement budget.

If you are interested in participating and joining the effort to advance our sustainable practices at Emerson College follow these steps:

The Production Safety Office will review all application materials, and recognize projects that meet Green Production Seal requirements.

Contact vma_production [at] with any questions.

How to Create an Eco-Friendly Production

Production leaders (Directors, Producers, Writers, Directors of Photography, Sound Mixers) must make an active commitment to making their sets eco-friendly. It’s important to emphasize that creating an eco-friendly set does not compromise the quality of your productions. On the contrary, it fosters mindfulness across production aspects, leading to a better experience for the crew, cost savings, and ultimately a stronger final product.

It is recommended that filmmakers organize a meeting with department heads to create a list of  specific green actions for each department. It is also advised to designate an Eco-Leader who is responsible for tracking and coordinating sustainable actions, while consulting with various departments as needed.

Sustainability Opportunities

Scale of Production

  • Limiting Crew Size (also good for budget)
  • Creating an Efficient Equipment List  
  • Limiting the Number of Production Days (begins with the content of screenplay)


  • Selecting accessible locations
  • Utilizing public transportation 
  • Creating a carpool system for your crew
  • Avoiding the use of unnecessarily large vehicles
  • Minimizing the number of company moves
  • Prioritize hybrid/electric cars if renting 

Craft Services

  • Sourcing Sustainable Meals 
  • Catering from Eco-Friendly restaurants and caterers
  • Limiting/Eliminating the use of single-use plastics (water bottles, plastic utensils, plates, bags) 
  • Use eco-friendly materials:
    • Water Bottles
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Natural fibers
  • Waste Management (Recycling/Composting)
  • Donate extra food to a shelter or the Emerson campus food pantry

Production Design

  • Sourcing recycled props, costumes
  • Production Design: Reuse and Recycle
    • Think about where you can donate material, etc. 
    • Consider renting props, costumes, etc. before buying or building new ones
  • Using materials that are less harmful to the planet! 
  • Stay away from damaging chemicals
  • Take the initiative to fix anything that is broken and make a positive impact
  • Properly dispose of any trash on set

Grip & Electric

  • Limiting your use of expendables (gels, tape, beadboard)
  • Using energy-efficient lighting sources (LED lights) (More battery powered LEDs)
  • Utilizing available light/sunlight
  • Unplug electronics when not in use to avoid vampire energy

Emerson productions that meet eco-friendly standards will be awarded the Green Production Seal and receive additional support from the department.