22/04/22 • Life in Kilkenny

Keeping Green at Lighthouse Studios

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Our incredible base at Kieran’s College, Kilkenny

The glorious neo-gothic building of Kieran’s College is the perfect base for a creative business. Its awe-inspiring architecture stirs something deep within us every time we walk up those steps! The only problem is that old buildings and energy efficiency don’t always go hand in hand. With a team as environmentally conscious as ours, we know we can never make excuses.  

So, what are some steps we’ve taken to help minimise our impact on this planet of ours and create a sustainable future for all?  

Minimising Waste 

We strive to be as waste-free as possible. We have eliminated all single-use cups, cutlery, plates etc. from the studio. In their place, we have provided crockery, cutlery and given each crew member their very own Lighthouse-branded water bottle to fill from our water dispenser. Cardboard boxes are kept for re-use in the studio and distributed to crew to re-use for personal packaging. We keep printing to a minimum, instead choosing to complete forms and sign contracts online as much as possible. Rather than buying business cards in bulk, we have moved to a digital system using QR codes which can be scanned and allow the user to save the digital card to their device. This also allows us to easily change details without needing to get new batches printed each time. 

We encourage crew to extend the ethos of less-waste into their personal lives too. We maintain a studio garden where crew can grow their own vegetables and herbs, which not only reduces waste from shop-bought items, but also saves money and encourages healthy eating – a triple whammy! As well as this, we manage an internal communications channel where crew members can sell unwanted items, and we have a much used Take It or Leave It shelf in our crew area where one person’s trash becomes another person’s treasure! 

Of course, some waste is inevitable, so we also provide recycling bins and compost bins for crew to use. 

Energy Efficiency  

The building we are in can get a little draughty, even with the heating on, and especially since airflow has become such a focus point thanks to the pandemic. Rather than have the heating cranked up to the maximum level at all hours, we have studio blankets that crew can borrow as well as hot water bottles to keep the more warm-blooded among us extra cosy without needing to turn the entire studio into a furnace. Being realistic, this measure only goes so far in overcoming the limitation of the building.  

However, it means we are extra vigilant when it comes to other areas where we can more easily do better. All lights are only turned on when necessary and all lightbulbs are energy-saving bulbs. Everyone is responsible for turning off the lights in their area of the studio at the end of each day. All computers are set to time out after 15 minutes of inactivity and are also turned off at the end of each day.  

When we arrange business trips, we carpool as much as possible. We also encourage the use of bikes through our Cycle to Work scheme and have bike racks outside our main entrance for crew to use.  

Crew enjoying a tasty picnic!

Reusable plates a-plenty during this crew picnic

Sourcing Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable Items 

When we source SWAG (Stuff We All Get) for our crew, such as hoodies and tote bags, we always apply a selection criterion that prioritises ethical and sustainable production methods. Our hand towels are made from recycled milk cartons. Items such as coffee and tea are sourced from ethical and sustainable producers and we use bamboo toilet paper. When we hold crew events, it’s one of the main criteria we apply to our suppliers. We use environmentally friendly cleaning products (where possible and in line with Health and Safety Standards) and we do not allow the use of chemicals in our crew garden. 

The Albert Carbon Calculator 

Have you heard of the Albert Carbon Calculator? It is a tool that has been designed specifically for the production community to understand the carbon footprint of making a film or TV show. In fact, the Albert website offers a wealth of information for those in showbiz. Check it out here. We have just implemented our first production using the Albert Carbon Calculator and have found it to be an invaluable tool.  

These are just some of the steps we have taken to leave less of a footprint – no pun intended. We are constantly seeking out ways we can contribute to building a more sustainable future. For example, last year Lighthouse assisted with a local festival by donating artwork from our crew which helped raise enough money to buy and plant 8,000 trees. Of course, we still have work to do – and we plan to do it. 

Stay ‘tooned’ for further updates! 

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