» 2019 Student Consulting Project

Chapman University’s Resource Tracking Toolkit began development in the spring of 2019, as a capstone project for the graduating class of Environmental Science & Policy students. The development of this toolkit aimed to assist the Producers Guild of America (PGA) in reaching their sustainability goals. This toolkit aimed to improve upon the system already being used by PGA. The new toolkit aimed to be a user-friendly, efficient, streamlined system enabling production company employees to witness their personal environmental impacts as well as show the company overall impacts. The tool was split into six different sections, summarized below:
solar panel

Energy

The amount of energy used is vital to tracking environmental impacts as it directly correlates to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the company. Tracking energy used throughout productions will show the company where energy is used most, and allows further steps to be taken to mitigate large energy usage. This section of the tool will (1) enable the collection and review of company energy information, allowing analyses of energy use and (2) benchmark comparisons and set energy reduction goals and view potential outcomes from hardware changes.
water droplet

Water

Fresh water is a valuable commodity as more and more water sources are becoming polluted. The reduction of water usage on film productions is essential since water becomes contaminated after a single scene of film, without ever being consumed. The water section of this tool will (1) track daily, monthly, and yearly water rates to locate priority areas of improvement and (2) suggest alternatives to current structures, displaying accurate and realistic changes the company can pursue to reduce water consumption.
Film production trucks

Transportation

Movement of crew and props across sets or around the world creates massive amounts of GHG emissions because of how often trips are taken. Essential to the function of a film production, transportation effects need to be tracked and mitigated in order to be eco-friendly. This section of the tool will (1) create and assess achievement on monthly reduction goals, locating areas that need further improvement and (2) communicate environmental impacts of transportation usage and the importance of meeting reduction goals.
hand holding coins with plant growing out

Procurement

Multiple factors go into how damaging or friendly an item or service is. Looking at makeup, costumes, hotels, and set design resources purchased by film productions, the procurement section of the toolkit aims to (1) track material, company, cost, and amount purchased in order to calculate multiple environmental impacts and (2) easily communicate impact to first-hand users through simple metrics.
compost and trash bin

Waste

Film productions create vast amounts of waste because nothing on a film set is permanent. Reducing the amount of waste produced per film is pivotal in reaching sustainability goals. To help achieve this, the waste section of the tool will (1) assess individual and company wide waste production based on amounts and types of material disposed and (2) be easily accessible at any time, any place, and be able to communicate impacts simply to anyone using the tool.
film crew

Education & Outreach

Being a media company, the ability for PGA to spread awareness to its audience and engage activism in its employees is important to become eco-friendly. Consistent change and accurate recording of change is difficult but necessary for PGA’s end goals. This section of the tool will (1) compile the results of the other five sections to examine how outreach efforts have enabled change in the company and at home and (2) track screen-time and tool engagement in order to implement and innovate long-lasting, effective initiatives.