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BS8909  is a specification established by the British Standards Institute for a sustainability management system for film, designed to help the film industry operate with greater sustainability.


It uses the most widely adopted definition of sustainability, that of the World Commission on Environment and Development. It says that “sustainable development is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

The system has been trialled by a selection of organisations across the industry from production through distribution and exhibition.   


BS8909 can help:

  • Companies wanting to reduce their impact on the environment by providing them with a coherent system for doing so;
  • To help the industry stay ahead of any changes in legislation and regulation – the objective of implementing BS8909 is to enable companies to plan their activities and investment in such a way as to minimise the costs and disruption that would otherwise arise when environmental and other standards are increased, either at UK or at European level;
  • The UK industry a possible point of competitive advantage internationally – operating to good environmental standards will help the industry keep its costs down and make it more attractive to environmentally conscious investors, producers and talent from abroad.

It should be noted that while minimising energy use and the reduction of an organisation’s carbon footprint is an element of BS8909 and the industry’s sustainability efforts, the specification does look beyond that.

  • Take stock of their environmental impacts such as carbon footprint, waste management, and effects on biodiversity; social impacts such as community involvement and fair employment; and economic impacts such as local investment and long-term viability
  • Meet legal requirements
  • Plan more effectively and use resources more efficiently
  • Improve and demonstrate improved sustainability performance within available budgets

For more information about BS8909 please click here

Guidance Notes can be downloaded by clicking here