On screen

On screen is the most visible side to New Zealand’s screen production industry. The information presented on screen has the potential to influence millions of people. There are a number of opportunities for this influence to have a positive effect on the environment; from a character placing a drink can in a recycling bin to a storyline with an environmental message. The suggestions below were developed to assist writers and producers in assessing when and how environmental messages can be incorporated in productions. Several countries, including New Zealand, organise environmental film festivals to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote environmental responsibility.


When considering potential sponsors or donors, consider whether the social and environmental credentials of those companies are in line with those of the production.
Favour reputable sponsors and donors who have good environmental credentials.
If your production supports product placement, investigate donated products to ensure they sourced from socially and environmentally responsible companies.
Promote your environmental policy to sponsors and donors and ensure that they are aware of the company’s/production’s commitment to environmental responsibility.
Inform investors about your environmental responsibility initiatives in terms of risk reduction and added value.
Include information about the company’s environmental commitment and practices when applying for external funding.
Encourage funding agencies to acknowledge environmental performance standards and where appropriate environmental criteria in funding guidelines.

Sponsors and donors who provide goods free of charge are nevertheless suppliers with the same risks as any other supplier. To reduce risks, ensure that these are socially and environmentally responsible companies .

When funding is awarded, it recognises that the successful recipient was the best applicant according to the funding criteria. Environmental criteria in funding requirements help to raise environmental performance standards across the screen production industry, including for overseas companies operating in New Zealand.

Funding your environmental initiatives

Many of the environmental improvement initiatives that require some capital investment are counted as business expenses for tax purposes.These include the auditing costs for certification of an environmental management system and the costs of offsetting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

There are numerous other sources of assistance and funding available for companies wishing to embark on improving their environmental performance. Below are some examples:

  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) - free energy use assessment tools, free energy audits and interest free loans for items such as solar hot water systems.

  • Ministry for the Environment Sustainable Management Fund - supports the community, business,iwi and local government to carry out practical projects that will produce environmental benefits.

  • New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) - assistance, funding, grants and awards to sectors and individual companies for business improvement initiatives, including environmental performance improvements.

  • Shell New Zealand Sustainability Fund – aims to help SMEs develop and implement systems that will enable them to operate in a sustainable, environmentally responsible way. This fund is administered by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development.

  • Sustainable Business Network (SBN) – although the SBN does not provide direct funding, by joining members are able to access current information and attend talks/seminars and information evenings at reduced prices.

  • There may be other opportunities to leverage further funding for local community projects where your
    business could agree to match other sources of funding or provide in-kind resources.
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