This Is A
Climate
Emergency

We are in a state of global climate crisis, on the cusp of causing irreversible damage to our planet, its atmosphere, its inhabitants and our future.
As a foundation supporting independent documentary filmmakers globally, Doc Society has a particular responsibility to tell the truth. To help support the narratives and storytellers that can shift our culture and politics in a time of emergency.

Since 2017, we have been working to put the climate at the center of all our practice. We have tried to think how we can adopt better internal process as a small creative organisation as well as put climate into consideration in all our programmatic work. This is a live account of how we are doing - and where we could do better.

Doc Society are signatories of the Culture Declares Emergency declaration and pledge to encourage all our global friends & allies, filmmakers and cultural partners to get involved.

If there are other local or international organising initiatives we could get involved with, please let us know. We welcome all advice, ideas & opportunities for collaboration. Email us at hello@docsociety.org


What are
we doing?

  • Climate is a standing agenda item at every board meeting.
  • Climate is a standing item on our monthly newsletters.
  • We have divested from banks who invest in fossil fuels (assessing bank’s record on financing fossil fuel here)
  • We are carbon offsetting our annual travel - we purchase offset activities from Gold Standard, a climate offset certification body established by the WWF and other NGOs
  • We are carbon offsetting all historical travel carried out by the team since the organisation was formed in 2005
  • We are not taking any domestic flights inside the UK and try to take the train wherever possible in Europe and the US. To work out the carbon footprint of your flights - have a look at this.
  • We try to recycle as much as possible in the office and purchase refurbished or second hand hardware & equipment.
  • We’ve reduced single use plastics in the office and at our live events (we are a big fan of KeepCups)
  • We’ve introduced dairy substitutes in the office and at our events
  • All the catering at our events is vegetarian and locally sourced where possible
  • The climate emergency is deliberately woven into the conversation of every gathering we host - irrespective of the focus of the meeting.
  • Our team participate in climate protests whenever possible.
  • In terms of our programmes and funds, we are always looking to support more brilliant documentary films which address the climate crisis. Either with funding or networking them to new partners.
  • We are committed to training more filmmakers working on climate narratives through our Impact Labs, to optimise their audience engagement strategies and connect them to partners in the film industry and in civil society.
  • We are producing a climate podcast Mothers Of Invention about some of the most badass climate warriors out there and it is teaching us a lot about climate justice and whose stories are missing.
  • We are committed to supporting influencers like Mary Robinson and Kumi Naidoo who are deeply persuasive about the power of culture and the responsibility of storytellers in this moment of crisis.

What could we
do better?

  • Doc Society will be running net carbon neutral by 2025
  • Our comms about our climate priorities need to be better communicated through our networks - this page is a first attempt to be more transparent
  • We need to create a section on the climate emergency and environmental risk and add them into our resources Safe & Secure and the Impact Field Guide
  • We need to curate a tool kit of resources around sustainable documentary production for all our grantees. If you can recommend resources which are appropriate for documentary practice - please let us know.
  • We need to learn how to run zero waste events including Good Pitch (big love to our colleagues at Exposure Labs who are sharing their practice with us) and share these principles with all our international partners who host the programme.
  • We want to go 100% plastic free in our offices and at all our events
  • We need to minimize our printing each year and use only recycled paper and less toxic inks
  • We need to declutter the Doc Society cloud to reduce our digital energy footprint
  • We will need to do less international travel every year and make each trip count more deeply
  • We need to improve our tech to enable better remote working and collaboration
  • We want to be more mindful of growing anxiety and grief caused by focusing on climate and how that impacts on our team and the storytellers we work with and communities they represent.