As an organisational part of Leeds City Council, Leeds Film is involved in the local authority’s programmes and training for environmental sustainability. Here are links to more information about Leeds City Council’s environmental commitments:


Leeds Climate Commission & Leeds Climate Emergency
Leeds City Council’s plan to tackle climate change
Leeds City Council’s Best Council Plan 2019/21 including sustainable infrastructure priority
Leeds City Council’s Waste Strategy


The following information summarises actions undertaken or planned by the Leeds Film team. As a responsible cultural programme provider, Leeds Film is committed to reducing the environmental impact of all our activities and using our platform to inform and influence others. We will take positive steps to improve our ecological footprint including:


  • Investigating and implementing more sustainable approaches to energy;
  • encouraging the use of public transport and where not possible investigate how we can offset carbon footprint;
  • engage audiences and stakeholders in positive climate change - these include the various venues that host Leeds Film events and activities;
  • investigate options for reusing and or recycling one use items (e.g. event signage).


Summary of actions undertaken for 2019/20




  • By implementing a live box office (Spektrix) at external venues we achieved a dramatic reduction in our paper waste;
  • for Leeds International Film Festival, we have invested in neon signage for the front of Leeds Town Hall which can be used every year as opposed to one time use vinyl;
  • we reduced the amount of pop up venues used by the festivals, leading to reduction in the amount of venue signage needed to be printed;
  • food and snacks for guests and young people are actively sourced in recyclable packaging, and leftover food was donated to volunteers to minimise waste;
  • we worked within venues pre-existing policies to reduce waste and recycle as much as possible;
  • we changed to using paper envelopes instead of cellophane wraps for our mailings.



  • All event waste was recycled including surveys, pop up banners, unused/uncollected tickets, and marketing materials;
  • all Leeds Film team members and volunteers actively encouraged to recycle as much as possible as well as use recyclable materials at work;
  • step and repeat banners were made of eco substrate material instead of foamex.


Energy consumption

  • All our venues are easily accessible via public transport, with encouragement to walk or use public transport;
  • We are working with all our venues to help reduce energy consumption during our hire periods;
  • Leeds Film team members and volunteers use public transport for work and site visits - Leeds City Council offers to individual employees an Annual staff travel card scheme and metro cards for departments to use for business use;
  • film submissions to the festivals are done through an online platform, rather than films been sent physically to the office;
  • increasing delivery of the films to be screened (DCPs: Digital Cinema Packages) are done via downloads rather than physical delivery of hard drives via carbon footprint-heavy couriers.


Summary of initial additional actions planned for 2020/21


Together with other teams in Leeds City Council’s Arts, Events & Venues department, we are looking at ways to work collectively to produce more sustainable festivals and work practices. We are part of the department’s Green Team which looks into the various ways we can work in a more eco-friendly manner both on a festival level and in our day to day working lives. The aim of this collaborative approach is to share ideas, experience and reduce workloads. The key areas for action listed below have been identified for 2020/21.


Positively engage and influence

  • Outline our commitment to climate change to audience members and stakeholders;
  • liaise with venues to reduce our and their carbon footprint;
  • increase representation of films which explore narratives dealing with environmental emergencies and climate crises in our programming - engage in conversation and discourse on environmental emergencies via conversation post-film;
  • we are launching a new young filmmaking competition, the Micro Movie Challenge with the theme of Climate Emergency, in partnership with Leeds City Council’s Voice Influence and Change Team, who are hosting the first Leeds Youth Climate Summit.


Printed materials

  • Each year reassess the effectiveness of our marketing strategy to minimise print and increase use of alternatives;
  • investigate alternatives for pop up banners and other printed material - Leeds Young Film will pilot using cardboard standees as an alternative to traditionally pop up banners;
  • we will trial the use of e-tickets with our year-round programme with potential rollout for the festivals;
  • all printed materials to featured increasing messaging about recycling.



  • Work with local suppliers wherever possible;
  • Provide more opportunities and incentives for festival goers and volunteers to travel via public transport;
  • encourage guests to come via public transport and where possible avoid air travel;
  • encourage festival attendees to offset their travel using and donate.



  • Source resources/services locally;
  • work smarter within the council and with stakeholders to reduce procurement and increase productivity;
  • reuse resources, where possible, for future years, such as workshop materials.