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Netflix series The Sandman made a three-tonne carbon saving using Sargent-Disc’s CrewStart™ application


Reducing the carbon footprint of the financial processes surrounding high-profile international shows has been an increasing priority for film and high-end TV productions, and the pandemic has only accelerated the uptake of paperless processes.

More accounting teams are moving away from traditional paper systems and opting for digital applications like CrewStart™, delivered by Sargent-Disc, a Cast & Crew company and the UK entertainment industry’s leading supplier of integrated payroll, residual, accounting and software services.


Sargent-Disc teamed up with its partner Bafta albert to explore the value of using CrewStart™ over paper accounting processes on films and HETV productions, including Netflix’s upcoming fantasy The Sandman, produced by Warner Bros Television.

Bafta albert figures show that ‘location and studio-based narrative’ is the most emission-intensive production method, generating an average of around 30 tonnes of carbon (30.7 tCO2e) per broadcast hour in 2021.

Using CrewStart™ for start forms, contracts and timesheets, The Sandman production team made an estimated carbon saving of more than three tonnes (3.1 tCO2e), equivalent to 290kg CO2e per hour across the 11 x 60-minute series.

This works out as a 1% reduction compared with average emissions generated per broadcast hour for a production of this type.


Calculations were based on factors including number of crew, contract pages and time sheets submitted throughout the duration of production, and estimates of carbon saved by CrewStart’s digital archiving capability. It removes the need to transport documents to physical storage at studio headquarters, which are often overseas.

 “Three tonnes is roughly equivalent to the amount of CO2 one person in the UK emits over a period of three  months,” says William Bourns, albert’s Sustainability Analyst.

“Or you could look at it as three people’s return flights from London to New York, or driving 18,000 kms in a diesel car. In a production context, is equivalent to powering a honey wagon for eight hours a day for a year. Three tonnes is a significant saving, and when you look at it as 1% of the average hourly emissions generated, it’s a meaningful reduction, especially for productions trying to do all they can in the current climate emergency.””

“To see how much carbon we saved using CrewStart™ is incredibly heartening”
Ann Marie Fitzgerald, production controller

The Sandman’s production controller Ann Marie Fitzgerald agrees that Crewstart™ is important in reducing and reporting on carbon emissions.

“To see how much carbon we saved using it on The Sandman is incredibly heartening. The pandemic made this kind of software even more essential and it’s making a world of difference to our efficiency,” she adds.

“When you sign a contract digitally, it’s stamped with the name, time and code, so you have an audit trail of where it is at all times. Nothing gets lost – it’s all there. I can’t imagine going back to having mountains of documents that we had to chase people to sign, and then ship off for storage at the end of a production. CrewStart™ has transformed the way my team works.”

About CrewStart™

CrewStart™, Sargent-Disc’s onboarding application, helps production teams automate the processing of contracts, start forms, daily rate vouchers and timesheets, enabling an entirely paperless process throughout the duration of production. To find out more about how CrewStart™ can bring down your production’s carbon footprint, contact 

The Digital Production Office®

Sargent-Disc’s Digital Production Office® suite of software and applications are designed to help film and TV production accounts teams work more efficiently and securely, while reducing the carbon footprint of productions. Applications include CrewStart™, Payroll, Payslip, Payscales, Digital Purchase Order, Production Card and PSL+. Find out more at