The Island (An t-Eilean) is set on the beautiful backdrop of the Isles of Harris and Lewis. To those in the Gaelic community it is the hills they know like the back of their hands, or the beaches they have grown up running along on sunny summer’s days; but for many of us in the crew, and for many watching who have never been to the islands, the natural beauty of the island is simply stunning. It is imperative that we take every measure to safeguard these environments, support their local communities, and cherish the remarkable natural world that we are privileged to call home. Below, discover some of the ways we are embracing sustainability on The Island.


Sustainability is thirsty work

Our cast and crew are using reusable water bottles and plant-based compostable coffee cups whilst on set and everyone in the office is using mugs and reusable water bottles. All our water is provided in recycled water cooler bottles by local island suppliers, and they can be used over and over again! We also used eco-friendly compostable cutlery and boxes for our catering which was done in-house at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle by their catering team, meaning no need for generators or big catering trucks!


If it’s good enough for a castle

We were fortunate enough to film in the impressive Amhuinnsuidhe Castle, which comes decorated to the doorknobs with incredible set dressings. Plus all of our additional brilliant purpose-built set builds and decorations will be donated, recycled, stored for the future, or sold! By basing ourselves from the castle, with its many rooms, we were able to avoid using facilities trucks, instead having our costume, makeup, ADs and art department spread throughout the location working hard behind the scenes in non-filming rooms. Facilities trucks require generators and would have needed to be brought up from Glasgow, increasing our carbon footprint. Foresight and negotiations with the castle staff allowed us to make the most of our amazing location.


Keeping things bright

We’ve switched to lower-energy lighting and LEDs wherever possible! This means we’re using far less energy to power our sets. When filming in and around the castle we were able to use mains powered electricity for our lights and avoid using a generator. In fact, we only used a generator once during the whole island-based shoot when we were filming at a very remote location! Plus filming as the days have gotten longer has certainly helped us make the most of natural daylight.


Sharing is caring

When you’re based on an island everything is a drive away, but we have encouraged carsharing on this production. This has seen crew members travel over to the island and to and from work together from their shared accommodation. This has reduced our impact on the local roads and reduced our Co2 emissions! We also reduced the need to travel crew over and accommodate them by hiring local crew (and cast!) who were already living on the island. We’re also using Green Tomato Cars for any transfers in London – they provide an entirely electric fleet to keep our carbon emissions as low as can be!

When back in Glasgow we are also ensuring any contributors from further afield are taking the train as the average flight from London to Glasgow generates approximately 133KG of CO2, whereas the same journey by train generates 22.7KG of CO2!

Home from home

Whilst staying on Harris and Lewis our cast and crew have been assimilating to island life. We have been an undeniable presence near Tarbert as we have made the most of the local infrastructure and moved into almost every self-catered cottage available! Crew have been able to make use of properties with log fire heating, well water-plumbed showers and solar panel run electricity. Our cast stayed on location in Amhuinnsuidhe Castle, upstairs from filming which reduced any transport to and from set!

For any hotels or Glasgow-based serviced apartments we have used throughout the production they have provided us with their sustainability memos complete with sensor-activated lights to reduce energy waste, water conservation through low-flow fixtures, and locally supplied organic produce (especially in our island-based hotels).


Going digital

The Island operates as a paperless production. This, and all our other sustainable initiatives, were communicated to the cast and crew through our paperless Green Memo that was sent out to all contributors before filming. We will only print documents if requested for a specific reason and anything we do print is on eco-paper, which is always recycled. We also implemented a digital rushes delivery and had an on-site DIT. This meant we never had to involve a courier to travel our rushes back to the Glasgow posthouse, instead relying on star-link to transfer them digitally.


Charity shop chic

Providing costumes for so many characters on a series of this scale means that we need a lot of clothes! We’re hiring or buying clothes second-hand wherever possible. Everything we use on this production will either be stored for future use, sold to the crew or donated back to charity shops!


Every little bit helps

Consumables have a finite lifespan, however by purchasing sustainably sourced items and investing in reusable products we can reduce our impact on the planet. For example, we are big fans of reusable shower caps, rechargeable batteries and makeup products that can be recycled or refilled.


Art imitates life

The very nature of our show being set in such a rural bucolic community sees our characters surrounded by the environment and their decisions shaped by it. Our cast are seen having secret conversations by the beach, reflecting on life at seaside cliffs, hiding evidence in the hills and driving through mountains and moors (some with wind farms!).