Standards and Management Systems


What is a standard?

shutterstock_136201604_bs8909 smsPut simply, a Standard is an agreed, repeatable way of doing something. It is a published document that contains a technical specification or other precise criteria designed to be used consistently as a rule, guideline, or definition. Standards help to make life simpler, as well as increasing the reliability and effectiveness of many of the goods and services we use. They are intended to promote good working practices across an industry, particularly as they use a common framework.

Standards are drafted in conjunction with representatives from the industry. They are designed for voluntary use and do not impose any regulations, but laws and regulations may make certain standards compulsory. They are often used by organizations wishing to stay one step ahead of regulations, or to gain competitive advantage over peers.

BSI, the British Standards Institution, is the UK’s national standards organisation. It is recognised globally for its independence, integrity and innovation in the production of standards and information products that promote and share best practice. BSI works with businesses, consumers and government to represent UK interests and to make sure that British, European and international standards are useful, relevant and authoritative.

BSI British Standards has originated many of the world’s most used and best known standards and in particular is a global leader in the development of sustainability standards. To learn more, please visit

What is a management system (SMS)?

A management system is simply a framework for managing processes and activities to ensure continuous improvement over time; it follows steps to ‘Plan – Do – Check – Act’ (also known asthe Deming Cycle).

A sustainability management system (SMS) enables organisations to improve their sustainability performance. The BS 8900 series of British Standards outline what sustainability management systems for filmmaking, events and procuement should include. This means that for BS 8909, each film organisation is free to identify the sustainability issues that are a priority for them, rather than conforming to a generic checklist. For example, while managing transport may be a priority for one feature shooting in multiple locations, it may be less relevant to another production which is using water tanks to create a shipwreck scenario

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A recent study estimated that screen production (film and TV) in London alone produces 125,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.


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