Making a change behind the scenes

Recently founded by Duncan Nicholls and Tobias James, Good Planets is a photography and film production company seeking to make a positive change within the photography, film and advertising production industries.

By Bryony Coles, Features Writer & Photographer


The word, “sustainable” is used a great deal in society today.  Many folk working behind the scenes in various workplace environments have been seeking to reduce waste in whichever way they can.  It makes financial sense as well as being good for our planet.

Sustainability is often key to how businesses engage with the media now, and even how they care for the wellbeing of their staff. In a broader context,  sustainability is a feature of everything in our wider society today. The sportswear industry now has a duty of care to improve its levels of sustainability. 

“Apparel and footwear industries currently account for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, nearly as much as that of the whole European Union.”

Clothing manufacturing has an extreme environmental impact. Using raw materials for fabric not only wastes copious amounts of water, but also tends to incorporate harmful chemicals and advocates unethical labor. One of the core goals of the sportswear industry is to produce products that are high quality and long-lasting, but sustainability should be a mandatory obligation in their businesses. Alongside the sportswear industry, sustainability has reached a sector which has been known for high spend projects, waste and adverse publicity through the negative impact on the environment they leave behind when their projects come to an end, the film industry.

Large productions require hundreds of crew members, elaborate and multi-faceted props and sets, extensive catering facilities; not to mention the numerous important and unseen  designers, electricians and many other labourers which results in an onslaught of environmental wastage. From the genesis of an idea, through to the completed material and its distribution, the film industry draws an influential and vast network of individuals and skills.  Just look at the roll of credits after any film you watch to get an idea of the vast array of skilled labour required for a film production.  

Cred. albert initiative

According to BAFTA, one hour of television produces a carbon footprint equivalent to 13 tonnes of C02. There have also been several high profile, negative news stories of film productions which have left a damaged environment and ruined economies.  Alongside this, there is an attitude within the industry that to have more than is needed “just incase” is a mantra which is embedded in production values and costs. 


At the forefront of promoting sustainability within the sportswear and film industry is the newly-launched Good Planets ( ). Their vision is to create work that inspires positive social and environmental change, and do it in ways that are as sustainable as possible.

I recently had the privilege of interviewing co founders Duncan Nicholls and Tobias James.

Lockdown interview with Tobias and Duncan


The pair have been working together for 3 years after meeting in a shared creative space in Camden. Having partnered on a number of commercial and charity campaigns, there was a clear, creative resonance between both of them which was then married with a desire to bring sustainability into their milieu. Good Planets offers a solution to the challenge that many brands face in obtaining a consistent vision across both stills and motion. From their experience from the 1,000’s of shoots they executed, they know client requirements will differ from shoot to shoot, and can work with the brand to offer an effective solution no matter what the scale.

Good Planets already have a vast directory of clients such as Adidas, NFL, This Girl Can, North Face and many more. Good Planets is an agile solution for each client and brief, whatever the production requirements.  From their core crew working with agency and brand teams, to them providing the complete solution and managing the entire production, distribution and social media strategy support.

From our core crew working with agency and brand teams, to us providing the complete solution, managing the entire production and distribution.

Tobias James, Co-Founder of Good Planets
THIS GIRL CAN – Campaign
FA Campaign – Respect


Duncan and Tobias were inspired to develop after working on several film productions where they had witnessed the kind of environmental damage which the industry is infamous for. This included not only the waste put into the project but also the waste left behind once the cameras stop rolling. They decided to establish a Production Company, which not only breathes out empowering stories through the media but also has a strong, positive & sustainable ethos. One of their key values is a desire to see people empowered and made aware of the desirability as well the necessity of sustainability within the industry. 

Through their production values and vision, Good Planets aim to “inspire, empower and change” not only the film and sports industry’s attitude towards sustainability and work practices, but also various other sectors looking to make a positive change. To convey this message, they have also become members of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of annual sales to environmental non profits.

Inspire, empower and change.

Good Planets ethos

Duncan and Tobias have established some core values into their company.  They are inspired by the five easy guidelines promoted by ADGREEN, one of the foremost proponents of sustainability within the advertising industry. (   ADGREEN’s suggestions for embedding the well known three R’s – REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, into the advertising sector,  have been repurposed by Good Planets to be appropriated into the film industry.


Duncan and Tobias have incorporated these five steps into their Company by:

  • Having a no paper policy through the use of digital PPM (Product, Planning and Management) books and digital Scripts/Call Sheets
  • Aiming for zero single use plastic, encouraging Cast and Crew members to bring their own reusable coffee cups and water bottles
  • Ensuring that their equipment, suppliers and caterers do not use single use plastic, as well as the food produced being locally sourced and preferably vegan
  • Donating any unopened leftover food to Food Banks, Homeless Shelters or City Harvest (

Good Planets also uses renewable energy sources such as Bulb ( for their editing process and they fly with airlines such as Norwegian Air whose CO2 emissions are 30% lower than most other airlines.  Additionally,  GoodPlanets are using standards set out by The Gold Standard (, to carbon offset their flights and invest the money into reforestation and renewable energy projects. 

Film and photography are such powerful tools for provoking an emotional response from audiences. We wanted to put that to good use – to use our skills to amplify positive messages.

Tobias James, Co-Founder

With the positive outlook they have of shaping a culture they want to be part of and even just one person changing their habits would be an achievement to them. Their drive is to provide not only a service for people but create an open conversation with Clients on sustainability.

Currently, Good Planets have been adapting to the current Covid-19 epidemic and are working hard to follow government regulations to provide a safe environment for both clients and crew members. Aiming to create a more flexible and effective process for clients, they are currently encouraging only essential team members to be present on shoot days with the over of a real-time livestream to clients during the shoot process to allow full involvement and feedback. Not only are the implementing social distancing, but they are also adhering to strict cleaning regimes and minimal teams on location.  

Good Planets is a perfect example of an exciting and innovative media production Company which is striving to make a positive change for good in the area they work in and know well – the film and sports industry.  Being green is far more than just good intentions.  It requires boldness, courage and above all else, action.  Duncan and Tobias are committed to sustainability and we wish them every success with their new venture!

We’re not perfect, and we don’t know everything, but we are committed to constantly improving. If you have suggestions for how to do things even better, then we’re all ears and welcome those conversations.

Duncan Nicholls, Co-Founder of Good Planets

To discuss your business vision and campaign plans, contact the team via 

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