VMI Books Eurostar to Visit IBC in Amsterdam

We have been travelling to visit the IBC TV convention in Amsterdam for decades and other than the Superheroes campaign (2017-2019) when we travelled by bicycle, we have always travelled by aeroplane.

VMI’s net-zero sustainability policy required us to replace air travel with more sustainable methods of transport, so for the first time, VMI will be travelling to IBC in 2022 with Eurostar!

VMI 2021 Carbon Audit Shows 9% CO2 Reduction

Our second annual carbon audit of 2021 is complete and demonstrates that VMI has reduced its total carbon emissions, according to the Science-Based Target Initiative from 234TCO2e to 213TCO2e, a reduction of 8.9% compared to the 2019 baseline, on target with our net-zero by 2030 strategy.

We only started our formal net-zero journey mid 2021, so this is a terrific result since many of our initiatives had yet to be completed.

The breakdown of each Scope emissions are as follows

  • Scope 1 emissions had reduced from 54TCO2e to 37.6TCO2e
  • Scope 2 emissions also reduced from 13TCO2e to nil, as all electricity for 2021 was using exclusively green tariffs.
  • Scope 3 (excluding CapEx purchases), increased from 167TCO2e to 175TCO2e

Some of the increase in scope 3 emissions can be attributed to a greater detail of measurement, such as a detailed analysis of employees commuting, which was not undertaken in 2019.

Our commitment is to publish our results every year, so view the full report here.

Bristol Building 10.6KW Solar PV Installation

VMI’s Bristol building has been fitted with a 10.6KW Solar PV array, to provide the majority of it’s power requirements.

As part of this initiative, we have also replaced all lighting in Bristol facility with known Lumens/Watts-rated LED lights, to match Acton. This has reduced light-caused energy consumption by up to 90%.

Even with EVs, 10.6KW is a lot more power than the Bristol branch is likely to use except at peak times and since our surplus is now being sold to the grid, we will in some small way help fortify Britain’s green power generation.

Click here to see before and after pictures!

Bristol Solar PV cuts power use by 56%

Amazingly, Bristol’s Sola PV installation has cut their power use by more than half (56%), though the pictures tell the full story though!
(Data from Octopus energy readings taken 25-April – 22 May but excluding 13 May when the installation was in progress). Previous daily average (18.92KWh. After installation, daily average reduced to 8.31KWh. Reduction of 10.61KWh per day of electricity use from grid or 56.1%)

VMI London has 10KW of Solar Panels Installed

In May 2022, in spite of having a 100% green electricity tariff since 2018, VMI installed 10KW of solar panels to its London HQ to generate most of its own power.

With rising energy prices and fleet of electric vans coming, this looks like a good move to make.

Environmental Grant won from West of England Combined Authority and European Regional Development Fund

50% Funding for environmental improvements to Bristol was sought and approved from the West of England Combined Authority and European Regional Development Fund.

They helped to fund improvements to Bristol’s building for:
• replacing existing fluorescent lighting with LED equivalents;
• applying insulation above false ceiling.
• replacing single-glazed rooflights with triple-glazed equivalents;
• and a solar photovoltaic (PV) array.

Website Link

VMI is voted one of the UK’s Best Workplaces

Having achieved a Great Place To Work certification for VMI, we were invited to enter the UK’s Greatest Workplace Awards and were delighted to be officially ranked 62 as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces …more

VMI donates full ARRI camera kit to West London College

West London College is proud to announce a significant partnership with camera rental company, VMI, who supply camera packages to the TV Industry for dramas, feature films, documentaries, music videos and more.

The partnership will ensure students on media courses at Ealing Green College will have access to cutting-edge equipment, with VMI donating a full ARRI digital camera kit, worth £100,000, to the college. The camera kit is still used in industry production and this particular camera was most recently used for shooting season 22 of ITV’s “Midsomer Murders” in summer 2021, which is due to continue airing throughout 2022. …more

VMI E-BIKE SCHEME OPEN DAY HELD

VMI held a BLIKE open day in April for our staff to try out the full range of E-Bikes available to lease from BLIKE. The scheme has been set up as an alternative to the existing Cycle-to-Work scheme, to personally lease E-Bikes as a healthier and cost-effective way of commuting and which is also very tax-efficient.

I can personally attest to these bikes also being a LOT of fun!

Bristol Building Roof Insulation and Triple-Glazed Roof Lights Fitted

We replaced the single-glazed roof lights with triple glazed (U-value 1.6) and sprayed foam insulation to the underside of the steel roof of our Bristol building to improve its thermal efficiency..

These two initiatives are predicted to save 6.6T CO2 per year.

We publish updated VMI Environmental and Sustainability Policy

We updated our Environmental and Sustainability Policy and uploaded it here. We strongly believe in the power of community and continues to share ideas and solutions that inspire wider industry action and in June 2021, we committed to becoming a net zero organisation by 2030 and to halve its carbon emissions by 2025 using 2019 as the baseline year.

These aren’t just words, so we have backed them up with a commitment to promote a plant-based diet and giving staff an additional annual day’s leave, if they haven’t used an aeroplane in the previous year for personal use.

Download VMI Environmental and Sustainability Policy Document

VMI Sponsors KIFF Film Festival

VMI loves to support new entrants to the industry and is proud to be a partner of a brand new film festival in June, which aims to celebrate a diverse … Read more

VMI stops stocking Polyboards and pioneers sustainable replacement

Polyboards are horribly unsustainable and their size makes them difficult to dispose of, so we have found a practical sustainable alternative and have stopped supplying the originals.

The new Lastolite Rapids are even more versatile than the original, as we supply them with a variety of covers including black, white, silver and diffusion and can be easily assembled in 60 seconds.
They can be reused over and over and even fit into a car – try that with an 8×8 poly!

VMI is Double Winner at 2022 West London Business Awards

VMI Named West London Company of the Year For Leading On Climate Change

The actions and leadership of VMI and its Managing Director in galvanizing the industry around net zero targets have been recognised by West London Business.

VMI have won two prestigious awards at the West London Business Awards. It is named West London Company of the Year 2022 while MD Barry Bassett won Business Leader of the Year. Read More

Company Food Poll

What kind of company polls their staff to see what food they would like to eat for catered events? We do!

In February 2022, we polled the entire VMI staff and overwhelmingly, people asked us to provide them with predominantly vegetarian food.

Interestingly, only one person voted for a 100% meat diet, though they admitted that this had been a mistake (they were vegetarian!)

We have now adopted the results of the poll so all food supplied by VMI from now on will be in the proportions of 70% vegetarian, 30% meat, in line with staff wishes.

Launch of VMI Microsite to show 20-year Sustainability Journey

Not many people know that we have been working for almost 20 years to make VMI into a more sustainable and socially equitable company. We are totally committed to becoming a Net-Zero company by 2030 have launched a microsite to share our journey.

VMI Donates Lights for Student Training

VMI has partnered with Bristol-based college, boomsatsuma, donating a range of lighting equipment for BA Hons Filmmaking Production and Post-production degree student skills development, Jan 2021. Degree students based at … Read more

VMI is a certified Great Place to Work!

VMI has always striven to be a place that people enjoy working in and a recent independent audit by organisation, GreatPlaceToWork, has confirmed that 96% of VMI’s workforce judge VMI … Read more

VMI E-Bike Scheme Launched

VMI launched the BLIKE scheme as an alternative to the existing Cycle-to-Work scheme, to personally lease E-Bikes as a healthier and cost-effective way of commuting.

Latest BECTU Guidance Adopted

Jason Henwood, working with the Bectu Camera Branch, has published the latest guidance document detailing policies and and recommendations to help camera assistants, producers and rental companies to adopt more sustainable working … Read more

VMI wins National Climate Award

VMI won a national award being crowned “Hero of Net Zero” by the UK Government at the international COP26 climate summit in November 2021 for its work on sustainability.

More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2030, 20 years ahead of the Government’s own climate commitment.

VMI.TV won over the competition judges for taking responsibility for their sectors environmental impact, spreading the sustainability message as founding members of the Bectu’s-Film-For-Future group.

  • VMI.TV, Bristol and London-based camera rental company, crowned Hero of Net Zero at COP26 awards ceremony.
  • Small business celebrated for original and creative actions taken to cut their own greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The company urges other businesses to commit to net zero at UK Climate Hub.

Read the full story of this amazing achievement here.

Formal commitment to Net Zero on Government Business Climate Hub

The Government Business Climate Hub keeps a register of all UK companies who have committed to a net Zero Pledge and August 2021 saw VMI also adding its name, committing it to.

  1. Halving our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030
  2. Achieving net zero emissions before 2050
  3. Disclosing our progress on a yearly basis

In doing so, we are proud to be recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, and join governments, businesses, cities, regions, and universities around the world that share the same mission.

VMI Christmas Jumper Day to help Save the Children

VMI took part in Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 10 December 2021, for us all to wear our silliest, most festive jumper on & donated £124 to Save the Children.

VMI 2021 Client Survey – 96% Service

In December 2021, we held our 14th annual client satisfaction survey, asking all VMI clients who had hired from us in the previous 12 months exactly what they thought about us and we have included them for you here.

Most importantly though, 40 of you voted VMI 4.8 on customer service (3 is average, 4 is good and 5 is excellent), which is equivalent to 96% client approval rating.

VMI Shortlisted for Park Royal Business of the Year award 2022

For the third year in as many years, VMI has been nominated as a finalist for the West London Business Awards. VMI has been shortlisted as one of three companies for the Green ‘Race to Zero’ Business of the Year but what is really surprising is that also, for the first time, we have been also shortlisted as one of three companies in the category of Park Royal Business of the Year.

Read Full Story

VMI Retires all Tungsten Rental Lighting

Tungsten is the most traditional form of TV/Film lighting still in use today, having replaced expensive and dangerous Carbon Arc fittings.

In reality though, tungsten lighting fixtures ought to be called lighting heaters, since 96% of the energy used is output as heat, leaving only 4% to produce light. This makes them immensely inefficient and not at all compatible with modern sustainability ideals and on these grounds, VMI has decided to retire all of its tungsten lighting in October 2021*.

Read Full Story

toner-recycling

Print and Toner Recycling

All old ink and toner cartridges are disposed of in a responsible and sustainable manner with a new recycling bin installed by Lewis.

We all know that these are very easy to buy and even easier to put into the dustbin when empty but he has found a waste company called Zero Waste Recycling, who will for a small fee, take all of our old cartridges and recycle them responsibly.

We are all interested in the pursuit of saving more waste from going to landfill, so well done, Lewis!

Created Net Zero Roadmap

We’ve created our Net Zero Roadmap! We will reduce our emissions to the limits that technology and society set for us by 2030 and offset any residual emissions along the way.

AA rechargeable Batteries

VMI Stops Using Disposable AA Batteries

VMI has made the transition to using rechargeable AA batteries and entirely stopped the environmentally harmful use of disposable batteries and shared this practice with the wider rental community.

VMI takes on three new Apprentices

Our apprenticeship programme has launched! Jonah Mann, Josh Barker, and Matt Fisher are our first recruits. This makes all the nagging, lobbying, meetings and consultations worth it.

200 people applied and of those we invited 42 to an activity event hosted at the London Screen Academy. 13 trainees will become the first cohort of Camera Technician Apprentices, They started a 2 week “boot camp” at the LSA on 24 August to begin a 2-year training programme designed by UK rental companies, which will train them to near Senior Technician standard without any cost to them and whilst being fully employed.

Upon completion, they will achieve a formal industry qualification of a level 3 NVQ by August 2023.

Read more

Zero to Landfill

VMI Group Recycles 100% of Waste – CERTIFIED

You heard that right! Our waste reduction plan is working!! For the last year we were able to divert everything we didn’t need any more to be fully recycled or composted, making us 100% landfill-free!! In 2019 we created over 24,000Kg of CO2e, we haven’t performed our 2021 carbon audit yet but we look forward to seeing a huge cut in this number.

Read full audit here

Long-awaited UK Camera Tech Apprenticeship standard is rolled out

More than 200 young hopefuls who initially lodged their interest in the new Camera Tech Apprenticeship programme, were reduced to 100 after the first sift, 56 at the second and just 42 received invitations to the activity and selection day event, hosted at the London Screen Academy on Wednesday 21 July.

First Carbon Audit Complete

VMI completed its first ever Carbon Audit. Since 2020 was such a peculiar year, we used 2019 as our base year from which all of our carbon saving measures will be compared with.

Going forwards, we commit to completing a carbon audit every year and publicly publishing our results. This way, we can demonstrate that we are taking real action to reduce our emissions annually and hopefully be on track with our net zero commitment.

5 years of renewable electricity

We have been powered solely by 100% renewable electricity since 2016 at all our sites.

We are proud that in 2022, all of VMI’s gas and electric supplies of all buildings are supplied by Octopus Energy

VMI help to set up UK’s first Apprenticeship Standard for Camera Technicians

We want an industry that is accessible to all. For the past 18 months we’ve been working on an apprentice programme specifically for 16-19 year olds (but open to anyone 16 on up).

We got in touch with the TV Industry Body, ScreenSkills and we persuaded the Institute of Apprenticeships to approve the design of a new standard. Now our apprentices will gain an NVQ by working with us.

We collaborated with many industry companies to create the standard including S+O Media, Panavision, Movietech, ARRI Rental, Shoot Blue, CVP, Focus 24, Shift-4, Brownian Motion, Take-2 and CVP. While we’re proud of initiating this idea, collaborating with the rest of the industry is important if we are to create an industry that is socially just and allows our apprentices to prosper and grow.

[Designing an apprenticeship standard pre-zoom took a lot of meetings and a lot of coffee!] Read the full story – it took a LOT of time, perspiration and coffee!

VMI’s Green Credentials in the news

The Guild of Television Camera Professionals has written an article on our green credentials. Alison Chapman of the GTC said VMI was “the best example we have found of a company within the industry really committing to this in a thorough and thoughtful way is GTC sponsor VMI, which has already introduced many sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.”

Read More

We did it! Superheroes raised over £60K in past 3 years to make world landmine-free

2019 was the final year of the Superheroes ride which actually also attracted the most sponsors for our Superheroes ride so far with 85 sponsors!

We were able to raise over £25,000 for MAG, who save people from landmines.

[8 intrepid Superheroes, en-route to Amsterdam on the final ride of the 3-year Superheroes campaign. From the left, pictured are: Steve Baxter, Darren Cock, Adam Rodgers, Yevgeny Subbotin, Barry Bassett, Ali Wilson, Daniel Layne, Peter Withers]

Read Full Story about why we did did this, how the campaign was started and see pictures of the rides and videos, including letters of support from Prince Harry and the King of Holland!

Major Project saves 30,000KWH per year

We consolidated seven separate servers into one more efficient server, saving the power to both run the servers and cool them.

The project was innovative enough for Ealing Council to give us their Environmental Award!! We save approximately 30,000KWH electricity annually.

That's all!

VMI are proud sponsors of: