In Monumental: Ellie Goulding at Kew Gardens, the English singer and songwriter performs at the largest and most diverse botanic garden in the world, located in London. Not only is this episode of the Freevee docuseries a feast for the eyes, but its promotion of environmental sustainability on camera earned Monumental: Ellie Goulding at Kew Gardens an Environmental Media Association (EMA) Award, a first for Amazon.

You won’t want to miss this film when it premieres exclusively on Prime Video on May 2.

In addition to the EMA Award for front-of-camera sustainability woven into the storyline for the documentary, Amazon received 65 total EMA Green Seals in 2024 for its sustainable production practices. This is an increase from the 20 EMA Green Seals Amazon received in 2022 as the company implements more sustainable practices in its productions.

We caught up with the producer of Monumental: Ellie Goulding at Kew Gardens, Amber Mundinger, to talk about what it means to win an EMA Award, choosing Kew Gardens, some of the challenges of the shoot, and more.

What does it mean to you to win an EMA Award?

A scene from "Monumental: Ellie Goulding at Kew Gardens."

It's a great honor to receive an EMA—especially for this show—and given the long-standing history of the EMA, it feels very special to have received this. For the show with Ellie, it was very important to her to showcase her work in environmental activism and to highlight the individuals and locations doing that work every day.

Kew Gardens was an ideal choice. Given the location itself is where 300+ scientists and botanists work and are attempting to answer questions about plant evolution, diversity, and conservation. We worked to have a sustainable production on set, and then, through this show in particular, we were able to highlight the great work at Kew. So, it was especially meaningful to be able to receive this award when working with an artist who is actively out there on a daily basis advocating for change.

Ellie Goulding says in an interview in the film that her performance at Kew Gardens is one she “will never forget.” Can you talk about some of the things that you created as a producer to make this so?

A scene from "Monumental: Ellie Goulding at Kew Gardens."

There were many things, from my perspective, that made it so memorable, including the location itself. It gave us special access during an incredibly busy time. We were under very tight timelines to be able to shoot there, but they worked extremely hard to accommodate us because of the storytelling of the show.

The interviews with Ellie Goulding and TV personality Roman Kemp were right next to the time capsule that David Attenborough has at Kew Gardens. He buried the time capsule in the foundation of the building during its construction in 1985, and the capsule contains seeds of important food crops and several endangered species. It will be opened in 2085, when many of the plants it contains may be rare or extinct. When Ellie and Dr. Carly Cowell were chatting, they walked through the Princess of Wales Conservatory. The location has 10 distinct climate zones inside. We did the concert performances in the Temperate House which is the largest Victorian Glasshouse in the world. We were also able to get drone footage of Kew Gardens and the sunrise over London and along the Thames early in the morning (a nice 5 a.m. shoot). We really tried to capture as much as possible of the essence of the space and the critical work being done there.

What made you select Kew Gardens? Was that something Ellie wanted or something that was chosen?

A scene from "Monumental: Ellie Goulding at Kew Gardens."

It was Ellie's choice, and it also happened to be our top choice as well. Both the location and the work being done there felt monumental. The location is so epic in scale and beauty, along with its rich history and current work. We were very fortunate to get the access to be there.

Were there actions you took to make the production more environmentally sustainable? If so, what were they?

From reducing packaging waste to democratizing data, Amazon’s unique approach to AI is helping advance and innovate on sustainability goals.

Yes, we worked on multiple areas to make the production more environmentally sustainable including:

  • A small footprint team and keeping our production team as tight as possible
  • A digital-only set: Printing was for essentials only such as cue cards
  • Use of reusables: We encouraged the crew to use their own coffee cups and water bottles
  • Minimal food waste: We worked with caterers to get accurate food numbers
  • Fuel: We used Renewable Biofuel/Biodiesel and Diesel
  • Recycled footage: We also used footage from the UN in the final program
  • Lastly, we incorporated clear on-screen messaging about protecting the environment

Monumental is a great example of Amazon MGM Studios’ commitment to sustainability. In 2022, the company launched its Sustainability Policies to align with Amazon’s worldwide commitment through The Climate Pledge to reach net-zero carbon by 2040. Amazon MGM Studios is lowering on-set energy consumption and fuel usage, reducing waste and single-use plastic with required waste diversion targets, reusing materials whenever possible, reselling wardrobes, and educating cast and crew on the economic and environmental benefits of sustainability.

Learn more about Amazon’s sustainability efforts.