Film and television production is fast-paced and transient, therefore, NBCUniversal created a simple, easy to use visual guide which illustrates sustainable production best practices. Built upon the detailed Green is Universal Sustainable Production Guide, the infographics inspire our productions to strive to implement as many best practices as possible.
Used with over 60 productions produced under Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Television and Universal Cable Productions each year, these infographics educate filmmakers and crewmembers how to reduce their environmental impact through energy efficiency, water conservation, responsible waste management and sustainable sourcing of materials.
The infographics are broken down into three key areas; Production Office, Stages and Construction Mill, and shooting On Location. Starting when the Production Office opens, productions work to reduce, reuse and recycle. One key area is paper use. NBCU productions purchase paper that is made from recycled material and distribute information digitally as much as possible. For instance, Jurassic World achieved a 50% reduction in paper use when compared to a similar sized tentpole production.
When constructing film sets, efforts are made to source sustainable materials. For example, sets on USA’s Mr. Robot, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, produced by Universal Television for Netflix, are made from plywood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). In Vancouver, Fifty Shades of Grey also built sets with FSC certified plywood and faux walls made from recycled content material. At wrap, the sets were stored be reused on the sequels.
While shooting on stage, productions work to reduce the energy they use. When filming in Atlanta, Furious 7 utilized LED set lighting and tied into the electric grid in place of generators, avoiding the use of over 16,500 gallons of fossil fuel. For the 2015-2016 TV season, Universal Television nearly tripled its use of LED lighting on productions shooting on the Universal Studios lot.
On location, productions look for ways to reduce carbon emissions and give back to the communities in which they film. Shot in NYC, Trainwreck and NBC series Shades of Blue both used B20 biodiesel in their generators, and Sisters engaged the crew to be creative with sustainability practices by hosting contests like the “Green Crew Challenge.” Straight Outta Compton, filmed in the Los Angeles area, donated 2,571 lbs. of excess food from crew catering, the equivalent of 1,936 meals, to local organizations. In 2015, NBCUniversal productions donated nearly 34,000 pounds of leftover catering, equating to over 26,000 meals, from 33 NBCUniversal film and television productions in six cities across North America.
Even animated productions, like Minions, make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Illumination Entertainment performed hundreds of remote records, connecting 10 different studios throughout the US and Europe via ISDN hook-ups. This allowed directors to record and direct talent without flying anyone to a common location.