NBCUniversal film and TV productions are committed to reducing their environmental impact on set. In 2009, the NBCUniversal Sustainable Production Program was launched to integrate sustainable best practices behind the scenes, with over 70 productions participating each year. Our sustainable production infographics are a signature tool of the program, created by NBCUniversal for filmmakers to use as a visual guide. Participating productions have included Universal Pictures’ Hobbs & Shaw, Focus Features’ Harriet, NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place, and World of Dance, and USA’s The Sinner.
Key best practices include:
ENERGY EFFICIENT SET LIGHTING
NBCUniversal actively supports the transition to energy efficient set lighting, investing in LED technology, including the recent acquisition of Cineo Lighting. Using up to 70% less energy than conventional set lighting, the use of this technology on our productions continues to increase, decreasing energy usage on set. Now it is not uncommon to have our sets be lit by more than 50% LED lighting.
Our productions have been donating excess catering for over a decade. In 2019, 69 productions in 17 cities around the world donated 47,365 lbs. of excess food, equaling 39,470 meals fed to those in need.
We are working to reduce our production’s fuel use and its associated carbon emissions. Measures include enforcing a strict no-idling policy and renting solar-powered trailers and fuel-efficient vehicles, where available. Diesel generators are also replaced with grid power where possible, and our productions utilize new technology as it hits the market, such as battery electric mobile power units.
SET MATERIAL REUSE AND DONATIONS
Our television studios have an extensive reuse program with warehouses in Los Angeles and New York that allow production assets such as set walls, props, and wardrobe to be stored and reused from one show to the next. If an item cannot be reused internally, it will often be donated to local nonprofits. Past donations have been made to groups such as Habitat for Humanity and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Our productions purchase FSC certified plywood for set walls and recycled content paper to protect forests and their biodiversity. Some productions are also beginning to reduce the amount of red meat served at production catering, replacing it with lower carbon proteins and more vegetarian options.
WASTE REDUCTION AND RECYCLING
Our productions work to reduce single-use plastics and waste generated on set. We have digitized several paper processes and many productions have phased out plastic water bottles. Recycling, and often composting, is onsite to reduce the amount of material sent to landfill.
INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP AND COLLABORATION
In 2020, fifty-eight NBCUniversal productions received EMA Green Seals from the Environmental Media Association, demonstrating our leadership in sustainable production. NBCUniversal is a founding and active member of GreenProductionGuide.com, where we collaborate with our peers to accelerate the adoption of sustainable production practices throughout the film and TV industry.