Green is Universal | Green Behind the Scenes

Green Behind the Scenes

Winter is Coming: What You Need to Do to Your Garden to Be Prepared!


There’s a certain thrill to seeing a ripe, fully colored tomato in your garden and using it for homemade salsa the next week. However, the time for soaking in that feeling is over, and as the seasons change, so must our gardening habits. As winter draws near, here are a few different things you should think about doing to protect your garden during the offseason.

  1. Make sure that your gardening tools are polished. It doesn’t matter if you have a brand new leaf collector or the dirtiest wheelbarrow east of the Mississippi. Your equipment needs to be cared for and put away, so make sure everything from pocket snips to weeders goes in the shed as soon as you don’t need it anymore. If you take care of good equipment, you won’t need to be wasteful and continually buy new tools.
  2. Try not to rake your leaves. While raking can be a solid workout, it can also damage your yard. Research has proven that mowing leaves on and around your garden is more efficient and better for the soil, and unraked leaves in planting beds seldom smother shade-tolerant perennial plants.
  3. Not everything needs to be cut! Some flowers and tall plants should stay standing tall. Sunflowers and thistles are especially important to butterflies and birds during the winter. Some plants and flowers can still be used as food and sanctuary. While some plants need to be eliminated, keep a few around for our fellow nature creatures.
  4. Cover up with compost. One to six inches of compost should do the trick when covering up the garden. This can be made of many different things, so get creative! It doesn’t just have to be manure or leaves.

You can find more in-depth tips here.


Bourne is Re-Born through Sustainable Filming Practices

Bourne is back, and he’s not pulling any punches.

Jason Bourne, the fourth movie in Universal Pictures’ blockbuster series, hits theaters today, July 29th. Matt Damon returns as the ex-CIA operative turned agency outsider who’s trying to right the wrongs of his past without destroying himself in the process. The film also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), Riz Ahmed (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), and Ato Essandoh (Django Unchained).

While filming, the Jason Bourne crew went above and beyond to make sure all production was sustainable. Here are just a few ways they made an impact:

  • In Last Vegas, the crew tied into the local electric grid to reduce fuel consumption for generators.
  • The lighting department used energy-saving LED lights in all hotel and airport scenes.
  • Scenes were shot in the Riviera Casino before it was torn down, preventing new material from being used to construct stunt sets.
  • In the UK, the construction department used a special CNC milling machine to provide more accurate cutting, which reduced plywood waste.
  • Background clothing was donated to The Upper Room and Traid, UK-based non-profits dedicated to alleviating poverty.
  • While filming on the Spanish island of Tenerife, food waste was composted to prevent harmful methane gas from being released into the atmosphere.

Make your weekend an action-packed one and check out Jason Bourne. To find a theater near you and purchase tickets, go here.


New Attractions and Green Practices at Universal Orlando Resort

It’s an exciting summer at Universal Orlando Resort! The home of Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure (which includes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) has just opened two new, world-class attractions:

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is a fantastical quest to find the legendary beast, himself. On your ride through dark jungles, you’ll fight off jungle predators and hostile tribes.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is the newest on-site hotel. Lounge and splash about in the 16,000 square foot pool—the largest pool in the resort hotels—and sleep in one of 1,000 guest rooms, including 83 suites. Order a delicious meal at Amatista Cookhouse (try the mojo-marinated rotisserie chicken) and ride the watertaxi past great views of the waterfalls at the lagoon.

But Universal Orlando Resort isn’t just a fantastic family getaway—it’s also making huge strides to limit its carbon footprint.

Here are just a few ways it stay green:

  • All excess food is donated to the Second Harvest Foodbank.
  • 19% of the park’s total waste was diverted in 2015.
  • There are 2,500 recycling locations throughout the parks.

Check out more ways Universal is keeping it green in this handy infographic, and go here to see what other exciting events are happening at the resort:



On Thrills and Sustainability, Mr. Robot Delivers


Hold on tight. The second season of USA’s Mr. Robot premieres Wednesday, July 13th at 10/9c, and it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

A quick review: the show stars Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a young cyber-security engineer who’s drafted into the secret hacker collective fsociety, led by the enigmatic and mysterious Mr. Robot (Christian Slater). The second season sees the fallout from the group’s major hack of Evil Corp, the show’s behemoth multi-national company. Mr. Robot also stars Portia Doubleday (Her), Carly Chaikin (Suburgatory), Martin Wallström (Simple Simon), Grace Gummer (The Newsroom), Michael Cristofer (Ray Donovan) and Stephanie Corneliussen (Legends of Tomorrow).

But this show isn’t just racking up industry awards–it’s also picking up nods for its eco-friendly practices on-set. Mr. Robot received an EMA Green Seal for its sustainable production practices on season one. And here are some ways the crew kept things green during filming for season two:

  • Fuel: In order to cut carbon emissions, a special blend of B20 biodiesel was used for generators and trucks.
  • Electricity: The Mr. Robot lighting department used energy-efficient LED lighting, which greatly reduced energy demands.
  • Recycling/Composting: Systems for both recycling and composting were implemented throughout production; season 2 also saw a composting program that traveled to on-location filming.
  • Food: Catering worked with Rock and Wrap It Up! to donate food to members of the NYC community who are food insecure. This also reduced the amount of methane gas that was released into the atmosphere.

Read more about Mr. Robot‘s sustainable practices here, and be sure to tune in to the season two premiere on Wednesday, July 13th at 10/9c, on USA.



Green News: NBC-Owned Station Unveils Eco-Friendly Facility


NBC 7 San Diego moved into a new state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly broadcast facility this spring. The owned station’s new home in Kearny Mesa, California has a certified energy-efficient design that minimizes employees’ impact on the environment in subtle-yet-serious ways.

Here are some of the news center’s greenest features:

  • A 200 KW solar rooftop system and parking lot
  • A 250 KW natural gas fuel cell that emits low carbon electricity
  • A new, tightly-controlled efficient HVAC system that conserves electricity
  • Air-cooled chillers that are capable of using outside cold air to cool computer equipment
  • LED lighting all throughout the facility, including the news studios
  • Use of natural light in lieu of electric light by incorporating occupancy and sunlight driven lighting, solatubes and skylights and automatic shades that are light-sensor driven
  • A low-flow drip system for sprinklers that contains a smart irrigation controller
  • Low-flow water devices, drought tolerant plants and ground cover.

See for yourself as NBC 7’s Jodi Kodesh takes viewers behind the scenes, and learn more about NBCUniversal’s commitment to sustainable facilities here.


Universal Orlando Resort: Where Excitement Meets Environmentalism


From the moment your vacation begins at Universal Orlando Resort, the theme park’s sustainability initiatives help to reduce the impact that your visit has on the environment.

Upon arrival, the valet offers a Chargepoint electric vehicle charger to power your car while you enjoy the resort’s attractions and amenities. All four on-site hotels are certified members of the Florida Green Lodging Program, which recognizes lodging facilities committed to conserving and protecting Florida’s natural resources. From three of the hotels, you can head to both theme parks and CityWalk via water taxis that are fueled by biodiesel. In fact, all of the resort’s vehicles are powered by biodiesel fuel, a cleaner-burning alternative to gasoline.

Resort Yacht

The maps you’ll grab to navigate Universal Orlando’s rides and activities are not only printed on paper made from environmentally responsible sources, but they’ll also remind you to recycle in one of the 2,500 recycling locations throughout the resort. Each recycling bin located throughout the resort is clearly marked with the traditional triangle logo, but blends in with the surrounding theme to preserve the atmosphere of each unique location.

Port Cans

Every dining location works to minimize its impact on the environment. By implementing environmentally-conscious kitchen practices, 953 tons of organic food waste were diverted from landfills in 2015. To put that into perspective, the amount of food waste diverted weighs roughly the same as 475 fully loaded roller coaster trains! Additionally, unused or unsold food is donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank, a local non-profit organization. Combined with guest and employee recycling, these behind-the-scenes actions led to over 19 percent of total park waste being diverted from landfills last year and sent instead to a recovery facility.

The plants and greenery you see throughout the parks are maintained with all-natural environmentally-friendly gardening practices. These include the use of coffee grounds to supplement nutrients in potting soil and replacing standard fertilizers and insecticides with fish oil and organic fertilizers made from natural ocean minerals.

Many of the lights used to illuminate your favorite rides and attractions are LED bulbs. LEDs save energy compared to traditional fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. In 2015, Universal Orlando Resort saved 2.3 million kilowatt hours annually by converting more lighting to LED.

Designing parks that both promote eco-friendly practices and enhance the visitor experience exemplifies NBCUniversal’s commitment to leading the way in entertainment and environmental responsibility. At Universal Orlando Resort, creating memorable vacations and a more sustainable future are one and the same.


NBCUniversal Honored for Its Sustainable Film and Television Productions


NBCUniversal is dedicated to integrating sustainability into our television and film productions – both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. At the 25th Environmental Media Awards this past October, the Environmental Media Association (EMA) recognized this commitment by honoring 23 NBCUniversal productions with an EMA Green Seal rewarding excellence in implementing sustainable production practices. With 23 EMA Green Seals, NBCUniversal won more awards than any other studio this year – and our highest number of awards in a single year.

Below is a complete list of NBCUniversal productions receiving a 2015 EMA Green Seal. Check out our new sustainable production infographics to explore how NBCUniversal’s filmmakers and crewmembers are reducing their environmental impact.

Universal Pictures

  • Steve Jobs
  • The Boss
  • Lonely Island
  • The Huntsman

Universal Television

  • About a Boy – Season 2
  • Allegiance – Season 1
  • Bates Motel – Season 3
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Season 2
  • Chicago Fire – Season 3
  • Grimm – Season 4
  • Heroes Reborn – Season 1
  • Master of None – Season 1
  • The Mindy Project – Season 3
  • Parenthood – Season 5
  • Shades of Blue – Season 1
  • The Slap
  • State of Affairs – Season 1
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Season 1

Universal Cable Productions

  • Defiance – Season 3
  • Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce – Season 2
  • Robot – Season 1
  • Royal Pains – Season 7
  • Suits – Season 5

NBCUniversal Productions Donate Food, Aid in the Fight Against Hunger

In the U.S. up to 40% of food goes to waste, while annually 49 million Americans suffer from food insecurity. In an effort to reduce waste and feed those that are in need, NBCUniversal film and television productions donate excess food to the communities in which they film. In 2015, nearly 34,000 pounds of excess food, equating to over 26,000 meals, were donated from 33 NBCUniversal film and television productions in six cities across North America.

Started in 2009, the NBCUniversal Sustainable Production Program connects TV and film productions with local non-profits that serve the hungry. When a show is in production, crews that often number over 100 are fed two meals daily. Despite careful planning by the production and catering company, there always seems to be a little food leftover. This high quality food is wrapped up and kept at a safe temperature until the time of donation. Local non-profits collect the food and immediately feed hungry people.

Food donations come from shows produced under Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Television and Universal Cable Productions, spanning across North America.  For example, in Toronto, USA’s Suits, NBC’s Heroes Reborn, and SyFy’s 12 Monkeys and Defiance donated to local organizations, Second Harvest and Good Sheppard. In NYC, Focus Feature’s upcoming release, The Book of Henry, USA’s Mr. Robot, NBC’s Shades of Blue, and Universal Television-produced Master of None (Netflix) and The Path (Hulu) all donated food with the help of the poverty think tank and the food recovery organization, Rock and Wrap It Up! The organization also coordinated donations from feature films produced around the US including Universal Picture’s June 2016 release Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping.

In Los Angeles, NBC’s Telenovela, Crowded, Superstore, and Hollywood Game Night donated food through the Universal Lot’s partnership with Food Finders. In addition to the production food donations, the Universal City Studio’s employee commissary, operated under Wolfgang Puck, donated excess food to Chefs to End Hunger, recovering 13,275 lbs. in 2015, which is the equivalent of 10,212 meals.

The NBCUniversal Sustainable Production Program is part of NBCUniversal’s ongoing commitment to both sustainability and fighting hunger in local communities.



MEND Donation 3

MEND Donation 4


Green Features at NBCUniversal Broadcast Center


NBCUniversal’s Universal City Broadcast Center opened in February 2014 as the new home for many of our west coast news and television operations. The two-building, 150,000-square-foot headquarters is the new workplace for more than 600 NBCUniversal employees including those at local affiliates KNBC and KVEA, as well as the L.A. bureaus of NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo News.

Sustainability and technological innovation was top-of-mind throughout construction of the headquarters. NBCU participated in Southern California Edison’s “Savings by Design” program, which optimizes energy efficiency. Energy conservation and waste reduction processes were integrated during the conception and build out. The following savings have already been achieved, or are expected to be achieved, at the UCBC:

  • 96% of 2,760 total tons of debris generated during the demolition phase were recycled/reused as verified by LA County.
  • Total estimated annual savings include 718,443 lbs of CO2 and $128,404 in energy costs.
  • Between the facility’s two main buildings, it’s estimated the UCBC will save more than 800,000 kWH in electricity per year.
  • Employee recycling programs being implemented in 2014 are expected to result in substantial waste reductions and savings of material resources.

NBCUniversal #5 in Computer World’s “Top Green IT Organizations”

Computerworld‘s top 12 green-IT organizations were chosen from a group of 70 applicants, each striving to find new ways to reduce energy consumption in their IT equipment and use technology to lower energy use elsewhere in their operations.

In fact, these organizations have woven energy-saving initiatives into the very fabric of their IT strategies. They are tapping the collective brainpower of their IT staffs to capitalize on existing technologies such as virtualization, telepresence and solar arrays while seeking out new methods to better control their carbon footprints.

NBC Universal CIO Christopher Furst may have said it best: “It’s hard work. There’s no silver bullet. It’s something you have to work on every day.”

To read the entire article, click here. To jump directly to NBCUniversal’s piece, click here.

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