Green is Universal | Film Production

Film Production

Filmmaking brings unique opportunities and challenges for making operations more sustainable. NBCUniversal’s film division is committed to becoming a more sustainable business by identifying and integrating innovative ways to reduce our environmental footprint. Universal Pictures and Focus Features developed a detailed Sustainable Production Guide for their casts and crews to give each department production-specific information, resources and best practices. Universal Pictures has also hired an executive to assist productions in implementing these practices and the shows utilize the for additional resources. Read more about the eco-accomplishments taking place:

Recent Releases

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, June 3, 2016

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

©Universal Pictures

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is headlined by musical digital-shorts superstars Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, collectively known as The Lonely Island.  The comedy goes behind the scenes as singer/rapper Conner4Real (Samberg) faces a crisis of popularity after his sophomore album flops, leaving his fans, sycophants and rivals all wondering what to do when he’s no longer the dopest star of all.

Filmed in Los Angeles, Popstar implemented multiple practices that reduced its carbon footprint. Through the elimination of single room trailers and by replacing tractor trailers with less fuel-intensive 10-ton trucks, the film used significantly less fuel than a similar sized production. The Transportation department used B20 biodiesel in generators at the Long Beach Convention Center and reduced generators by tying into the electric grid while shooting the concert scenes at The Forum.

Construction built sets with FSC-certified plywood, and many sets were donated for reuse at the end of the film. Crew recycled on set and composted food waste while shooting at The Forum. With the help of Rock and Wrap It Up!, Catering donated excess food to local organizations throughout the Los Angeles area, amounting to nearly 1,700 meals.

Popstar  was the first production to implement the EP SmartStart system which digitally on-boards crew members and helps reduce paper use. These practices helped Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping earn a 2015 EMA Green Seal, recognizing progress in sustainable production practices.


The Huntsman: Winter’s War, April 22, 2016

Discover the story that came before Snow White in The Huntsman: Winter’s War.  Chris Hemsworth and Oscar® winner Charlize Theron return to their roles from Snow White and the Huntsman, joined by Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain.  Producer Joe Roth (Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland) once again leads the team in this breathtaking prequel in the legendary saga that is directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan.

In front of the camera, the construction department used reclaimed lumber to create the look and feel for some of the sets.  The lighting department incorporated LEDs into set lighting, which use up to 70% less energy than standard film set lights.

Behind the scenes, 96% of waste was diverted from landfill. This was achieved through implementing a comprehensive recycling and composting program throughout the offices and stages. In the production offices,  scripts and schedules were printed on 100% recycled content paper, and through digital distribution and print reduction methods, the show used 40% less paper than a production of a similar size.  The Huntsman: Winter’s War received an EMA Green Seal, which recognizes a production’s commitment to implementing sustainable practices.


The Boss, April 8, 2016

Boss, The (2016)

©Universal Pictures

Academy Award®-nominated star Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Tammy, Spy) headlines The Boss as a titan of industry who is sent to prison after she’s caught for insider trading.  When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.

Filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, the crew on The Boss worked to implement the NBCUniversal Sustainable Production Program.  Wherever possible the Construction department incorporated previously used materials into set builds.  Reusable water bottles were distributed to the crew and water refilling stations were available on-set, preventing more than 38,000 individual plastic water bottles from being used.  This waste-saving measure was even implemented on their largest filming day at the Gwinnet Center, where hundreds of background actors had access to water refilling stations hidden from the camera in each section.

Throughout the production, Catering sourced recycled content paper products that use less natural resources and help support the recycling market.  Finally, 590 pounds of excess food, equating to 450 meals, was donated to City of Refuge.  These practices and more earned The Boss an EMA Green Seal, recognizing efforts in sustainable production practices.


Ride Along 2, January 15, 2016

©Universal Pictures

©Universal Pictures

Kevin Hart and Ice Cube lead the returning lineup of Ride Along 2, the sequel to the blockbuster action-comedy that gave us the year’s most popular comedy duo. They are joined in the film by Ride Along co-stars Bruce McGill and Tika Sumpter, as well as those new to the series, including Ken Jeong, Benjamin Bratt and Olivia Munn.

Behind the scenes, the crew worked to keep the NBCUniversal sustainability program in mind throughout production. While building the sets, the construction department made use of sustainable building materials such as pulp art, a wall skin made from 100% recycled paper. During filming in Atlanta, the crew donated leftover catering to Atlanta’s Table, a non-profit working to redistribute food to those in need all throughout the city. This not only fed the local population experiencing food insecurity, but also reduced the amount of food waste sent to landfill by the production. When it came to printing, the production office sourced a tree-free paper, called Treefrog Paper, and reduced the need to print by instituting a print on-demand policy for all crew.

Ride Along 2 was a recipient of an EMA Green Seal award for their efforts in implementing sustainable production practices.

2015 Releases

2014 Releases

2013 Releases

2012 Releases

2011 Releases

2010 Releases
The Green Production Guide features an interactive searchable database of environmentally-sensitive products and services, listed by state in the U.S. and select international locations. The Guide also features best practices and tools like the Carbon Calculator to help producers determine their production’s carbon footprint on a comprehensive level.

You can help grow the Green Production Guide by adding your favorite green vendors. Suggest a vendor here and we’ll contact them to get listed. Or point your production’s green steward here to register for an account to add vendors.