Green is Universal | TV Production

About Us


TV Production

Both behind the scenes and in front of the camera, NBCUniversal is integrating sustainability into our TV productions. The work we do to promote awareness about the environment on-air is highly visible. But what our audiences might not realize is that their favorite shows are also working hard behind the camera to green their own production practices. Our Universal Television (UTV) division, responsible for shows like Parenthood, The Office and 30 Rock, along with our Universal Cable Productions (UCP), with shows like Syfy’s Warehouse 13 and USA’s Royal Pains, have implemented a solid set of green best practices. Here are some highlights of these sustainable practices, along with other green initiatives from across our television operations:

  • NBCUniversal and the UTV and UCP shows developed a green Television Production Guide to share information, resources and best practices with each department to achieve more sustainable production.
  • UTV and UCP productions establish food donation partners, resulting in thousands of pounds of food being donated to those in need each season and reducing the amount of food waste sent to landfill.
  • We’re using reusable water bottles and water-filtration units on our productions wherever practicable.
  • We reuse set materials within shows and between shows when possible.

Here’s a closer look at some of the ways production crews are implementing green practices into their every day work.

Grimm, NBC
Produced in Portland, Oregon

  • Diesel trucks use biodiesel blended fuel
  • Water bottles eliminated from set, instead cast and crew are provided with stainless steel reusable water bottles
  • For set walls, the construction department piloted a sustainable plywood product made locally in Oregon
  • Use 100% recycled latex paint
  • Cleaning products are non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Comprehensive recycling and composting set up throughout offices, on stage and when shooting on location
  • Recipient of Travel Portland’s 2012 Green Award and a 2012 and 2013 EMA Green Seal Award

Warehouse 13, Syfy
Produced in Toronto, Ontario

  • Production conducted a “Bike to Work” contest, preventing 217 round trips from being taken
  • Composting and recycling stations are set up in the office, on stage and on location
  • Non-toxic cleaning products and 100% post consumer recycled paper towels are used in the production office
  • Food is purchased in bulk and edible leftovers are donated
  • Washable mugs and cutlery are used in the offices and carpentry shop to reduce disposable waste. In addition, the crew uses pasta sticks in place of coffee stirrers!
  • Awarded 2010 EMA Green Seal and 2011 EMA Green Seal for sustainable production practices.

Parenthood, NBC
Produced in Los Angeles, California

  • Crew separates food waste for composting at lunch
  • Production office reduces their energy consumption by utilizing daylight, keeping most lights off throughout the day and shops with reusable bags
  • Construction uses sustainable building materials, and walls, doors and flooring are reused each time a new set is built
  • Set Dressing decorates the sets with sustainable materials such as bamboo, organic cotton bedding, recycled glass countertops and vintage furniture
  • Transportation uses non-toxic cleaning materials in the production trailers and the honeywagon has no-flush urinals
  • Green tips for crew are placed around the office
  • Awarded 2010 EMA Green Seal for sustainable production practices

Psych, USA
Produced in Vancouver, British Columbia

  • Drastically reduces the show’s use of plastic by using reusable water bottles and purchasing bulk water for the office, on set and on location.
  • Uses rechargeable batteries, saving hundreds of batteries a year
  • Food waste is sorted for composting
  • Craft Service shops with reusable bags and replaces paper towels with cloth alternatives wherever possible
  • Uses low VOC paints and repurposes unused paints as primers or donates them to local theater groups and schools
  • Awarded 2010 EMA Green Seal for sustainable production practices


Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos and Maury Povich, Syndication
Produced in Stamford, Connecticut

  • LED lighting is used in the stage area, reducing energy used for lighting and cooling the stage
  • Both the sets for Maury Povich and Jerry Springer incorporate recycled materials
  • All office refrigerators and freezers are Energy Star
  • Plastic water bottles have been eliminated for staff, replacing them with reusable water bottles and water coolers around the stage.
  • 95% of the light bulbs in the studio have been replaced with energy efficient CFL’s