Film Production: 2011 Releases

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 from our 2011 releases:

The Dilemma

the dilemma

© Universal Pictures

Mostly filmed in Chicago, the production used sustainable products when possible including interior “brick walls” constructed from 100% recycled and recyclable material that replaced the more typical petroleum based products. Director Ron Howard and the entire film crew used stainless steal reusable water bottle further reducing the amount of plastic used on set.



© Universal Pictures

After Bridesmaids was locked, the Universal Assets department dismantled and recycled all set materials. The set dressing and props from the film are now available for reuse in the Universal Prop House and production office supplies, equipment and kitchenware are currently being stored for reuse on the next Universal Pictures film.



© Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment

The entire crew from this live action and animated family feature composted and recycled on set. Together they prevented 34 tons of material (85% of location set waste) from ending up in a landfill.



© Universal Pictures

The crew saved energy while filming on location in New Mexico by using solar powered portable restrooms, hybrids cars for the cast and rechargeable batteries in the sound department.

 The Change-Up
The Change Up

© Universal Pictures

While filming in Atlanta, GA the crew of the comedy The Change-Up reused materials and reduced their waste. Almost all 9-volt batteries used by the sound department were rechargeable, set elements were constructed with used materials and catering provided compostable and biodegradable food service products.

The Thing

The Thing

© Universal Pictures

While shooting in Toronto, ON the shooting crew on thriller, The Thing, used reusable water bottles in place of plastic. On stage, in addition to recycling, the crew separated their food waste, increasing the waste diversion of the film.

Johnny English Reborn

Johnny English

© Universal Pictures

Filmed in London, England, the special effects snow used on Johnny English Reborn was made of biodegradable cellulose. After the shoot, remaining “snow” was also recycled, adding up to 16 tons or the size of two large elephants! In addition, the construction department reduced its need for raw lumber by using metal scaffolding. For the sets, the production used environmentally responsible, FSC certified lumber and low VOC paints.

Read how NBCUniversal’s current, 2012 and 2010 films have also gone green.

Film Production
TV Production
Theme Parks
Sustainability @ NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal is making a commitment to sustainability across the entire company. Our Green is Universal initiative is focused on bringing an environmental perspective to everything we do, informing and entertaining our audiences while driving more sustainable practices into our own operations. As one of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies, we want to participate in and help lead one of the most important dialogues of our time—and build a stronger business and a more sustainable world in the process.

Our Green is Universal initiative translates our environmental commitment into action. It identifies ways to integrate sustainability across our businesses, in front of the camera as well as behind it. Whether identifying opportunities for energy savings and innovation in production and distribution, educating our consumers via environmentally themed programming on our airwaves, reducing the carbon footprint of our products, or activating and engaging our workforce, NBCUniversal is hard at work mobilizing our assets to protect the planet.

About NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. With more than 40 TV, digital and out-of-home platforms reaching over 100 million consumers each month, NBCUniversal can harness the power of these communications and experiential platforms to help our audiences learn about the environment and the ways they can live greener.


Sustainable Filmmaking: Last Christmas

Last Christmas, November 8, 2019

Emilia Clarke (HBO’s Game of Thrones), Henry Golding (A Simple Favor, Crazy Rich Asians), Michelle Yeoh and Emma Thompson star for director Paul Feig (A Simple Favor, Spy, Bridesmaids) in Last Christmas, a romantic comedy inspired by a George Michael beat, from a screenplay by Academy Award® winner Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Bridget Jones’s Baby) and playwright Bryony Kimmings.

Kate (Emilia Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Henry Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart … and you gotta have faith.

While filming in London, the Last Christmas cast and crew took their sustainability efforts to the next level. They set a goal from the beginning to be as plastic-free as possible. They distributed thermal cups to everyone on set, which could be used for cold water on warm days, or hot tea on cold nights. Offices included recycling and composting, plumbed in water coolers, glasses, crockery and cutlery.  Paperwork such as call sheets, scripts, and production documentation were delivered electronically, with hard copies only issued on request. White office paper was made from 100% recycled content. Green tips and facts were put onto call sheets to educate and inspire crew.

There were many efforts to reduce the carbon emissions on the production. They used over 60% LED set lighting which uses significantly less energy than standard set lights. In lieu of trailers, the production rented hotel rooms while filming in the London City Center. Cast also made efforts to carpool rather than taking individual vehicles to set. When unit drivers were waiting for their next trip, they were given a warm place indoors to avoid vehicle idling. And when heating their stages, they used renewable diesel made from 100% used cooking oil.

The Last Christmas team also gave back to the local community. They donated over 1,800 lbs of excess food from catering and set decoration to City Harvest London, equaling approximately 1,500 meals fed to those in need. Props, Set Dec, and Wardrobe donated over $11,000 worth of items such as toys, clothing, drums, and furniture to organizations including Suited & Booted, Smart Works, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, First Days, The Children’s Society, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, and Smile for a Child. There was also a voluntary cast and crew clothing and toiletry drive, with items being donated to Whitechapel Mission and the Helen Bamber Foundation. These practices and more led to Last Christmas receiving a 2019 EMA Green Seal.

Sustainable Filmmaking: Last Christmas

Sustainable Filmmaking: Harriet

Sustainable Filmmaking: Downton Abbey

NBCUniversal Awarded Green Seals at 29th Annual Environmental Media Awards

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