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: Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey, September 20, 2019

The worldwide phenomenon Downton Abbey, becomes a grand motion picture event, as the beloved Crawleys and their intrepid staff prepare for the most important moment of their lives. A royal visit from the King and Queen of England will unleash scandal, romance and intrigue that will leave the future of Downton hanging in the balance. Written by series creator Julian Fellowes and starring the original cast. 

While filming in the UK, the Downton Abbey production team implemented sustainable production practices to reduce their environmental impact. Offices included recycling and composting, plumbed in water coolers, glasses, crockery and cutlery, with no disposable food service products available for office use.  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. 

Downton Abbey successfully reduced the amount of new materials used throughout filming. Carnival Films had stored sets from six seasons of Downton Abbey and the production was able to re-use and/or re-purpose most of them, which let to very minimal new set builds. The production issued reusable water bottles to crew upon request, and added a daily reminder on the call sheet for crew to bring them, leading to the elimination of plastic water bottles on set. The sound department used rechargeable batteries throughout production to reduce the need for disposables.

At wrap, the costume department donated $800 worth of fabric and materials to the Wimbledon College of Arts. Storage boxes and hangers were donated to Sewn Right and Freddie’s Flowers, and set decoration donated produce to The Hounslow Urban Farm to be used for animal feed. These practices and more led to Downton Abbey receiving a 2019 EMA Green Seal.

NBCUniversal Awarded Green Seals at 29th Annual Environmental Media Awards

Sustainable Filmmaking: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw


Sustainable Production: Us, March 22, 2019

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