Film Production

Universal Pictures and Focus Features are committed to reducing the environmental impact from filmmaking activities. To assist in this effort, NBCUniversal developed a Sustainable Production Program which empowers our film divisions to integrate sustainable best practices across their productions.

At the foundation of the Program are easy to use infographics which illustrate sustainable production best practices. These practices span across all production operations and equip filmmakers and crewmembers with the tools to take action and reduce impact. To view the infographics and learn more about our sustainability program, click here.

Read on for examples of how our film crews have integrated environmental action into their everyday work:

Recent Releases

Welcome to Marwen, December 21, 2018

@ Universal Pictures

This holiday season, Academy Award® winner Robert Zemeckis—the groundbreaking filmmaker behind Forrest Gump, Flight and Cast Away—directs Steve Carell in the most original movie of the year. Welcome to Marwen tells the miraculous true story of one broken man’s fight as he discovers how artistic imagination can restore the human spirit.

When a devastating attack shatters Mark Hogancamp (Carell) and wipes away all memories, no one expected recovery. Putting together pieces from his old and new life, Mark meticulously creates a wondrous town where he can heal and be heroic. As he builds an astonishing art installation—a testament to the most powerful women he knows—through his fantasy world, he draws strength to triumph in the real one.

In a bold, wondrous and timely film from this revolutionary pioneer of contemporary cinema, Welcome to Marwen shows that when your only weapon is your imagination…you’ll find courage in the most unexpected place.

The epic drama is produced by Oscar®-winning producer Steve Starkey (Forrest Gump, Flight), Jack Rapke (Cast Away, Flight), and Cherylanne Martin (The Pacific, Flight) of Zemeckis’ Universal-based ImageMovers banner produce alongside the director. It is executive produced by Jacqueline Levine, as well as Jeff Malmberg, who directed the riveting 2010 documentary that inspired the film.

Filmed in Vancouver, BC, the Welcome to Marwen crew went above and beyond to implement green practices throughout production. Both in the office and on set, there was an extensive recycling program that included composting food waste and recycling textiles. By setting up water stations on set and encouraging crew to bring their own reusable bottles, production avoided using plastic water bottles throughout production, which is impressive and rare on a fast-paced film set.

When building the sets, the Construction team sourced FSC-Certified Lauan to build their walls, ensuring that the plywood was harvested responsibly. After the production wrapped, they donated 13 tons of material for reuse to the Sustainable Lockup. Additional donations included road materials to Riverview Hospital to fill in pot holes, hundreds of toy models to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Squamish, BC, and household goods to Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Salvation Army, Union Gospel Mission, and the Downtown Women’s Shelter. In addition to these in-kind donations, the cast and crew took part in the Vancouver Food Bank REEL Thanksgiving Challenge and came in 5th place with their donation of more than $12,000. These practices and more earned Welcome to Marwen a 2018 EMA Gold Seal.

 

Mary Queen of Scots, December 7, 2018

© Focus Features

Mary Queen of Scots is a retelling of the turbulent life of Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan), based on the book “Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart” by Dr. John Guy. Queen of France at 16 and widowed when she was barely 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. By birth, Mary has a rival claim to the throne of Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie), who rules as England’s Queen. Contrary to earlier accounts, and based on Dr. John Guy’s research, we see Mary as a capable politician and leader who wanted an alliance with her cousin Elizabeth. Mary fights to govern her unruly kingdom at a time when female monarchs are reviled as monstrous. To secure their thrones, the two Queens make very different choices about marriage and children. Mary’s reputation is under continual attack from her enemies, who construct lies about her sexual conduct. Betrayal, rebellion and conspiracies within each court imperil both Queens–driving them apart, as each woman experiences the bitter cost of power.

Filmed in the United Kingdom, the Mary Queen of Scots production team implemented a sustainability program to reduce their environmental impacts throughout filming. In addition to setting up a comprehensive recycling program in their offices and on set, the office purchased 100% recycled content paper and used electronic distribution for a significant amount of their paperwork. Many office and construction materials were passed onto them from the Universal Pictures’ film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Reusable water bottles were distributed to crew at the start of production, which helped reduce the amount of plastic water bottles to less than 900 bottles for the entirety of production. The Sound Department used nearly all 99.9% rechargeable batteries throughout the entire film, providing cost savings and avoiding the use of hundreds of single use batteries.

To support the community and keep items from going into the landfill, Mary Queen of Scots found opportunities to donate materials locally. The Props Department donated 10 boxes of props and furniture to the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. Production donated historical research books, clothing, and shoes to the Sam Beare Hospice shop, and any non-perishable food from the film was donated to Runnymede Foodbank. The film’s director, Josie Rourke, donated 112 trees to Trees for Life on behalf of the cast and crew, to be planted in the Scottish Highlands, one of the filming locations in the movie. Mary Queen of Scots received a 2018 EMA Gold Seal for their behind-the-scenes environmental efforts.

 

Johnny English Strikes Again, October 26, 2018

Johnny English Stikes Again

© Focus Features

Johnny English Strikes Again is the third installment of the Johnny English comedy series, with Rowan Atkinson returning as the much loved accidental secret agent. The new adventure begins when a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all active undercover agents in Britain, leaving Johnny English as the Secret Service’s last hope. Called out of retirement, English dives head first into action with the mission to find the mastermind hacker. As a man with few skills and analog methods, Johnny English must overcome the challenges of modern technology to make this mission a success.

Filmed primarily in the UK, Johnny English Strikes Again implemented a strong sustainability program throughout production to reduce its environmental impact. The lighting package on the film was roughly 75% LED, helping to decrease the energy used on set. To reduce carbon emissions from fuel, the production used biodiesel made from used cooking oil to heat their marquees.

The production office used 100% recycled content paper and crew significantly reduced single use plastics by bringing their custom Johnny English water bottles to set every day. The production team implemented a recycling and compost program both in the office and on set, including custom signage to help educate crew. Combined with waste-to-energy this effort resulted in very little materials sent to landfill.

To keep things fun and educational, production ran a friendly green competition among departments for the duration of the shoot. The Wardrobe department won the official “gold star” for their green efforts, including their donation of $20,000 worth of costumes to the Trinity Hospice Charity. Catering and Set Dressing donated 800 lbs. of excess food to City Harvest, equaling 667 meals to those in need. These practices and more earned Johnny English Strikes Again a 2018 EMA Gold Seal.

 

First Man, October 12, 2018

@ Universal Pictures

@ Universal Pictures

On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost—on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

Filmed in Atlanta, GA, the First Man production team implemented sustainable best practices to reduce their environmental impact. A recycling program was set up throughout the office and on set, including composting coffee grounds through Grounds to Grow On. When not using reusable dishware, production sourced eco-friendly containers such as Wheat Straw Plates & Bowls. The production tied into the electric grid while at the stages, reducing generator use and saving fuel.

The Construction department reused set materials from the prior Atlanta-based Universal Pictures’ production Pitch Perfect 3, and at wrap they donated over 3,000 lbs. of building materials to the non-profit Lifecycle Building Center. Following filming, the production donated office supplies to a local elementary school, and baby items, cooking supplies, and household items to the Jerusalem House. Excess food from the office and on-set catering was donated to Gilgal Women’s Shelter. The crew also took part in a voluntary food drive during the holiday season to support the local community. These practices and more led to First Man receiving a 2018 EMA Green Seal.

 

Night School, September 28, 2018

@ Universal Pictures

@ Universal Pictures

In their latest collaboration, star Kevin Hart and producer Will Packer bring their signature style to Universal Pictures’ Night School. Hart and Packer join forces with Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee and breakout star Tiffany Haddish for this comedy that follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the GED exam.

Filmed in Atlanta, GA, the production team on Night School worked hard to reduce their environmental impact. Starting in the office, the team had a detailed and comprehensive recycling set up, used tree-free paper made out of sugarcane waste fiber, reduced printing where possible, and avoided using plastic water bottles.

On set, the Locations team reduced fuel use by tying into house power at the school location rather than using diesel generators. Additionally, they utilized classrooms in the school as green rooms, reducing the need to shuttle cast back and forth to their trailers between takes. Night School had minimal set construction, and when they did build the Construction Department used RevolutionPly for their set walls, an environmentally responsible alternative to Lauan.

The production repurposed extra materials for good. Leftover catering was donated to a local non-profit and the Set Decoration department donated school supplies to a school nearby. Following filming, the production passed on office supplies and equipment to First Man, another Universal Pictures production in Atlanta. These practices and more led to Night School receiving a 2018 EMA Green Seal.

 

BlacKkKlansman, August 10, 2018

capture

© Focus Features

From visionary filmmaker Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. It’s the early 1970s, and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a name for himself, Stallworth bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. The young detective soon recruits a more seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), into the undercover investigation of a lifetime. Together, they team up to take down the extremist hate group as the organization aims to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream. Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award® winning Get Out.

While filming in New York City, the BlacKkKlansman production team worked together to reduce their environmental impact. They set up a recycling program in the offices and on stage, and sent out memos to communicate best practices and educate their crew. The construction department purchased FSC-Certified plywood for their set walls, and the set decoration department used carpets made from recycled material. As the film takes place in the 70’s, vintage recycling bins & water dispensers were incorporated into their sets.

A significant portion of the film’s lighting package was LED, saving energy. When filming on stage, they tied into the grid to reduce generator use. Additionally, the transportation department used a solar-powered cast trailer during a portion of production.

The BlacKkKlansman team made efforts to give back to the local community, including organizing a crew coat drive for New York Cares. The greens department donated bluegrass sod from set to the Ossining Fire Department. Catering donated 670 lbs of excess food through Rock and Wrap It Up!, which equates to 558 meals served to the hungry. These practices and more contributed to BlacKkKlansman receiving a 2018 EMA Green Seal.

 

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, July 20, 2018

@ Universal Pictures

@ Universal Pictures

Get ready to sing and dance, laugh and love all over again. Ten years after Mamma Mia! The Movie grossed more than $600 million worldwide, you’re invited to return to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi in an all-new original musical based on the songs of ABBA. With the film’s original cast returning and new additions including Lily James, Andy Garcia and Oscar® winner Cher, the musical comedy opens on July 20, 2018.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is produced by Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman, producers of the original film. Craymer is also the creator and producer of the worldwide smash-hit stage musical.

Filmed in London and Croatia, the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again production crew went above and beyond to reduce their environmental impact. While in London, the production partnered with local company Charlie Spotless to educate crew and implement a waste diversion program that included recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy. This effort resulted in a 99% diversion rate for on set waste, meaning zero materials were sent to landfill. To cut down on carbon emissions, heaters were powered with biodiesel from OnBio. Made solely from used cooking oil, this alternative fuel reduced the production’s carbon footprint by 49 metric tons.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again focused on reducing waste and using sustainable materials. For example, the crew reduced plastic waste by refilling reusable water bottles and most office paper contained 100% recycled content. Additionally, a vast majority of the set lights were LEDs, reducing energy use.

The crews in both London and Croatia gave back to the community in which they filmed. In London, the production donated clothing, shoes, and household items to Cancer Research, Changing Pathways, and Help Refugees. Excess catering was donated to the local non-profit City Harvest, who in turn served it to Londoners in need. In Croatia, the production used proceeds from recycling to purchase toys for local schools.

These practices and more contributed to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again receiving a 2018 EMA Gold Seal.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, June 22, 2018

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

Four years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that’s about to erupt. They soon encounter terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinos while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet. When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favorite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before. Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Filmed primarily in the United Kingdom, with a short time in Hawaii, the crew on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom implemented sustainability across departments. To reduce single use plastics, UK cast and crew were supplied with reusable water bottles, refilling on set and avoiding the use of thousands of plastic water bottles. The production office carried 100% white recycled content paper, and saved paper by only printing upon request. To keep recycling fun and educational, the production created customized “dinosaur-themed” signage for their recycling bins. The majority of cast vehicles were hybrids, and approximately 75% of the UK lighting package was LED, helping to lower energy consumption on set.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom helped to launch a UK food donation program for excess catering. The production and NBCUniversal sustainability team worked together to partner with the non-profit organization City Harvest London to successfully donate over 320 lbs of food throughout the course of production. Additionally, the Hawaii production unit donated leftover office supplies to local schools, and 500 ft. of wire fencing to Reuse Hawaii.

These practices and more earned Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom a 2017 EMA Gold Seal, a new higher tier that recognizes the top performing sustainable productions.

Fifty Shades Freed, February 9, 2018

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Freed, the climactic chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon. Bringing to a shocking conclusion events set in motion in 2015 and 2017’s blockbuster films that grossed almost $950 million globally, the film arrives for Valentine’s Day 2018.

Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.

Shot primarily in Vancouver, BC, the production worked hard to reduce their overall environmental impact. Fifty Shades Freed was shot consecutively with its predecessor Fifty Shades Darker which helped the production combine and reuse materials. Crew reduced and often eliminated single plastic water bottle use, which prevented the use of an estimated 80,000 individual plastic water bottles. A comprehensive recycling and composting program was implemented throughout the offices and on set, with a dedicated Sustainability Production Assistant on hand to ensure that the recycling program was set up and successful at each location. This resulted in an estimated 75% diversion rate of set waste.

Sets were reused throughout the trilogy, and any new sets were built with FSC certified plywood. At wrap, various set dressing and materials were donated to Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Great Northern Way Scene Shop, MakerLabs, and Squamish Arts Council. After picture lock on Fifty Shades Freed, the Universal Pictures’ Assets Department worked with the Sustainable Lock Up in Vancouver and Recycled Movie Sets in Los Angeles to recirculate the vast amount of stored sets for reuse and donation to local film schools, non-profits, and other productions. In the end, 288 tons of set materials were donated for reuse and when combined with recycling, 99% of the trilogy’s sets were kept out of landfills. Fifty Shades Freed was a recipient of a 2016 EMA Green Seal Award.

Pitch Perfect 3, December 22, 2017

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

Now graduated from college and out in the real world where it takes more than a cappella to get by, the Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3, the next chapter in the beloved series that has taken in more than $400 million at the global box office. After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren’t job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time. Pitch Perfect 3 is again produced by Paul Brooks of Gold Circle Entertainment and Max Handelman & Elizabeth Banks of Brownstone Productions, and is directed by Trish Sie (Step Up All In).

Filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, the Pitch Perfect 3 production team worked hard to implement practices to reduce their environmental impact. This started from the beginning in the production office, where they set up half a dozen water stations to reduce disposable water bottles, recycling bins throughout the office and at each staff member’s desk, and purchased 100% tree-free white copy paper made from sugarcane waste fiber.

When shooting on stages and at the Georgia Aquarium, the facilities provided power drops which reduced the need for generators. More than 50% of the lighting fixtures on some sets were LED, lowering energy consumption. To avoid using tropical hardwood Lauan plywood, the construction department used the more environmentally sustainable alternative Revolution Ply to build set walls.

The Pitch Perfect 3 crew made a conscious effort to donate to the community when possible, as well as repurposing materials to avoid waste. The construction team donated excess paint to the non-profit Global Paint for Charity as well as a local school theater. The production office donated excess paper to a local preschool, and donated furniture to the non-profit Women of Gilgal. The Universal assets team was able to re-purpose over 125 linear feet of set walls and materials to other local productions, and donated over 12,300 lbs of lumber and set building materials to the non-profit Lifecycle Building Center. Catering donated 5,140 lbs of excess food to Women of Gilgal and the Atlanta Mission, which equates to 4,280 meals served to the hungry. These practices and more contributed to Pitch Perfect 3 receiving a 2017 EMA Green Seal.

Darkest Hour, November 22, 2017

© Universal Pictures

© Focus Features

A thrilling and inspiring true story begins at the precipice of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

Filmed primarily in London and Yorkshire, the Darkest Hour team implemented sustainable production practices to reduce their environmental impact. Offices were set up to minimize waste. Best practices included recycling, plumbed in water coolers, and replacing disposable food service products with washable glasses, dishes, and cutlery. On set, reusable bottles were supplied to crew on Day 1 of the shoot to cut down on plastic water bottle waste. This resulted in cast and crew using approximately 11,000 less water bottles than other productions of this size. As a period drama, nearly all set dressing and props were obtained second hand, reducing the need to purchase new. When building sets, the construction team utilized sustainable building materials such as FSC Certified Plywood.

In wrap, sets from the film’s “War Rooms” found a second life on the RMS Queen Mary, where they will be transformed into a restaurant. Set Dressing and production supplies such as shelving and furniture were donated to three local non-profits: Shelter (housing assistance,) Dad’s House (food bank), and the British Heart Foundation. Darkest Hour received a 2017 EMA Green Seal, recognizing its sustainable efforts in production.

The Snowman, October 20, 2017

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

Michael Fassbender (X-Men series), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Independence Day: Resurgence), Val Kilmer (Heat) and Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) star in The Snowman, a terrifying thriller from director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), based on Jo Nesbø’s global bestseller.

When an elite crime squad’s lead detective (Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

One of the largest productions to be filmed in Norway, The Snowman introduced sustainable production practices to the local film community. The production earned qualification points towards the Norway Film Incentive through the implementation of this sustainability strategy. Going beyond standard practices in Norway, the production partnered with the local city council to provide reusable water bottles to crew and coordinate location recycling pickups.

Additionally, the construction team incorporated existing materials to create the look and feel of the film. Sets were built with more sustainable options such as birch, poplar and OSB. In wrap, a large portion of their materials were sold to local art schools to avoid disposal. The Snowman implemented energy efficient practices including LED set lighting, tying into the grid to avoid diesel generators, and utilizing trailers with solar panels. The production office donated leftover paper to local kindergartens and the Red Cross. These practices and more earned The Snowman a 2016 EMA Green Seal, recognizing progress in sustainable production practices.

Victoria & Abdul, September 22, 2017

© Focus Features

© Focus Features

The Focus Features film Victoria & Abdul tells the true story of the amazing and unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria (Academy Award® winner Judi Dench) and a young clerk, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), who becomes her teacher, her spiritual advisor, and her devoted friend in the later years of her life. In 1887, Abdul travels from India to present a ceremonial medal as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee but surprisingly finds favor with the elderly Queen. The unlikely relationship causes a battle royale within the royal household, pitting the Queen against court and family. Victoria & Abdul explores questions of race, religion, power, and the farce of Empire through the prism of an unusual and moving friendship.

While filming primarily in the United Kingdom, the Victoria & Abdul team worked hard to reduce their environmental impact whenever possible. A large portion of the LED set lighting used on location was battery powered in an effort to reduce generator use. To limit plastic water bottles, reusable bottles were purchased for office and shooting crew to refill at the water coolers placed around set. Most paperwork was able to be distributed digitally, but for items printed they used a majority of 100% white recycled content paper. Since Victoria & Abdul is a period piece, 90% of set dressing, props, and costumes were rented instead of purchased, which helped in their efforts to practice reuse. In many locations, the production utilized existing set dressing and had minimal need for the construction department to build from scratch.

The caterers on Victoria & Abdul sourced local produce to integrate into their menu. They also avoided using red meat on their menu several days of the week, reducing carbon emissions related to crew meals. The art department kept all leftover materials, fabrics and trimmings that were used to upholster furniture and sold them to another production. During wrap, many items were donated to the local RSPCA charity shop. All leftover color paper was donated to a children’s nursery. These practices and more led to Victoria & Abdul earning a 2017 EMA Green Seal, recognizing progress in sustainable production practices.

Girls Trip, July 21, 2017

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

Producer Will Packer (Ride Along and Think Like a Man franchises, Almost Christmas) presents Girls Trip, a new comedy from director/producer Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man franchise, Barbershop: The Next Cut).

When four lifelong friends—Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah—travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

Filmed in New Orleans, Girls Trip made a dedicated effort to reduce their carbon footprint where possible. The film’s production offices were located at Second Line Stages, a certified LEED GOLD building that included motion detector lighting, low flow water fixtures, composting in the kitchens, and recycling throughout the offices and stages.

The office enforced a strict “Print Only by Request” policy which resulted in a 60% drop in paper usage compared to a production of a similar size. Production passed on remaining paper and office supplies to another New Orleans film. On set, crew practiced energy efficiency by using hybrid vehicles, energy efficient EcoLuxe trailers, and LED set lighting.

Girls Trip gave back to the community both during and after filming. Production donated approximately 600 lbs of excess catering food (equaling 500 meals) to the New Orleans Mission, and also donated lumber to The Green Project, a local non-profit reuse center. These practices and more led to Girls Trip earning a 2016 EMA Green Seal, recognizing progress in sustainable production practices.

The Beguiled, June 23, 2017

© Universal Pictures

© Focus Features

The Focus Features film The Beguiled is an atmospheric thriller from acclaimed writer/director Sofia Coppola, winner of the Best Director award at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival. The story unfolds during the Civil War, at a Southern girls’ boarding school. Its sheltered young women take in an injured enemy soldier. As they provide refuge and tend to his wounds, the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries, and taboos are broken in an unexpected turn of events.

Filming on locations in Louisiana, The Beguiled production team implemented a number of sustainable practices. In the production office, water dispensers were used to avoid plastic water bottle usage. A conscious effort was made to turn off all lights and electronics at night. A strict “print only by request” policy, resulting in 52% less paper use than average for a production of their size, was enforced. When production wrapped, remaining paper was donated to local elementary schools.

All departments at work on The Beguiled made specific efforts to reduce their environmental impact. The sound department primarily used rechargeable batteries; the electrical department used LED set lighting; and on-set recyclables were collected and dropped off at a local recycler. These practices and more led to The Beguiled earning a 2017 EMA Green Seal, recognizing progress in sustainable production practices.

The Book of Henry, June 16, 2017

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

The Book of Henry is a Focus Features drama directed by Colin Trevorrow, who last helmed 2015’s “Jurassic World.”  Written by Gregg Hurwitz and starring Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, Lee Pace, Maddie Ziegler, and Dean Norris, The Book of Henry centers on a single mother whose genius son’s plan to help a classmate with a dangerous secret takes shape in thrilling ways.

Filming in New York State, The Book of Henry production team made substantial efforts to reduce the movie shoot’s environmental impact.  To help reduce fuel use, they rented hybrid vehicles for crew.  To lower energy use, the lighting department used LED set lighting.  Refilling stations were provided on-set and all crew were encouraged to use reusable water bottles, which resulted in individual water bottle use that was 90% less than comparably sized productions.

When building their sets, The Book of Henry construction team utilized sustainable building materials such as FSC Certified Plywood and Pulp Art, a wall skin made from 100% recycled paper.  Several departments made the effort to purchase secondhand pieces from Build it Green, Habitat for Humanity, and local thrift stores.

The Book of Henry was very active in donating to the local community.  The production donated a set of stairs that had been built to the Rochambeau School, a local high school in White Plains, NY, and construction flats were donated via Art Cube.  In addition, the set decoration team gave away several pieces of furniture and home goods to Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, and Furnishare.  The production donated excess food through Rock and Wrap it Up!, with over 162 meals given to the hungry.  These practices and more earned The Book of Henry an EMA Green Seal.

The Mummy, June 9, 2017

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.

Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Cruise is joined by a cast including Annabelle Wallis (King Arthur, television’s Peaky Blinders), Jake Johnson (Jurassic World), Courtney B. Vance (TV’s American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson), Marwan Kenzari (The Promise) and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator).

Filmed in the United Kingdom, the production team on The Mummy was fully dedicated to implementing sustainable practices throughout the production. They used 100% recycled content paper throughout production, replacing the equivalent of 142 trees. To reduce bottled water, water filters were installed in the production office that provided both still and sparking water. In an effort to reduce waste, recycling was set up all throughout offices, workshops and stages. Catering used compostable food service products, which were composted along with food waste from both the office and stage catering.

Departments across The Mummy made a concerted efforts to be energy efficient. LED set lights were used on the back lot as well as on stages which significantly reduced power consumption. To help educate and inform the crew, production placed signage around the workspaces, reminding people to turn off lights and electronics every night. Transportation provided fuel efficient and hybrid rental cars for crew to use throughout the production. They also provided minibuses to move crew to locations, reducing the amount of single cars driven. The production donated items such as bikes, a foosball table, household items, and clothing to local charities. These practices and more earned The Mummy an EMA Green Seal.

The Fate of the Furious, April 14, 2017

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

For THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, Vin Diesel is joined by a returning all-star cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell. In addition to Theron, the series welcomes newcomers Scott Eastwood and Oscar® winner Helen Mirren. The film is directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) and produced by returning producers Neal H. Moritz, Michael Fottrell and Diesel.

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS was filmed in multiple shooting locations, primarily in Atlanta, New York City, Cuba and Iceland. Knowing it was a substantially large production, efforts were made to reduce the environmental impact wherever possible. A successful way production reduced energy use was using LED set lighting on the stages in Atlanta. Their “Super Jet” set was nearly 100% LED which helped lower electricity use tremendously.

Instead of having a traditional basecamp in New York City, the production team replaced the need for trailers by using hotel rooms. Additionally, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS was one of the first ever productions to utilize new solar powered two room trailers, which at times were able to completely run on solar power alone.

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS donated furniture and home goods to Habitat for Humanity, as well as office supplies, soccer equipment, and pop-up tents to Atlanta public schools. They also donated items to Central Atlanta Props to be reused within the film industry. An excess of over 1,500 pounds of food from both the Production Office and On Set Catering were donated to the Atlanta women’s shelter, Gilgal. This equated to more than 1,250 meals that were recovered. THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS received an EMA Green Seal, which recognizes a production’s commitment to implementing sustainable practices.

This story is part of NBCUniversal’s 10th Annual Earth Week where we’re inviting our viewers and readers to “Green Up” by sharing steps you can take to help the planet. Follow Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more. #GreenUp

Fifty Shades Darker, February 10, 2017

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker, the second chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon. Expanding upon events set in motion in 2015’s blockbuster film that grossed more than $560 million globally, Fifty Shades Darker is directed by James Foley (Fear, House of Cards) and once again produced by Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Marcus Viscidi, alongside E L James, the creator of the culture-spanning blockbuster series. The screenplay is by Niall Leonard, based on the novel by James.

Shot primarily in Vancouver, BC, the production took steps to reduce their overall environmental impact. Fifty Shades Darker and its sequel, Fifty Shades Freed, were shot consecutively which helped the production combine and reuse materials. Crew reduced and often eliminated single plastic water bottle use, which prevented the use of more than 80,000 individual plastic water bottles. A comprehensive recycling and composting program was implemented throughout the offices and on set, with a dedicated Sustainability PA on hand to ensure that the recycling program was set up and successful at each location. This resulted in an estimated 75% diversion rate of set waste.

The production was able to reuse sets from their first film, Fifty Shades of Grey, and new sets were built with FSC certified plywood. Additionally, the construction department worked with the local sustainability service company, Green Spark Group, to donate construction materials and sets that did not need to be kept. Non-profit recipients included Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Great Northern Way Scene Shop, MakerLabs, and Squamish Arts Council. Fifty Shades Darker is a recipient of a 2016 EMA Green Seal Award.

Almost Christmas, November 11, 2016

Almost Christmas (2016)

© Universal Pictures

A new comedy from writer/director David E. Talbert (Baggage Claim) and producer Will Packer (Ride Along, Think Like a Man series, This Christmas), Almost Christmas tells the festive story of a beloved patriarch who asks his family for one gift this holiday season: to get along. If they can honor that wish and spend five days under the same roof without killing one another, it will be a Christmas miracle.

Filmed in Atlanta, GA, Almost Christmas made an effort to reduce its carbon footprint. For the majority of shooting, the production tied directly into the electric grid both on location and at their basecamp, replacing generator use. This effort avoided an estimated 3,220 gallons of fuel and resulted in a net savings of 28.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of driving a car more than 68,000 miles.

The production also looked for opportunities to give back to the community. Crews donated nearly 500 lbs. of excess food to SafeHouse Outreach of Atlanta, and at the end of production donated plywood and dimensional lumber to Life Cycle Building Center. Almost Christmas is a recipient of a 2016 EMA Green Seal Award.

Bridget Jones’s Baby, September 16, 2016

Bridget Jones's Baby

© Universal Pictures

Oscar® winners Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth are joined by Patrick Dempsey for the next chapter of the world’s favorite singleton in Bridget Jones’s Baby. Directed by Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones’s Diary), the new film in the beloved comedy series based on creator Helen Fielding’s heroine finds Bridget unexpectedly expecting.

The crew of Bridget Jones’s Baby implemented a variety of sustainable practices which reduced the film’s environmental impact while filming in the UK. From the beginning, the production was committed to reducing disposable plastics and avoiding the use of individual plastic water bottles. They were incredibly successful, reducing their water bottle use by over 75%, compared to similar sized productions. This was achieved by providing crew with reusable bottles, offering water filters in offices, and supplying water dispensers on set.

Upon wrap, the production donated a variety of props, clothing, and set decorations to non-profits in the local community. Baby items were donated to the Winnicott Foundation, an organization that improves care for premature infants. Clothing and home goods from set were given to CALAID, which provides aid to refugees, and Shelter, a non-profit that assists people experiencing homelessness. Packaged food used for props was donated to Brent Food Bank. Construction materials were also donated to be re-purposed for other events and furniture fabrication.

In addition to reducing disposables and donating materials to minimize waste, recycling and composting bins were set up in the production office. 100% of waste generated by the Construction and Props Departments was diverted through a combination of recycling and waste-to-energy.

Jason Bourne, July 29, 2016
Jason Bourne

© Universal Pictures

Matt Damon returns to his most iconic role in Jason Bourne. Paul Greengrass, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, once again joins Damon for the next chapter of the Universal Pictures franchise, which finds the CIA’s most lethal former operative drawn out of the shadows.

The filming of Jason Bourne took place around the globe, and crew remained dedicated to taking environmental action in each city. While filming on the island of Tenerife, organics were collected and composted, preventing harmful methane gas from being released in the atmosphere.

In Las Vegas, fuel consumption for generators was reduced by tying into the electric grid. Lighting incorporated energy-saving LEDs in hotel and airport scenes. Before it was torn down, scenes were shot in the Riviera Casino, which prevented new materials from being used to construct stunt sets. Furthermore, crew supported the existing sustainability policies at the working hotels in which filming took place.

In the UK, the construction department’s innovative use of a CNC milling machine provided more accurate cutting which reduced scrap waste from plywood. 100% recycled paper was purchased for all offices. The costume department donated background clothing to The Upper Room and Traid, both UK-based organizations dedicated to alleviating poverty.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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