Products and Packaging

NBCUniversal’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and lessen our environmental footprint focuses on all parts our business, including the physical products we produce. Our Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) division has been active in this effort. In 2007, UPHE conducted a carbon footprint analysis of our single-disc products. This helped us identify the areas of our supply chain that have the biggest impact on CO2 emissions and the environment. As a result, many of our products have been redesigned to use more material made from recycled content and less material overall.

We’re proud of the progress toward sustainability we’ve made with our products and packaging. Here are some highlights:

Packaging Materials

  • Universal Pictures Home Entertainment transitioned to new Blu-ray cases that contain 18% less plastic than the standard Blu-ray case in December 2011. To date, 64 million cases have been used, representing a 700 ton reduction of plastic consumption.
  • Universal Pictures Home Entertainment transitioned to a DVD case with 20% less plastic than standard cases in 2009. To date, a total of 360 million of these cases have been used, representing a 3,600 ton reduction of plastic consumption.
  • UPHE transitioned our Academy screeners from physical discs and cases to digital online only content. Started in 2010, this program has eliminated 6,600 physical DVD units per year, resulting in a reduction of nearly 4,000 lbs of C02 per year.
  • As part of the DEG Green Packaging task force, UPHE helped create a Green Packaging Toolkit, which ranked the different types of sustainable packaging available to the home entertainment packaged goods industry.


  • Since 2009, UPHE transitioned to 100% EPA SmartWay certified carriers for transportation of product to customers. All EPA SmartWay carriers provide significant, measurable air quality and/or greenhouse gas improvements while maintaining or improving current levels of other emission and/or pollutants. Our freight provider has agreed to limit their carrier network to only SmartWay carriers with no cost or quality impact to UPHE.
  • Our Amazon Milk Run program is a multi-studio consolidated customer-pickup effort to maximize transportation efficiency, minimize transportation carbon footprint and shorten lead time for our customers.
  • UPHE has implemented a “pool point” bulk-load consolidation program for point of purchase corrugate display shipments to Walmart stores which has reduced the need for LTL freight for these types of shipments.
  • We’ve increased minimum order quantities for replenishment orders, which reduces their per unit transportation carbon footprint.
  • The consolidation of partner product at our manufacturer has allowed us to be efficient in the idea of “one box” shipping to customers. This has helped to reduce our carbon foot print by maximizing freight efficiencies and reducing environmental impact by sharing corrugate and card board boxes.
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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