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: 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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