Universal Studios in Hollywood was recently honored with the EMA Environmental Media Association (EMA) Green Seal Award. The award is the first-ever given to a theme park for its commitment and effort in working towards a more environmentally conscious workplace and community.

I recently toured the theme park to witness their ‘greening’ efforts as a casual visitor.

In 2007 NBC Universal launched a dedicated website called Green Is UNIVERSAL to express their commitment to the environment. In their efforts to be transparent, the company posts current information, happenings, and news along with green tips, green clips, and a blog, and invites visitors to join the conversation.

From establishing “Green Goals” to be implemented by their entire slate of productions, to forming Green Committees, the studios have made progress in reducing their carbon footprint in the production process. Examples: transitioning to smart power strips, using earth friendly cleaning supplies, communicating digitally, recycling (including construction or sets waste), recycle film waste, reduce packaging, and more. Green Is Universal claims that NBC Universal has kept 84% of its waste out of landfills. Sets are being re-used, responsibly harvested wood is used, and Low or Zero volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints. Productions use reclaimed décor, when possible, and CFL or LED lighting.

Throughout the theme park I saw the ‘greening’ signs everywhere. Solar panels were evident and most bathrooms were fitted with low-flow automatic flushers. Although all the waste receptacles were colored green, garbage and recyclables ended in the same place. Visitors were told that eventually staff will go through these containers and will sort the ‘content’ out.