Tuesday, October 23, 2007

trends + business + politics: NBC's Universal Parks and Resorts Launchs Massive Green Initiative

Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of NBC Universal, has committed to showing its greener side by launching a full schedule of Green programs at its Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood locations. Between Nov. 5-10 the organization has planned to present a slate of educational events aimed at both guests and employees with messages supporting environmental responsibility. The initiative is part of NBCU's worldwide effort called "Green is Universal" which aims to program 150 hours of environmentally themed content that will be featured across all division of the organization.

To support in the efforts Universal Parks & Resorts has partnered with the Environmental Media Association for its events in Orlando and Hollywood. The event will include celebrity studded kick-off events at both parks, several "Eco-Fairs" featuring entertainment and displays, daily events for employees and guests and an abundance of giveaways of recycled or other environmentally themed products.

Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts, said: "This is more than a symbolic gesture: the 'Green is Universal' activities we'll be undertaking during the week of Nov. 5-10 are elements of a comprehensive environmental effort that has already been initiated in all of our properties. In addition to a thorough audit of our own systems and policies, we've made a commitment to communicate a sense of the impact every person has on the environment to our millions of guests and thousands of employees."

More than just talk, Universal Parks & Resorts has already launched several green efforts in the areas of recycling, energy conservation and green fuel technologies. The new Simpsons Ride (set to open at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood in spring of 2008) will use green technologies such as variable speed motors and energy-efficient lighting. Other efforts include the use of reclaimed water for landscape irrigation ,the adoption of green office standards, the use of non-toxic cleaning products as well as implementation of measures to sharply reduce the solid waste-stream through increased recycling and "green" sourcing policies. In addition Universal Orlando's adoption of biodiesel fuel technology will result in reduction of CO2 emissions by 158 tons per year. Its sister site Universal Studios Hollywood, has installed new low-sulfur burning diesel in its Studio Tour trams and is examining biodiesel and alternative fuel/electric for trams and other vehicles.

Good for NBCU, for making real strides in the name of sustainability.

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