NBC-Universal Celebrates Earth Week

Over 100 Universal Studios employees joined Universal President and COO Ron Meyer, Lauren Zalaznick, President Bravo Media and Chair of Green Is Universal, City Councilman Tom LaBonge, and the LA Conservation Corps to plant trees in Aberdeen Canyon, Universal’s adopted area of historic Griffith Park.

Employees of all NBC-Universal’s divisions are joining to celebrate Earth Week as part of the company’s Green Is Universal initiative. A range of activities, including tree plantings and landscape work at Griffith Park, a “treasure hunt” for energy savings and the funding of a new irrigation system at Griffith Park’s Aberdeen Canyon, “adopted” by the company as part of its commitment to its environmental program, will involve hundreds of employees at the studio and the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.At Griffith Park’s Aberdeen Canyon, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will join Adam Fogelson, Chairman of Universal Pictures, and Donna Langley, Co-Chairman of Universal Pictures, as well as approximately 100 Universal employees to plant trees, mulch and remove invasive species. The company also plans to announce funding for a new irrigation system that will help sustain Aberdeen Canyon, an area that was damaged two years ago by a devastating fire and has since been adopted as an ongoing project by Universal in partnership with Los Angeles Conservation Corp.

When employees of Universal Studios Hollywood take part in the famed theme park’s “Treasure Hunt” this month, the “treasure” they’ll be seeking will be means of reducing energy consumption and energy costs.

“The objective of our ‘Energy Treasure Hunt’ is to reduce the company’s energy costs, as well as instill energy conservation as part of our company culture,” said Aimee Kool, co-chairman of the theme park’s Green Action Committee. “When we are able to educate our employees about doing what’s right and have fun doing it, we have hit our mark.”

Incorporating employees from all aspects of the business in the “hunts” allows representatives from various backgrounds to bring individual vision to the process. Teams visit sites around the park to assess utility consumption, and in previous “hunts” have discovered energy-consumption savings equaling 1.2 million kilowatt-hours per year, reducing C02 gas emissions by over 542 metric tons.

“To put those numbers into more tangible terms, it’s like taking 104 cars off the road, or planting 148 acres of trees,” said Treasure Hunt volunteer Karen Fung.

Green Action Committee members Karen Fung (l) and Aimee Kool (r) prepare to take part in Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Energy Treasure Hunt,” a cross-departmental effort at the theme park to find ways to lower energy consumption and raise employee awareness of environmental responsibilty.

The programs are just two of the many that are undertaken as part of NBC Universal’s “Green is Universal” initiative.

During its annual “Earth Week” of environmentally-themed coverage, NBC Universal will use both on-air and online media assets to promote “A Bid to Save the Earth.”

“A Bid to Save the Earth” is a first-of-its-kind charity auction taking place on April 22. The event will be held at Christie’s, Rockefeller Center in New York and will be carried live globally on www.christies.com. Top collectors on the Host Committee include a who’s-who of philanthropists, artists, environmentalists, and media from all over the world. Christie’s is serving as the global catalyst in bringing all of these vibrant communities together to benefit one end: the environment.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit Conservation International, Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Central Park Conservancy.

“We are proud to be the media partner for such a worthy cause,” said Lauren Zalaznick, President of NBC Universal’s Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, who oversees “Green is Universal.”

“On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, it couldn’t be a better time to mobilize the NBC Universal assets to provide maximum exposure, and help drive support for these environmental organizations.”

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