UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Parks & Resorts plans a full schedule of Green programs at its Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood locations, Nov. 5-10 with events aimed at reaching both guests and employees with messages supporting collective and individual environmental responsibility.
The program represents Universal Parks & Resorts continuing commitment to "green" education and "green" action and represents the division's support for NBC Universal's worldwide effort to program more than 150 hours of environmentally-themed content encompassing all of NBCU's divisions during the week of Nov. 4-10 as part of an ongoing NBCU "Green Is Universal" initiative.
Universal Parks & Resorts has partnered with the Environmental Media Association to present the week-long "Green is Universal" events in Orlando and Hollywood. The program will include celebrity kick-off events at both parks, "Eco-Fairs" featuring related information, entertainment and displays, daily events for employees and guests and giveaways of recycled or other environmentally themed products.
As part of its commitment to environmental responsibility, Universal Parks & Resorts has undertaken a company-wide program to raise awareness among guests and employees, increase recycling ratios to reduce solid waste streams, switch to alternative fuels, conserve energy to reduce carbon footprint, conserve water and adopt the principle of sustainability as a core business value.
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."
Highlights of the week-long "Green is Universal" program at Universal Studios Hollywood will include a presentation of the Environmental Media Association's Green Seal Certificate, the first to be awarded by the industry group to a theme park. The presentation will be made by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and TV's Alison Sweeney, an Environmental Media Association supporter, star of NBC's "Days of Our Lives" and host of the network's popular primetime series, "The Biggest Loser."
Universal Orlando Resort will unveil a ground-breaking bio-fuels initiative that's unique to the theme park industry in launching its week-long environmental series. Hollywood actress and environmental activist Wendie Malick (NBC's "Just Shoot Me") joins in the Florida festivities that also includes a demonstration of the innovative "green" film-making behind the theatrical release "Evan Almighty."
During the week beginning Monday, November 5, both Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood will make special provisions for guests arriving in hybrid vehicle and employees will be encouraged to utilize public transportation for their commutes. Giveaways of recyclable "tote bags," and distributions of free trees will take place at both locations and both will cap their week's activities with Eco-Fairs where families can sample the latest in eco-friendly technology and get green tips from experts in many fields.
Looking forward, Universal Parks & Resorts has identified key initiatives in the areas of recycling, energy conservation and green fuel technologies. The new Simpsons Ride -- to open at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood in spring of 2008 -- will incorporate green technologies including variable speed motors and energy-efficient lighting. In addition, reclaimed water is being utilized for landscape irrigation throughout both locations, green office standards are being implemented and refined, cleaning products are being replaced with non-toxic equivalents and measures are being taken to sharply reduce the solid waste-stream through increased recycling and "green" sourcing policies.
At Universal Orlando, adoption of biodiesel fuel technology will result in reduction of CO2 emissions by 158 tons per year. 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.