Being environmentally conscious starts from the inside out, putting initiatives into practice in virtually every area of our daily lives.
At Paramount, the force behind these efforts is the studio’s own Green Action Team, a coalition of employees dedicated to fighting waste and creating sustainable solutions. Its weapons include recycling, conservation and use of the latest energy-saving technologies.
Eco-friendliness is a part of every Paramount production. From food to furniture, reusable items and recyclable materials from movie sets are donated to local nonprofits once filming wraps. In 2012, Paramount gave wardrobe items from the upcoming film Jack Ryan to the United Kingdom’s TRAID for resale in charity shops, unused film from Star Trek Into Darkness to the Urban Oasis Film Academy for at-risk youth in Los Angeles, and lumber and building materials from The Dictator to Build It Green! NYC.
Paramount also makes sure its movie sets are sustainable. On the upcoming film Noah, production cut waste by more than half by using smart set-construction techniques and sensible on-set practices. Noah recycled all of the 450,000 pounds of steel used in production, sourced green materials like reclaimed lumber once filming wrapped and even eliminated plastic water bottles in favor of old-fashioned water jugs.
Back home, Paramount also promoted eco-awareness and energy saving on the lot by hosting a “Green Shorts” contest, inviting employees to submit short films about ways to incorporate being green into daily life. The Paramount Green Action Team launched a Green Speakers Series, participated in Earth Hour by turning off nonessential lights and took part in Heal the Bay’s “A Day Without a Bag” event by going plastic-bag-free and distributing 2,000 reusable bags to employees. And charging stations for electric vehicles have been installed across the lot.
Paramount is also integrating state-of-the-art technologies into its infrastructure. The studio has completed the initial phases of an eco-friendly air-conditioning solution that uses 50 percent less energy and produces 95 percent less wastewater than conventional systems. Its Alternative Energy Plant (Network Chiller Plant), located on the studio back lot, utilizes a system of underground pipes, chilled water and the natural green chemistry of sea salt to efficiently cool various sound stages and buildings. The plant also eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, carbon-dependent chemical pumps and other electronic monitoring devices. Plus, the plant was expanded in 2012 to include four natural gas turbine generators, which produce nearly a megawatt of continuous green electricity and 230 tons of cooled water as a by-product.
The new postproduction facility, the Technicolor Building, has earned the internationally recognized LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for environmentally sustainable design, construction, operation and maintenance. A joint venture with Technicolor and one of the first LEED-certified postproduction facilities in the entertainment industry, it includes eco-friendly water fixtures that reduce consumption by 40 percent, green lighting that reduces watt usage by 15 percent, and sustainable and locally procured building materials.
“Paramount’s Alternative Energy Plant uses 50 percent less energy than standard air-conditioning previously used in our sound stages. This energy savings — coupled with state-of-the-art water treatment that reduces [water] usage by 40 percent — creates a huge reduction in our carbon footprint.”
Douglas Rheinheimer, Certified Energy Manager, Executive Director, Energy Management and Engineering, Paramount