2020 Values Report
Comcast NBCUniversal Increases Use of Renewable Energy Across Operations
At Comcast NBCUniversal, we are committed to reducing emissions and operating a more sustainable business. One of our aspirational goals is to operate all of our businesses with 100% renewable energy. We take a holistic approach to meeting our renewable energy needs, with tailored solutions for everything from powering our network to lighting our production studios.
“Different energy strategies are needed for our various locations,” says Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer for Comcast NBCUniversal. “We are choosing solutions based on what will make the biggest difference location by location, whether that‘s on-site solar, green tariffs, renewable energy supply contracts, or a combination.”
Where possible, we use on-site solar power. For example, we have nearly 1,400 solar panels on the roofs of four sound stages at the Universal Studios Lot in Los Angeles. Universal Pictures’ Us was filmed on these stages, as well as the Saved by the Bell revival, which will air on our Peacock streaming service. The Universal solar project, coming online in 2020, is expected to generate enough power to provide about half the annual energy needs of the stages and their connected office buildings, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by approximately 652 metric tons each year. Our new Sky studios complex in Elstree, U.K., expected to open in 2022, will also include solar panels to help power its sound stages with renewable energy. (Read more about Sky.)
By the end of 2020, we will have on-site solar installations powering a portion of the operations for each of our business units: Comcast Cable, Comcast Spectacor, NBCUniversal, and Sky.
In addition, Comcast completed a 760-panel rooftop solar installation at our multipurpose facility in Washington D.C. The system will reduce approximately 272 metric tons of CO2 in the regional electricity grid — equivalent of 37 homes‘ worth of electricity. Comcast also completed a 100 kilowatt ground-mounted, on-site solar system at our headend1 critical facility site in Chico, Calif.
Due to space constraints, building design, or heavy energy demands, large-scale on-site solar projects aren‘t always the most effective or practical solution. So, we work together with third parties and utilities to pursue offsite renewable energy projects. For example, in 2019, we enrolled in Portland General Electric‘s Green Future Impact program. Our participation is supporting the development of a new solar facility in Oregon that is scheduled to come online by the end of 2021. And the electricity generated by the solar facility will help to power our operations in the region with clean energy.
Our state-of-the-art, 60-story Comcast Technology Center achieved double LEED Platinum certification (for new buildings) from the U.S. Green Building Council — the highest-level certification for an environmentally friendly workplace. In addition, the neighboring Comcast Center achieved LEED v4 Gold certification for Operations and Maintenance (for existing buildings) — the first building in Philadelphia to achieve this certification. Both buildings are energy efficient, collect and reuse rainwater, and employ renewable energy certificates and carbon offsets to reduce their carbon footprints.
Additionally, Comcast has started renewable energy supply agreements in California and Illinois. Beginning in 2021, Comcast will receive 100% renewable power for more than 50 large facilities in California. In Chicago, 100% renewable energy is already serving a portion of our facilities and network.
In addition to expanding our use of renewables, we are working hard to advance energy efficiency across our operations by reducing our overall energy use whenever possible. For instance, in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, we invested more than $1.2 million to convert approximately 30 sites to LED lighting.
“Using renewable energy is wonderful, but we also need to emphasize the importance of using less energy,” Davis says. “Across all of our operations, we want to find ways to not only power with renewables, but to reduce our power needs overall.”
1 A headend is a broadband electronics station, where cable television signals are processed and distributed.
Using renewable energy is wonderful, but we also need to emphasize the importance of using less energy to begin with. Across all of our operations, we want to find ways to not only power with renewables, but to reduce our power needs overall.