NBCU Pushes Earth Week, Furthers Green Initiatives

green is UniversalGeneral Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt believes "green is green." In short, he believes environmental initiatives are good for business -- for NBC, its advertisers and its viewers. To prove it, two years ago, NBCU launched "Green is Universal," the first media company to push a cross-platform green initiative.

NBC kicks off its second annual Earth Week April 19-26, with the "Miss USA" show. The following week, the four-part MSNBC series "Future Earth" begins. Earth Week will air more than 150 hours of green-themed programming across NBCU's 40 on-air and digital brands.

Despite the economy, Lauren Zalaznick, president of NBCU's women and lifestyle entertainment networks, says the network is seeing "strong demand from advertisers that wish to partner with us to reach these powerful green-minded consumers." One reason: Audiences that see TV spots adjacent to green promos have higher ad/product recall.



In promoting the company's green initiatives, Zalaznick also noted that Jimmy Fallon's new show is the first to boast a green set. Similarly, upcoming films by Nancy Meyers and Sam Mendes addressed green concerns. (Both bought carbon credits; the Mendes film hit 50% of its green objectives.)

NBCU is pushing a green agenda companywide, she notes, but tailoring its marketing to be brand-appropriate. Furthermore, all employees are participating in the effort, including the 52nd floor of 30 Rock, NBCU headquarters, which has banned bottled water in the executive suites.

According to Zalaznick, NBC Universal has saved $2 million last year by going green.

Zalaznick cites a poll conducted by NBCU this month that found that 73% say green is good for the economy and promotes job creation. In addition, six in 10 consumers (59%) believe "buying green can help consumers save money in the long run." Moreover, a majority say companies have an obligation to be socially responsible. (19% of consumers have boycotted a company/product in the past year that was deemed environmentally irresponsible.)

"Marketers remain focused on aligning their brands with socially responsible programming," Zalaznick adds, "and manufacturers are rolling out green product lines."

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