Friday, November 30, 2007

'24' Turns Green

If they can green a television series, we should be able to do it anywhere! I never watched the show before but I might just start after reading this! - Green-A

Howard Gordon was never much of an environmentalist. The executive producer of Fox's "24," the popular and sometimes controversial counterterrorism drama, Gordon, 46, thought the environment was too big a problem for one individual to effectively address. But after years of gentle coaxing by his wife, Cambria Gordon, a writer and environmental activist, he has officially gone green.

Under his watchful eye, "24," which is set to kick off its seventh season once the Writers Guild of America strike is resolved, is now setting the standard in terms of green television productions. The show has switched from using regular fuel to renewable-source biodiesel, puts all its scripts on post-consumer recycled paper, and much more. Gordon, whose goal is to make "24"'s finale later this season TV's first carbon-neutral production, appears Dec. 12 at the Hollywood Goes Green summit, which brings together a cadre of entertainment industry heavyweights and insiders for the first time to discuss what the industry can do to increase its commitment to the environment.

Gordon will be participating in a panel discussion titled "How Green Was My Production: Eco-Friendly Strategies for Film Production, Film Festivals and Premieres." In an interview with NEWSWEEK'S Jamie Reno, Gordon, a Princeton graduate and self-described moderate Democrat who had just finished a stint walking the picket lines (he's loyal to the writers' cause in this strike), talked about the upcoming summit, the somewhat surprising origins of his show's commitment to the environment and his own late-blooming turn to green.

NEWSWEEK: What are some of the things you are doing on the show and some of the things you hope to do? You can do little things and big things. Little things that we are doing include converting generators to run on biodiesel, which are more costly but far less polluting. They're less gas-emitting. We've also had the lighting retrofitted inside our offices. Lights consume massive amounts of energy. LED lights can be dimmed and brightened, they're far more controllable, so we are now emitting less light. We've also encouraged our location people to drive hybrid and given them incentives to do so. And we're recycling paper, we're not sending messengers with scripts now, we're doing it electronically, and the scripts that are on paper are now on postconsumer recycled paper. Little things like that.

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