Since the company's earliest days, conservation and the environment have been recurring themes in Disney offerings, from motion pictures and television programming to our parks and resorts. Building on this legacy, we've recently intensified our actions on behalf of the environment. Today, we make concerted efforts to embed environmental stewardship into the decisions and actions of our employees, Cast Members and Guests through a series of new programs and policies, grounded in science and taking advantage of the best of our company's talents and abilities.
The diversity and scope of Disney's operations make it a challenge to implement a strategy that successfully enhances environmental efficiency and conservation across the board. Business segments have vastly different operations, all of which impact different areas of the environment. Additionally, each segment has operations located in many different geographical regions throughout the world, each with a unique set of environmental issues.
Legacy of Action
Environmental stewardship has been a component of our business as far back as the earliest Disney films and Disney parks. In the 1960s, the company set aside nearly one-third of The Walt Disney World Resort property in Florida as a dedicated wildlife conservation area in perpetuity. Disney coined the term Environmentality™ in 1990 to represent an environmental way of thinking about things big and small throughout the company. Since 1989, our progress in this area has been reported in our annual Enviroport.
In this report, we want to share key elements of our progress, including some specific environmental goals and targets. The progress we have made is the result of work by employees and Cast Members worldwide in every business segment, ranging from compliance to communications and countless others who make Environmentality real in their daily work.
- Unique solutions to sustainable development are a hallmark of Disney's Florida projects. As part of an ecosystem management strategy, Disney purchased an "at risk" parcel of 8,500 acres at the headwaters of the Everglades in 1993 to create The Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve. Disney's $45 million investment, made in collaboration with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida water management districts, the Audubon Society of Florida and The Nature Conservancy, is a living laboratory for land restoration. Heralded by then-EPA Administrator, Carol Browner as a model for all companies, the effort was a new way to approach responsible development, while acknowledging the need for growth.
- The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund was established on Earth Day in 1995 to support the important work of both local and global nonprofit organizations to positively impact wildlife, ecosystems and the communities so closely linked to their survival. Since its inception, the fund has granted more than $12.8 million to support more than 750 conservation projects in 110 countries.
- Disney's Environmentality Challenge, our environmental youth education program, has over the last 15 years engaged 1.5 million children in projects benefiting the environment, bringing big benefits to their communities.
- More than 10 years ago, Walt Disney World was recognized as a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "Energy Star Partner" for implementing significant energy savings throughout the property. Participating in the EPA's Green Lights program saved enough energy to power Disney's Animal Kingdom in its first year of operation.
- Disney has received awards from the U.S. EPA for success in other areas as well, including energy and waste reduction, community involvement and commuter programs, as well as multiple awards from the California EPA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Environmental Media Association and others.
- All Disney Florida resorts have achieved the Florida Green Lodging certification.
- Starting in the early 1990s, the Walt Disney World Resort voluntarily began to reduce its reliance on pesticides and started work on an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses alternatives to harsh chemicals. This innovative approach uses beneficial insects, insect growth regulators, and other methods such as soaps, oil sprays, and baits (instead of sprays). For example, "good " bugs are placed on plants in order to eat "bad" bugs that are destroying the plants.