It’s probably not something most of us think about often, but when rain storms occur (as anyone who has ever visited the Walt Disney World Resort can attest they very much do), the water has to go somewhere. In many places around the world, the water is simply absorbed into the ground, or added to lakes and rivers (and other bodies of water, of course), but in urban areas, where buildings and asphalt covers the natural environment, complications are introduced.
While most of us are accustomed to storm drains found on our local streets which dump water into the sewage system, often times stormwater is just funneled to a water source through an expansive network of pipes. This too has its problems, mostly that contaminants can be picked up as the stormwater runs across asphalt and subsequently pollutes natural water sources, potentially even eroding them.
A couple of years ago, the Disneyland Resort worked with the City of Anaheim to institute a new stormwater management system which earned them accolades as the resort now handles most of its captured stormwater completely on site: capturing it, treating it and recycling it.
Now it looks as though Walt Disney World will be getting into the act. Earlier today, Walt Disney Imagineering filed a notice of commencement with the Orange County comptroller’s office for a project titled ‘BVD Stormwater Preview Center.’ We were able to investigate further and unearthed plans for phase one of the project, which encompasses a large area just outside the Downtown Disney District.
While dissecting the blueprints we have received is far outside our forte, the project also appears to extend beyond Buena Vista Drive to include regions along I-4.
We look forward to learning more about this project in the upcoming months.
In recognition for making notable contributions to advance the environmental aspects of cruising, Disney Cruise Line was presented with the Environmental Initiative Award at the Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards 2012. Disney Cruise Line is dedicated to minimizing its impact on the environment through efforts focused on utilizing new technologies, increasing fuel efficiency, minimizing waste and supporting conservation worldwide.
“Our persistent focus on innovative environmental initiatives starts with developing leading-edge fuel and energy efficiencies on our ships, but it doesn’t stop there,” said Bert Swets, vice president, marine and technical operations at Disney Cruise Line. “Our approach on shore extends to conservation and animal research efforts on our private island, Castaway Cay, inspiring and educating children and families to care about the environment, and engaging the communities in our ports of call.”
The Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards judging panel was comprised of industry and subject-matter experts from around the world.
Innovative Fuel and Energy Efficiencies
Disney Cruise Line made history as the first cruise line to use an innovative, non-toxic hull coating that increases fuel efficiency by reducing surface resistance in open water and continues to maximize fuel and energy efficiencies by automating onboard air conditioning systems for optimum use; repurposing air conditioning condensation for both laundry and deck cleaning, saving tons of fresh water each day, and installing energy-efficient lighting.
Across the four ships in the Disney fleet, more than 650 tons of metals, glass, plastic and paper are eliminated from traditional waste streams each year through recycling, more than 5,000 tons to date.
No other cruise line incorporates conservation and animal research quite like Disney does. On Castaway Cay, Disney researchers are conducting a multi-year project studying how transplanted long-spined sea urchins can rebuild coral reefs. Guests may participate in a hands-on training experience with live stingrays during a 60-minute, instructor-led educational program.
Creative Storytelling Inspires and Educates
Disney Cruise Line shares environmental programs and educates others as an integral part of the company’s goal to inspire children and adults to take environmental action in their everyday lives. Guests can take an exclusive backstage look at environmental efforts through the “Behind the Waves” video and see characters from “The Lion King” inspire environmental action by showcasing small steps everyone can take in “Safety Smart Goes Green.”
Disney strives to engage the communities in our ports of call in unique and memorable ways. By tapping into the company’s legendary storytelling, Disney created an activity booklet in cooperation with Friends of the Environment to inspire youth to learn more about protecting native species and ecology in The Bahamas. Disney Cruise Line sponsors and provides guidance for summer eco-camps in ports of call across The Bahamas and U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, Disney invites U.S. Forest Rangers to sail onboard each of our Alaskan voyages in order to offer lectures, host special children’s activities and engage guests in ways that ultimately create a deeper appreciation and understanding of the local environment and wildlife.
Disney today announced a new Paper Sourcing and Use Policy, establishing guidelines for paper used in Disney’s day-to-day business operations as well as its consumer products and packaging. The policy — effective immediately — continues Disney’s commitment to responsible forest practices and conservation, and will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will focus on paper sourced directly by Disney or on behalf of Disney for use in Disney-branded products and packaging, and the second will address paper sourced by the Company’s independent licensees.
The policy aims to:
- Minimize the consumption of paper
- Eliminate paper products containing irresponsibly harvested fiber, such as fiber from High Conservation Value Areas
- Maximize recycled content and fiber sourced from Forest Stewardship Council-certified forestry operations
Disney will work with non-governmental organizations to identify and prioritize regions with poor forest management and high rates of deforestation. The Company will report its implementation progress on an annual basis.
‘The paper policy is an example of how Disney conducts business in an environmentally and socially responsible way, and demonstrates the Company’s commitment to creating a lasting, positive impact on ecosystems and communities worldwide,’ said Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president, Disney Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation.
Disney sought input from stakeholders throughout the supply chain and from the environmental community in the formulation of its paper policy. Disney will continue to solicit ongoing feedback as the policy is implemented.
‘We commend Disney for adding its significant voice to the growing chorus of companies demonstrating that there’s no need to sacrifice endangered forests or animals for the paper we use every day. This policy will have a particularly important impact in Indonesia, the primary place where rainforests are still being cut down for pulp and paper,’ said Rebecca Tarbotton, executive director of Rainforest Action Network, which worked with Disney on the policy.
The new policy continues Disney’s legacy of supporting forest and nature conservation. Over the last two decades, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has invested in conservation programs in 112 countries, including more than 70 projects in Indonesia to protect the Sumatran rainforest and work with villages to effectively manage critical forest habitats. Since 2009, Disney has also invested more than $27 million in forest carbon projects in the United States, Peru, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, and China.
‘The world’s forests are facing multiple pressures. Disney’s actions to better understand its paper usage and supply chain send a positive signal that the company recognizes the seriousness of this issue,’ said Ruth Nogueron, associate, World Resources Institute. ‘This is a welcome step that reflects Disney’s commitment to support responsible forest management.’
Roshon Fegan and Caroline Sunshine, stars of the hit Disney Channel series “Shake It Up,” will help spread the word about Disney Friends for Change program expansion, aimed to inspire kids and families to make a difference in their world by taking actions to help people, their communities and the planet. The young actors are featured in interstitials debuting Thursday, January 19 on Disney Channel. The messages invite kids to design their own service project and apply for a Disney Friends for Change Grant from Youth Service America at Disney.com/Friends to help put their ideas into action.
This year, Friends for Change is expanding and broadening efforts to not only help the planet, but to also make a lasting, positive impact on the people and animals that live on it. In communities across the globe, kids and families can organize and design projects such as organizing a food collection, planting a community garden or starting a Friends for Change club.
Kids and families are invited to visit Disney.com/Friends for additional ideas on how to make a difference, learn more about applying for a Friends for Change grant and find out about local service activities and events happening in their communities. Kids are also encouraged to make a Friends for Change pledge. In addition, project champions can check out the Friends for Change Action Kits.
Friends for Change is a multi-platform initiative that inspires kids and families to join together and make a positive impact on their world by helping people, communities and the planet. And while these activities may vary, they are united by an overarching emphasis on fostering creativity, conservation and compassion. Through PSAs on-air and online action kits, the program aims to provide useful resources to encourage kids to make small changes that add up to big differences. Friends for Change, along with Youth Service America provide grants to support youth-service projects in communities across the world. Friends for Change currently has almost five million actions taking place from kids in 33 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, China and the United States. For more information, please visit Disney.com/friends.
“We Can Change the World,” the inspiring new pop/rock anthem for Disney’s Friends for Change — performed and co-written by 18-year-old actress and Hollywood Records recording artist Bridgit Mendler (“Good Luck Charlie,” “Lemonade Mouth”) — will premiere Friday, June 10 on Radio Disney at 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT and Disney Channel in the 7:00 pm ET/PT hour. Beginning Saturday, June 11, the song will be available on Disney.com/ProjectGreen and the music video will be available at iTunes. Coinciding with its premiere, Disney will donate $250,000 to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund benefiting global charities. “We Can Change the World” is the third Disney’s Friends for Change anthem. Previous songs have helped raise more than $800,000 for conservation projects around the globe.
Disney’s Friends for Change is a multi-platform initiative that helps inspire kids and families to join together and make a positive impact on their world (and the people and animals that live there). Through PSAs on-air and online tool-kits, the program aims to provide useful information to help kids make small changes that add up to big differences. As part of the program, Disney is donating $1 million dollars annually to fund projects all around the globe and has funded over 41 projects that help the planet ranging from educational & community programs to species & habitat protection. Friends for Change currently has over 4 million actions taking place from kids in 33 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, Japan, India and China. For more information, please visit http://disney.go.com/projectgreen.
The “We Can Change the World” song and music video are designed to both entertain and inspire ways to initiate positive change. In the video, Mendler and kids from around the world along with Disney Channel stars Valeria Baroni (Argentina), Jorge Blanco (Mexico), Olavo Cavalheiro (Brazil), Nicole Ishida (Japan), Murtuza Kutianawala (India) and Eve Ottino (France), are featured.
The music video was directed by Art Spigel (“Disney Channel Games”) and the song was written by Joacim Persson and Bridgit Mendler. It was produced on location at Disney Golden Oak Ranch in Los Angeles, California.
The Walt Disney Company today released its second Corporate Citizenship report detailing Disney’s progress on environmental and social impacts. The report also includes the Company’s first set of comprehensive citizenship commitments and goals, aligned around three core principles:
- Act and create in an ethical manner and consider the consequences of our decisions
- Champion the happiness and well-being of kids, parents and families in our endeavors
- Inspire kids, parents, employees, and communities to make a lasting, positive change in the world
“Being a respected global citizen isn’t just good for our employees and the communities in which we operate, it is critical to the growth and success of our business,” said Robert A. Iger, Disney President and CEO. “Our next step is to build upon our existing programs and initiatives by clarifying our commitments and expanding our efforts to track and measure our progress.”
Highlights of the 2010 Report include:
- Announcement of a comprehensive set of commitments and metrics that address Disney’s worldwide business impacts and opportunities.
- Global expansion of programs aimed at inspiring kids, parents, and communities to make a difference in the world. Disney Friends for Change, now in 19 countries, has rallied 2.5 million kids to take pledges for the environment. Disney Magic of Healthy Living, launched in September, partners with parents and kids to make healthy choices simple and fun.
- Investment of $15.5 million in carbon offset projects around the world as part of Disney’s Climate Solutions Fund, the Company’s internal carbon pricing program.
- Release of Disney’s Human Rights Policy Statement, with the aim of more clearly articulating the Company’s commitment to respecting human rights.
- Detailed data and progress updates on Disney’s supply chain and environmental footprint
- Corporate charitable contributions of $198 million, and more than 548,000 hours of VoluntEARS service contributed by Disney employees.
The interactive multimedia report, now available online only at www.disney.com/citizenship2010, includes comprehensive coverage of eight key areas: family entertainment, inspiring kids and communities, nature conservation, environment, community, workplaces, supply chain, and human rights. An interactive map provides insights into Disney’s activities around the world. The report follows the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
The citizenship report anchors a broader suite of publications. Six additional reports provide information on local impacts of our Parks & Resorts segment.
Disney (NYSE:DIS) today announced the latest results of voting by kids on the Disney Friends for Change website. Disney Friends for Change is a multiplatform environmental initiative that helps kids help the planet. This round of voting is the first to include kids from around the world since Disney Friends for Change expanded into Latin America and Europe.
The voting is part of an overall call to action for kids to make a difference in their local communities. Registered participants make personal promises to reduce their impact on the environment by changing their everyday actions. They can also help allocate Disney’s $1 million commitment to fund environmental programs worldwide.
Voting is continuous throughout the year. Kids have the opportunity to vote on five different projects per quarter. Each project is managed by leading environmental nonprofit organizations. The projects are centered on Disney Friends for Change’s four focus areas — climate, habitat, waste and water. With nearly 2.5 million votes, Disney Friends for Change kids have helped direct almost $2 million to 41 projects in 21 countries since the program was launched in May 2009.
The award amount is contingent upon how many votes each project receives. This is the third round of award voting, and the first to include international votes. The results are as follows:
First Place, $100,000 award
BirdLife International, Saving Spoony’s Chinese Wetlands: The project contributes to the conservation of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, a unique and highly threatened migratory shorebird. The project raises awareness among local governments and communities about the importance of the species and of the inter-tidal wetlands that are vital for its survival. This is the third project funded by Disney Friends for Change program in China, totaling $175,000 of support from the program in the country. Other funded projects in China include work supported by The Nature Conservancy as well as Roots and Shoots, a program supervised by the Jane Goodall Institute.
Second Place, $50,000 award
The Nature Conservancy, Protecting Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest: The project trains local students to monitor local wildlife in an effort to protect the rainforest, home to such animals as grizzly bears and wolves. This is the first Disney Friends for Change program funded in Canada.
Third Place, $50,000
Fauna and Flora International, Iberian Lynx Habitat Conservation: Once considered common, the Iberian Lynx is now the rarest of all the cat species. Less than 100 of the Iberian Lynx now live in the wild. The population crash is due to habitat loss in Spain and Portugal and declining numbers of rabbits, the Iberian Lynx’s main food source. Flora and Fauna has purchased land in an effort to increase the rabbit population. The project will also work with local communities and school children to raise awareness about the Iberian Lynx. Fauna and Flora International has received $150,000 from Disney Friends for Change since its launch.
Fourth Place, $25,000
ECOLIFE Foundation, Aquaponic Economics: Going Ape in Cameroon: The ECOLIFE Foundation, in collaboration with Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon, will build a community-based aquaponics system, an eco-friendly tool for raising fish and vegetables. The aim is to educate local residents about critical overhunting issues that are threatening wild gorillas and apes. The aquaponics system yields fish for high-quality protein and enough vegetables to be a source of income for local residents. This is the second Disney Friends for Change grant awarded to ECOLIFE.
Fifth Place, $25,000
Conservation International, Restoring Wetlands in Namaqualand: The project will work with local South African and Namibian communities to help conserve water by repairing damaged pumps and restoring natural ecosystems. Local volunteers will be trained to remove invasive species like poplar trees — which use up large amounts of ground water — and replace them with native vegetation. This award brings the total amount of support received by Conservation International from Disney Friends for Change to more than $50,000.
Since its launch in May 2009, Disney Friends for Change has already inspired more than 2.5 million kids to take more than 3 million actions to improve their environment in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe. Altogether, kids have pledged to save more than 1.5 billion gallons of water, recycle eight million pounds of trash and cut 52 million pounds of carbon emissions.
For more about the programs Disney Friends for Change supports, visit www.disney.com/projectgreen.
Clean Agency has been recognized by Disney Consumer Products by being bestowed with the 2010 Quality Product Award for Sustainability award. As demonstrated in the image to the left, Clean Agency reduced the packaging materials required for the Pooh plush by a whopping 80%.
The plush, manufactured by licensee Dream, continues to have the ability to be precisely positioned on store shelves (sitting on what ironically resembles a toilet in this blog’s opinion) as well as offer the same amount of information, while using far less materials.
According to EnvironmentalLeader.com, the immediate savings as a result of the change is equal to about eight metric tons of cardboard annually based on the existing sales figures for the plush. Because the packaging consumes less physical space, the article also attributes additional potential savings in reduced transportation requirements.
The California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) will present an award to the Disneyland Resort at the sixth annual CASQA Stormwater Conference awards luncheon on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, at the Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage.
Disneyland Resort will receive the award for Outstanding Stormwater BMP Implementation Program for its holistic approach in developing and implementing a master water quality management plan in partnership with the City of Anaheim. This master plan supports the environmental legacy of Walt Disney and the long term vision for sustainable programs throughout the resort. The Resort began implementing best practices based on its master plan this past year through state-of-the-art development at the resort. With new equipment and development in place, stormwater can be treated, captured and detained on the property, and stormwater discharge will be reduced.
“Our commitment to preserving the environment dates back to Walt Disney who truly valued conservation efforts,” said Frank Dela Vara, director of Environmental Affairs at the Disneyland Resort. “As we grow and expand, one of the ways we continue to build on this legacy is by investing in new technologies, systems and processes that improve water quality. We are honored to receive this award and look forward to continuing to develop innovative practices that help sustain our environment and support our core business values, because it is the right thing to do.”
“The Awards Committee evaluated how creative and innovative organizations could be as they addressed stormwater and environmental challenges in their communities. The Disneyland Resort program embodies both best practices and creative concepts in stormwater management, and is a model for other organizations. We recognize its success, innovation and dedication to the improvement of stormwater quality in California,” said Jill Bicknell, awards committee chair.
The CASQA awards program identifies and recognizes creative approaches, outstanding projects, best practices and exemplary accomplishments in the field of stormwater quality management. CASQA awards can be given to both public and private projects and individuals from public agencies and private businesses. A CASQA member must nominate award candidates, and candidates are evaluated on demonstrated excellence, ingenuity, creativity, professionalism and documented results. Awards may be made at local, regional and statewide levels.
Animal care experts from Disney’s Animal Programs returned Thursday from the Florida Panhandle with six Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles – among the most endangered species of sea turtles in the world – and two Green Sea Turtles injured by the spill. The Disney animal care team stands ready to help in the Panhandle as needed and rehabilitation facilities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and at Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends are available for treating turtles and birds impacted by the spill.
“Oil can have a devastating effect on the health of sea turtles, marine mammals and birds,” said Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president for Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives at Disney Parks. “Over the next several months, many of these animals will require intense medical treatment over a prolonged period. We want to be sure that we provide top-notch medical care wherever we can – whether it’s on a beach or in a state-of-the-art veterinary facility. Ultimately, our goal is to re-release these animals so they can once again thrive in the wild of our oceans and coastline.”
In addition, as part of the coordinated response to the spill, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF), supported by Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green, has donated $100,000 to help with environmental and animal rescue efforts, including $50,000 to The National Audubon Society for their response in the Gulf. Another $50,000 in grants from the DWCF Rapid Response Fund is being awarded to various grassroots organizations assisting with the cleanup.
As a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center, Disney Animal Programs supports the rescue and rehabilitation of more than 1,000 injured and orphaned wild animals each year. For this current effort, engineers and water science experts have already converted a backstage area into a temporary rehabilitation facility – setting up salt-water pools capable of housing up to 35 sea turtles.
Since 1986, Disney animal care teams have nursed more than 250 endangered sea turtles back to health. Earlier this summer Disney animal experts began care for seven Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles diagnosed with pneumonia. The turtles were moved to Walt Disney World Resort from facilities in Mississippi to make room for animals injured by the oil spill.
Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund provides annual awards to nonprofit conservation organizations working alongside their peers here and in other countries. A special emergency fund also helps animals and people in times of environmental crisis.