Earth Day Announcement Underscores the Motion Picture and TV Industry’s Commitment to Eco-Conscious Practices
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, in celebration of Earth Day, the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) announced that its member studios collectively prevented more than 19,000 tons of their studio sets and other solid waste from entering landfills in 2014. That figure accounts for a 75.5% diversion rate of the studios’ total solid waste from landfills.
Each year, the Solid Waste Task Force, a program forged between the MPAA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), compiles these figures as an important signifier of the industry’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices. This year's diversion rate of 75.5% is the highest rate since the Solid Waste Task Force began recording the data more than 20 years ago. However, the total diversion rate only captures one part of the picture, as all of the MPAA’s member studios individually and voluntarily take on a wide-variety of green initiatives throughout the entire year.
MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd emphasized the studios’ dedication to environmentally friendly practices, stating: “Our member studios are on the vanguard of practicing, promoting, and exploring new and innovative ways to better the environment through their own smart and thoughtful business practices. I am especially proud that our industry also utilizes its platform as a global leader in storytelling to produce impactful movies and TV shows, raising awareness and inspiring action around the world for this critical issue.”
See below or click on this INFOGRAPHIC for highlights from the studios’ environmentally friendly initiatives during 2014:
- Disney’s commitment to environmental stewardship focuses on using resources wisely and protecting the planet as the company operates and grows. In 2014, the Company decreased net emissions 31% from 2012 levels and disclosed its companywide water usage for the first time. The Disney Studio Lots in Glendale and Burbank achieved a 75% waste diversion rate, up from 68% in 2013, through improved and enhanced recycling, composting and waste reduction efforts.
- Key efficiency projects in 2014 included technology and operational process improvements. Disney is currently installing a fuel cell at its Burbank Studio Lot campus. The fuel cell will help supplement electricity use throughout the campus. This provides clean, quiet, efficient and reliable on-site power generation with minimal environmental impact.
- Disney ABC Studios has established an innovative set recycling and rental program. This program has helped divert waste from the landfill while generating revenue by renting set materials to others in the entertainment industry.
- Disneynature's latest True Life Adventure, Monkey Kingdom, arrived in theaters on April 17, 2015, to celebrate Earth Day. For every ticket sold during the opening week of Monkey Kingdom, , Disneynature will make a donation to Conservation International to help protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats. Through donations tied to last year’s film, Bears, Disneynature worked with respected nonprofits to restore or conduct research on more than 400,000 acres of national park service land in the United States.
- To continue inspiring a passion for conservation and the environment, last year Disney connected more than 13 million kids and families with nature experiences, meeting its 2015 target ahead of schedule.
- In April 2014, Disney signed the Ceres Climate Declaration. The declaration urges policymakers and business leaders to seize the economic opportunity in tackling climate change. More information on Disney’s environmental stewardship efforts and targets can be found at www.thewaltdisneycompany.com/citizenship/reporting.
Twentieth Century Fox
- 24 was the first ever television production to go completely carbon neutral and, with the show’s return as 24: Live Another Day, the team at Twentieth Century Fox Television took the opportunity to continue the groundbreaking green production work they had begun five years before. Sets were constructed using 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified lumber and were either recycled or sold to other productions after filming wrapped. In addition, the team was able to divert 98% of the production's waste from landfill by donating all leftover food and drinks to local charities, recycling or donating leftover props and costumes, and replacing plastic water bottles with refillable bottles. Efforts to minimize air travel and replace generators with grid power tie-ins also helped decrease the production's carbon footprint.
- In 2010, Fox Studios partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy through their Commercial Buildings Partnership program to design, construct, and deploy new energy efficient technologies for cooling their office buildings and film stages. The efforts are saving the Studio an estimated 2.6 million kWh in energy a year – a cost savings of more than $1,000 a day.
- Water conservation is a key component of Fox’s sustainability program, and the Studio is continually working to reduce its water use. Most recently, Fox has installed cloud connected irrigation systems across the entire campus. These systems constantly monitor the weather and automatically adjust watering times based on weather, plant type and soil conditions. This system will save more than 1 million gallons of water a year. In addition, grass and lawns are being replaced across the entire campus. The current artificial turf installations have reduced water use by more than 500,000 gallons a year.
- 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Rio 2 teamed up with Conservation International and the World Wildlife Find (WWF) to help raise awareness about the real life Blu and Jewel -- the critically endangered Spix’s Macaw -- and other native species in the Amazon rainforest. The Spix’s macaw is thought to be extinct in the wild and there are currently only 79 known Spix’s on Earth. In addition to developing videos and PSAs, which are featured on all Rio 2 DVDs and Blu-Rays, Fox donated $100,000 to WWF to support the organization's Amazon conservation efforts.
- For the tenth consecutive year, FOX Broadcasting celebrated the start of the new television season with the Fall Eco-Casino Party. Over the course of the evening, FOX raised $25,000 to donate to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, Heal the Bay, The Nature Conservancy, and the Environmental Media Association. As in past years, FOX worked to minimize the event's carbon footprint by using bio-diesel-powered trucks to transport equipment, choosing LED lights over traditional incandescent bulbs, distributing invitations digitally, using casino chips made from recycled materials, purchasing local, organic, and sustainable food products, printing reusable signage, renting furniture and decor, composting all food and beverage waste, and recycling all cans, bottles, cardboard and paper used by staff and guests.
- In March 2014, NBCUniversal implemented a “Zero Waste" recycling program on the Universal Studios lot, helping to significantly reduce the amount of material sent to landfill from corporate and production offices, facility operations and production stages. Developed with the participation of NBCUniversal employees, the program provides compost, recycling and landfill receptacles, making it easy to separate food and food-related materials out of the waste stream and keep recyclables clean and dry. In 2014 this program resulted in about 1150 tons of materials recycled and 750 tons composted, an increase of 66% over the previous year.
- The Universal Studios “Jules Stein” Building 50,000 square foot third floor renovation prioritized sustainable building practices that exemplified NBCUniversal’s commitment to environmental protection. A new HVAC system was installed, along with LED lighting with occupancy sensors for energy conservation. Furniture in the building was sourced within 50 miles of the studio and low flow sinks and toilets were installed to save water. The project used locally harvested materials and recycled building materials in construction, and nearly all waste from the project was recycled. These practices earned the renovation a LEED-CI certification.
- Leading the industry, Universal Pictures and the NBCU Television Production Group, partnered with entertainment payroll companies to develop new, entirely digital onboarding systems. These business units produce roughly 85 shows annually, onboarding approximately 50,000 freelance hires per year. The new paperless system will be available throughout the industry, reduce fuel emissions from transportation needs and reduce paper consumption by more than 1,000,000 sheets per year at NBCUniversal alone.
- In 2014, NBCUniversal feature film and television productions continued to implement sustainable production practices around the world. Best practices include recycling and composting, the utilization of LED set lighting, purchasing of Forest Stewardship Council certified lumber where available, and food and material donations to the local community where production takes place. To learn more go to: http://www.greenisuniversal.com/
- The production of Jurassic World, releasing worldwide on , is just one example of how NBCUniversal is committed to green practices in local communities. The production donated various plants and trees used throughout the sets to the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans. In addition they spearheaded the first comprehensive production food donation program in New Orleans.
- NBCUniversal’s robust food donations program expanded through new partnerships with charitable organizations. The commitment to reducing food waste on productions starts with careful planning, however inevitably some food will be leftover. In 2014, more than 28,000 meals, representing more than 36,000 pounds of food, were donated by 28 NBCUniversal television and film productions in five different cities.
- Additional EVC charging stations added to satellite parking lots: In an effort to drive into a future of green living and meet employee demand, Paramount Pictures added new electric vehicle charging stations in its parking structures. The charging stations are open to all employees.
- Paramount reduced paper paychecks and pay stubs: Reducing Paramount’s environmental footprint is a company priority. As part of this commitment, Paramount reduced the printing of paper paychecks. Pay Stubs are available electronically and can be accessed online at kiosks across the lot or through a web browser on office computers or mobile devices.
- Green Shorts contest: Employees worldwide competed in a Green Shorts Contest to create short videos to encourage colleagues to be green in their daily life – work, home or play. Winners’ videos were showcased at Paramount’s companywide day of service.
- Vegetarian options in the café and cooking demonstration: In honor of World Vegetarian Day, Paramount’s Café introduced an array of vegetarian and vegan dishes to its lunch menu. The Paramount Green Team later hosted a live meatless cooking demonstration led by Paramount’s Executive Chef.
- Clothes for a Cause Drive: In conjunction with America Recycles Day, Paramount hosted a clothing drive for employees to donate clothing, shoes and linens. Instead of becoming trash, one ton of items was collected for re-use in the U.S. and abroad.
- Los Angeles Zoo Bioswale Project: More than 50 Paramount employees volunteered to install upgraded watershed areas within the Los Angeles Zoo parking lot. These bioswales capture and clean storm water runoff and divert it to local drought tolerant plants and watersheds.
- Electronic Waste Drive: Paramount hosted an electronic waste drive for employees to properly dispose of household electronic waste. The event collected more than two tons of electronic waste, which was safely diverted from a landfill and properly recycled.
Sony Pictures Entertainment
- Sony Pictures is celebrating a decade of environmental innovation at its Screen Gems film label. This commitment began in 2006 when the label built a semi-permanent set superstructure on Stage 23 of the Sony Pictures Studio Lot. This structure was used on seven feature films, and eliminated the need to build a new frame for each feature’s set. As a result, each production used fewer materials and spent less on set building costs. Screen Gems continues to pioneer new ways to film more sustainably and with less impact on the environment. During the filming of the hit film Think Like a Man, Screen Gems became the first production to use only LED and energy efficient light-bulbs on set. While shooting About Last Night, Screen Gems continued its focus on reducing the energy consumption of its productions by not using set generators. Thanks to the use of LED lighting and the Sony F65 digital motion picture camera, which captures high quality picture in low light, the production was able to use the existing power grid in place of set generators. As Screen Gems enters its second decade of eco-friendly moviemaking, it continues to drive innovations that both lower environment impact and contribute to the cost efficiency of production budgets.
- As part of its ongoing effort to empower its employees to be sustainable both at work and at home, Sony Pictures recently installed 60 220V electric vehicle charging stations around its Culver City lot and offices, the largest installation project of any workplace in Southern California. This benefit complements the financial incentives the studio has offered since 2008 to employees who choose to purchase a qualifying hybrid, plug-in hybrid electric or electric vehicle.
- Sony Pictures’ Columbia and Screen Gems film labels require each of their features to complete a legacy project, typically planting one tree for every day of shooting. For example, Columbia’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was filmed on location in East River Park in New York City. The studio helped restore benches and plant trees that had been devastated by Superstorm Sandy and also donated an additional 50 trees to East River Park after the film wrapped.
- Sony Pictures Entertainment Studio Lot is certified under ISO-14000, which is the environmental management standard defined by the International Organization for Standardization. The ISO 14000 help organizations (a) minimize how their operations (processes, etc.) negatively affect the environment; (b) comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements, and (c) have system for continuous improvement. Sony Pictures Entertainment is expanding the Environmental Management System to global corporate facilities and regional offices with four certified sites worldwide. The scope will cover all activities associated with SPE’s operations, facility structure, property, products, and their potential impact on the environment
Warner Bros. Entertainment
- Warner Bros. has been installing interior LED lighting for several years and utilizes this innovative technology for set lighting on soundstages. In 2014, Warner Bros. also installed energy-efficient LED lighting on some of its most iconic exterior fixtures around the lot. The water tower, a historic landmark in Burbank since 1926, features the most prominent display of this efficient technology and is equipped with color-changing capabilities – the studio will debut the water tower’s “green” look the week of April 20 in recognition of Earth Week. Additionally, the lights illuminating the Warner Bros. shield displayed on Stage 16 (the lot’s largest soundstage) and the spotlights highlighting featured film and television titles on billboards facing Olive Avenue have all been newly fitted with LED lighting. These combined upgrades are projected to conserve more than 148,000 kilowatt hours annually, equivalent to what 22 average California homes use in a year.
- While filming in Michigan last fall, the cast and crew of the upcoming movie “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” partnered with the locally based Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC) to support its Save the Bats campaign. Lumber was reclaimed from the film’s sets and the Construction Department built 150 bat houses that were later decorated by cast and crew and ultimately installed outdoors to create new bat habitat. Director Zack Snyder and stars Ben Affleck and Amy Adams were among those who visited the “Bat Zone” and participated in a Save the Bats PSA in an effort to drive heightened awareness concerning the crucial role of bats in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
- Since 1995, Warner Bros. Studio Facilities (WBSF) has donated surplus materials to Burbank schools and nonprofits through the Warner Bros. Encore program. Last year, nine WBSF departments donated tons of materials (literally) to 21 local community partners around Los Angeles alone. Highlights include the cafeteria donating 2,400 leftover meals to the New Way Foundation; the costume department donating 200 bags of clothing, including 200 pairs of scrubs, to Children’s Hospital LA; and the drapery shop giving 20 bags of bedding to AMVETS, a nonprofit group that furnishes veterans’ apartments. The office services team also held the studio’s first onsite donation event, where 17 Burbank schools and nonprofit partners picked up 375 pieces of office furniture.
- Warner Bros. also donated food and materials to community partners across the nation through Encore on Location. For example, during its time filming in Michigan, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” provided 8,200 meals to the local HOPE Warming Shelter, while the New Line Cinema comedy “Vacation” donated 150 bags of clothing and bedding and more than 50 home furnishings to 10 different nonprofit partners in Atlanta. All in all, Warner Bros. made more than 100 material donations (including 51,820 pounds of food) to 50 nonprofit partners nationwide in 2014.
- Warner Bros. has been vigilantly implementing water conservation measures for several years and taken many measures to conserve water used for plumbing and irrigation. Initial steps included the installation of low-flow toilets and water efficient faucets equipped with motion sensors and aerators. For landscape irrigation, an EPA Water Sense certified auditor is on staff, and centralized and web accessible systems are in place to maximize controls. Drought-tolerant landscaping has been integrated into landscape designs, and sprinklers were retrofitted with water efficient heads, such as MP Rotators. In 2013, recycled water was first introduced to the lot for use in irrigation, including the Studio’s historic jungle set on the back lot. This infrastructure was significantly expanded last year and additional conservation projects are planned throughout the coming year.
- This year, the hit series “The Mentalist” wrapped its seventh and final season. The popular crime-solving drama led the way in being green behind the scenes. The production helped to establish best practices in green production by pioneering initiatives such as biodiesel fueling, LED set lighting, food donations, and compost collection. Over the course of one season, it even field-tested a mobile solar power unit at base camp on locations. Many shows have followed their lead, with 24 Warner Bros. Television productions in the 2014-15 season continuing in this spirit of innovation.
- Employees are more involved than ever with sustainable practices around the Warner Bros. lot. Last fall, the studio invited its Burbank staff to participate in the “Lights! Camera! Conserve!” campaign by installing 1,400 LED light bulbs on the lot’s Steven J. Ross Theater marquee. Hundreds of employees attended the event to help replace the old incandescent lights with the new bulbs, which are 90% more efficient than conventional lights, create less heat, and reduce the need for frequent bulb replacement (the LED bulbs have a life expectancy of nearly 50 years). Additionally, 80 employees from the Warner Bros Clean Air Club and Fit Nation groups participated in the 14th annual L.A. River Ride, put on by Warner Bros.’ local non-profit partner, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.
About the Solid Waste Task Force
The Solid Waste Task Force (SWTF), comprised of the major studios and television networks, was formed in the early 1990s, following the passage of Assembly Bill 939 in 1989, to address resource conservation and reduce solid waste being sent to landfills. The SWTF member companies voluntarily implement waste diversion programs to reduce the environmental impact of solid waste, as well as assist local government in meeting the mandates of AB 939. Today, SWTF members meet regularly to collaborate on creating additional progressive environmental programs.
About the MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
About the AMPTP
Since 1982, The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP) has been the primary trade association with respect to labor issues in the motion picture and television industry. The AMPTP negotiates 80 industry-wide collective bargaining agreements on behalf of over 350 motion picture and television producers (member companies include studios, broadcast networks, certain cable networks and independent producers).