The Walt Disney Company






500 South Buena Vista Street,
CA 91521-0991







Madison Barnes 


  • Green Seal Awards from the Environmental Media Association for sustainable production practices on many Disney feature film and television productions



Report created by Aravind Samala

The Walt Disney Company

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: Media Networks; Parks, Experiences and Products; Studio Entertainment; and Direct-to-Consumer and International.

  • Media Networks is the primary unit of The Walt Disney Company that contains the company’s vast array of television networks, cable channels, associated production and distribution companies, and owned and operated television stations across two divisions – Walt Disney Television and ESPN. (abc, Disney channel, freeform, national geographic, fx, …)
  • Disney Parks, Experiences and Products is the global hub that brings Disney’s stories, characters, and franchises to life through theme parks and resorts, cruise and vacation experiences, and consumer products — everything from toys to apparel, and books to video games.
  • Studio Entertainment: For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage play to consumers throughout the world.
  • Direct-To-Consumer and International: Comprising the Company’s international business units and various direct-to-consumer streaming services, Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) aligns technology, media distribution and advertising sales into a single business segment to create and deliver personalized entertainment experiences to consumers around the world.

Company Sustainability Activity

According to Disney’s website, their approach to corporate social responsibility is built upon the company’s long and enduring legacy of engagement in their workplaces and communities and their actions to protect the environment. They believe social responsibility is a long-term investment that serves to strengthen their operations and competitiveness in the marketplace, enhance risk management, attract and engage talented employees, and maintain their reputation.


  • Reduced net emissions by 47% from 2012 levels 
  • Waste – achieved a 57% diversion rate of operational waste, generated from their theme parks & resorts, studios, and office locations. 
  • Disney VoluntEARS provided more than 612,300 hours of volunteer service in the form of skills, time, and effort in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the program. Bringing the total to nearly 4.6 million hours of VoluntEARS Service since 2012. 
  • 85% of global licensed food portfolio will be with foods that meet Disney’s Nutrition Guideline criteria. Disney continues to meet the 85% guideline in North America. Achieved the 85% guideline goal globally in 2019.
  • 300M+ gallons of water saved (2013-2019)
  • 292 acres of solar panels at Walt Disney World
  • 9M+ trees planted



  • Reduce net emission by 50% from 2012 total levels 


  • Achieve 60% waste diverted from landfills and incineration 


  • Maintain potable water consumption at 2013 levels at existing sites. Develop Water Conservation plans for new sites.

Volunteer hours

  • Contribute more than 5 million hours of employee community service through Disney VoluntEARS program. 

Healthy Living

  • Increase to 85% the percentage of globally licensed wholesale food sales dedicated to everyday foods that meet their global Nutrition Guidelines, and continue to meet their 85% target in North America. 
  • Globally, all Disney-controlled advertising on kid-focused media platforms and Disney-owned online destinations rented to families with younger children will be food and beverages that meet their global Nutrition Guidelines.



  • Reduced net emissions by 47% from 2012 levels through a mix of efficiencies, renewable energy, and natural climate solution investments 
  • Brought online a 50+-megawatt solar array in central Florida, which can supply electricity needs for two of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World 
  • Invested in three natural climate solutions projects to protect forest resources 
  • Diverted 57% of operational waste from landfills, sending less waste to landfills than in 2014 
  • Achieved their commitment to eliminate plastic straws, stirrers, and foam cups throughout their operations 
  • Continued to hold global potable water use flat to 2013 levels 
  • Awarded more than $9 million in grants to leading nonprofit organizations working to protect wildlife and their ecosystems and to inspire a lifelong love of nature in young people 
  • Received Green Seal Awards from the Environmental Media Association for sustainable production practices on many Disney feature film and television productions


  • Established minimum start rate of $15 per hour for all non-tipped Disney Parks & Resorts employees in Anaheim and Orlando, to be fully implemented by 2021 
  • Enrolled more than 12,000 employees in Disney Aspire 
  • Increased Disney’s total annual commitment in child care programs for U.S.-based employees to more than $23 million 
  • Received ongoing workplace recognition including Fortune’s Most Admired Companies, Forbes’ World’s Most Reputable Companies, and Forbes’ World’s Best Employers, among others 
  • Awarded perfect score on Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and the Disability Equality Index 

Supply chain labor standards 

  • Continued to pursue visibility into 100% of facilities located in high-risk countries 
  • Made contributions totalling $2.2 million to empower workers and drive supply chain traceability through their Supply Chain Investment Program

Content & Products 

  • Continued achievement of their aim to ensure that 85% of globally licensed wholesale food sales are dedicated to everyday foods that meet their Nutrition Guidelines 
  • Began integration of acquired TFCF businesses into Disney’s overall policies and approaches 
  • Launched multiple programs to help build and sustain the pipeline of underrepresented talent in creative roles in the media industry 

Social Impact 

  • Made charitable contributions totaling $338.2 million in cash and in-kind support 
  • Logged 612,300 hours of VoluntEAR service by Disney employees 
  • Launched first phase of their initiative to transform the children’s patient experience, with a pilot at Texas Children’s Hospitals 
  • Granted more than 11,000 Disney-related wishes with Make-A-Wish and other wish-granting organizations around the world.

Renewable energy 

  • In 2019, Disney brought online a new 270-acre, 50 megawatt solar facility at Walt Disney World, built in collaboration with the Reedy Creek Improvement District and Origis Energy USA. This facility is anticipated to generate enough power from the sun to operate two of their four theme parks in Orlando annually.

Conserving fuel 

  • The steam trains and the Mark Twain Riverboat at Disneyland Resort in California run on biodiesel made from their own recycled cooking oil. They also operate their bus fleet at Walt Disney World using 50% renewable diesel fuel, while their film and TV productions are piloting electric generators on set.

Sustainable design 

  • The Grand Central Creative Campus in Glendale, CA received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. The 460-kilowatt solar photovoltaic installation on the parking garage provides 12% of the energy use for the new building.

Reducing waste 

  • Disney eliminated single-use plastic straws and stirrers at all owned and operated locations across the globe, a reduction of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually. All Disney hotels and cruise ships are also transitioning to refillable in-room amenities, reducing plastics in guest rooms by 80%.

Using Water responsibly 

  • At Disney, they recognize that water is a precious resource for their operations and the communities in which operation occurs. Since 2013, their Corporate facilities have been using reclaimed water for irrigation and cooling towers to reduce potable water consumption.

Greening production 

  • Since 2009, an Environmental Steward has worked on each of Walt Disney Studios’ live-action feature film crews to establish recycling and reuse programs on set and educate the cast and crew on environmental best practices.

Protecting Nature 

  • For over a decade, Disney has invested in nature-based climate solutions. These natural places provide habitats for animals and resources for local communities through food, shelter, and income, all while helping reduce the impact of climate change

Commuter assistance

  • Disney’s commuter assistance program provides employees with alternative commute options and incentives to reduce traffic congestion, enhance work life balance, improve air quality, and ensure compliance with regional regulations.


  • LEED Platinum certification – the Grand Central Creative Campus in Glendale, CA

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance


  • According to Disney, they face unique challenges in achieving and monitoring performance against their high expectations and requirements. Nevertheless, Disney continues to develop innovative approaches to manage this extended supply chain. They work collaboratively with their licensees and vendors to educate them about labor rights expectations, require social compliance audits to assess labor conditions and work with external organizations to foster safe, inclusive and respectful workplaces wherever Disney-branded products are made.
  • Disney is dedicated to identifying and engaging suppliers that share their commitment to quality, service, cost and sustainability. Supplier Sustainability serves to partner with and support not only their knowledgeable and talented Sourcing & Procurement team, but all other areas of the Company, in working to identify, develop and implement sustainability-oriented business practices, evaluating and expanding their supply bases and delivering products and services whose life cycles have been taken into consideration.

SDG 12

  • Disney is committed to a continuous review of their product safety policies, procedures and operating requirements to help ensure that their approach results in Disney-branded products that meet, or exceed, current regulatory requirements and any additional Disney requirements, follows developments in their complex global consumer products business and reflects Disney’s commitment to product safety. Disney implements changes to the Product Integrity Program as appropriate and is committed to communicating their approach to all concerned parties

SDG 13

  • Disney’s long-term goal is to minimize its product footprint. In 2010, Disney developed some common approaches and targets around this goal. Their company-wide targets are focused on two areas in particular: the sourcing of raw materials, especially as it relates to sustainable paper use, and holding their manufacturing suppliers to a higher standard of environmental responsibility. In the fiscal year 2011, strategic suppliers of key Disney product lines completed an Environmental Responsibility Index survey that will serve as a baseline for measuring future improvement.
  • In 2011, Disney also identified apparel, accessories, plush, and toys as key product lines that will be measured for improvement. Disney has a long-standing strategy to invest in high quality, certified natural climate solutions. They support scalable projects that are developed using peer-reviewed protocols grounded in science and resulting in verified emission reductions. They have invested in over 25 projects around the world that conserve habitat for wildlife, create jobs, protect water resources, and reduce impacts from floods and soil erosion.

SDG 15

  • Disney’s investments in natural climate solutions have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 900,000 cars from the road and protected over 1 million acres of forest. Projects support restoring degraded land to vibrant forests. By planting over 9 million trees, they are bringing growth back to these communities, removing carbon dioxide from the air, protecting water resources, and creating healthy communities.
  • Disney Conservation is committed to saving wildlife and building a global community inspired to protect the magic of nature together. Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed $100 million to support nonprofit organizations working with communities to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. Disney Conservation Team Wildlife leads best-in-class scientific programs to conserve wildlife in Disney’s backyard and beyond, connects people to build a network for nature, and cares for the planet through everyday actions.


The Walt Disney Company is engaged with initiatives and strategies that aim to create a more sustainable environment for their operations. Disney has targets to reduce their emissions and waste, as well as promote healthy living. They have made significant progress in their sustainability efforts.

The company has a scarce amount of awards and certificates. They do not hold any listings. Disney is compliant with a few UN Sustainable Development Goals. Their work towards sustainability is mediocre, and for these reasons, Disney has been rated a C.

Analyst Outlook: Neutral

Disney has made an effort towards incorporating sustainability within their business model. However, some concerns regarding unfair wages and labor exploitation in manufacturing factories result in a neutral outlook.

Key Points

  • Of the 58 million people who visit Disney’s Florida parks, around 8.2 million are non-Americans, mostly from Europe. Around 2.4 million Brits alone visit Florida on holiday each year, the great majority go to Disney. According to the carbon offsetting company Climate Care, the emissions for one person flying from London to Orlando are 1.96 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
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