As we have come to learn, Disney’s environmental committments go back to the beginnings of the company and Walt Disney himself. He was an ardent supporter and evangelist for protecting our natural resources.
Since the company’s early days, Disney has been committed to Environmentality, which encompasses the attitude and commitment to do what is right for the environment and right for responsible business.
Building on this legacy, Walt Disney World Resort has intensified efforts to embed environmental stewardship into the decisions and actions of Cast Members and guests through a series of science-based programs and policies. The efforts include effectively managing resources through energy management, water conservation and waste minimization. Some of the work is highlighted in a set of Fun Facts:
Environmental Fun Facts
- Walt Disney World Resort has improved the linen washing process by increasing wash loads by 20%, upgrading dryers and adapting a water reuse system. The result is a savings of 29 million gallons of water each year — enough water to fill the aquarium at The Seas with Nemo and Friends six times. The process also saved 61,000 therms of natural gas annually, which is enough to power 1452 household clothes dryers for one year.
- Walt Disney World Resort is making the switch to more efficient and environmentally friendly lighting to conserve energy. In resort hotels, Cast Members replaced 194,000 incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps that use roughly one-quarter of the energy of traditional light bulbs. This conversion saves WDW 26 million kilowatt hours annually, which is enough electricity to power 1450 homes each year.
- LED (light emitting diode) lights can be 330% more efficient than neon lights and are used in many signs, decorations and Christmas trees at Walt Disney World Resort. Walt Disney World Resort converted 430,000 incandescent holiday lights to LEDs, saving an estimated 1.1 million kilowatt hours throughout the holiday season, which is enough to power 61 homes annually.
- Disney engineers have developed a prototype at Pop Century Resort designed to recover excess heat from rooftop air conditioner units. This heat is used to make about 85% of the hot water used by all guests in the building during the warm summer months. As a result, Walt Disney World Resort saves 11,500 therms each year – enough to provide hot water to 151 homes annually.
- Walt Disney World Resort uses more than 6 million gallons of reclaimed water each day, which is used for irrigating landscape, washing buses and cleaning streets at theme parks and resorts. This amount of water could fill 400 home swimming pools each day for a year.
- Through a successful long-term, captive breeding program, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has produced approximately 25 percent of the total world population of the Micronesian kingfisher. This tiny bird, native to Guam, is nearly extinct because of predatory snakes introduced to the island more than 50 years ago. Since the program started in 2000, the Animal Programs team has successfully hatched 25 baby birds.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been assisting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in developing and implementing a recovery plan for the highly endangered Key Largo woodrat. As part of these efforts, Disney’s Animal Kingdom began a Key Largo woodrat breeding program with very little information known about social structure, reproductive biology, or ecology. Through diligent research, Disney animal experts found ways to successfully breed this nocturnal animal and have successfully bred 17 Key Largo woodrats.
- Disney guests have purchased over 150,000 reusable bags, resulting in approximately $50,000 raised for the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. With that money, DWCF may be able to provide emergency funding to as many as 10 wildlife projects such as the recent Australian wildfires.
- Through the Disney Harvest program, Walt Disney World Resort kitchens gathered and distributed approximately 700,000 pounds of excess prepared food through the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, which feeds 1,000 local children weekly and reduces food waste.
- More than 77,000 tons of materials were recycled in 2008, including 31,000 tons of asphalt, much of which has been crushed and re-used to help pave some roadways at Walt Disney World Resort.
(Press release originally posted on Walt Disney World’s Public Affairs site)