The Walt Disney Company has made substantial efforts to conserve and care for the planet throughout the past 60 years. As we grow, we have publicly talked about our progress and our goals to conserve water resources, reverse the decline of wildlife around the globe, and achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions and waste.
By tracking our progress every year, we ensure that we are always working to make our goals a reality. With our continued efforts, we hope to be half way to achieving net zero emissions by 2020. As of 2018, we have reduced 44% of our net emissions from our 2012 levels.
This year, we finished our largest solar energy endeavor to date, a project that will reduce 50,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
On Earth Day, we began using our new 50-megawatt solar panel facility built on 270 acres of land. The project lives just west of the parks and uses over 500,000 solar panels to power the Magic.
The facility was a joint venture between Reedy Creek Improvement Districts and Origis Energy USA. The project took about five months to complete and created about 300 jobs during construction. At completion, the solar panels were able generate enough renewable clean energy to operate two of the four theme parks in Orlando annually.
That’s equivalent to removing about 10,000 vehicles from the road every year!
But it doesn’t stop there – to make the most efficient use of this land, we are also turning the field into an important habitat for native wildlife in central Florida.
We assembled a team of Disney environmental and horticulture experts to help make more than two-thirds of the facility pollinator friendly, with the goal of creating a nurturing and welcoming habitat for butterflies, bees and other insects, including endangered and at-risk species.
The team of experts monitored an experimental test garden at the facility before converting the whole project site. During the experiment, the team already counted 15 different species of pollinators on-site. This research helped determine the ideal combination of native plants and soil for the pollinators to thrive.
At Disney, we strive to use resources wisely and protect the planet as we operate and grow our business. We believe that the excessive use of natural resources poses a threat to ecosystems and biodiversity, creating a serious environmental issue. These challenges demand fundamental changes in the way society and businesses use natural resources.