Environmentally Responsible Business Practices Drive Studio Initiatives

April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014


LOS ANGELES – In observance of Earth Day, the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) announced today that its members collectively prevented more than 19,000 tons of their studio sets and other solid waste from entering landfills in 2013. That amount represents a 73.4% diversion rate of the studios’ total solid waste from landfills, which is the highest percentage recorded since the studios began compiling data in the early 1990’s. These numbers are collected each year by the Solid Waste Task Force, a joint venture between the MPAA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which was formed more than 20 years ago as a voluntary waste reduction initiative.

“Our member studios continue to demonstrate their commitment to the global environment through smart, environmentally sound business practices. From production to subject matter, we are using our platforms to not only talk about protecting the planet, but to be active participants in the movement,” said Senator Chris Dodd, MPAA Chairman and CEO. “Daily operations at each studio include a commitment to environmental protection through the creation of innovative programs such as partnering with the National Park Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund, safeguarding the environment on productions, implementing new robust recycling programs, and continuing legacy projects, among many others.”

The information below, and the infographic HERE, represents highlights from the studios’ environmentally friendly initiatives during 2013:


  •  Disneynature celebrates the beauty and power of our planet and the creatures that call it home with films that engage, inspire and entertain theatrical audiences everywhere. Disneynature’s latest True Life Adventure, Bears, arrived in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day. For every ticket sold during the opening week of Bears, April 18-24, Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to support wildlife protection, habitat restoration, and conservation research and education in our national parks. Through donations tied to the first four Disneynature films, Earth, Oceans, African Cats and Chimpanzee, Disneynature has worked with respected nonprofits to plant three million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, establish 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas, and protect 65,000 acres of savanna in Kenya and nearly 130,000 acres of wild chimpanzee habitat in the Congo.
  • Since 2010, an environmental steward has been present on every Disney film production, guiding the cast and crew to make environmentally responsible choices during production operations. The upcoming release, Maleficent, achieved a 90% waste diversion rate, and the use of solar panels on the set of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day powered a portion of base-camp energy and lighting needs, reducing the production’s CO2 emissions.
  • In 2013, The Walt Disney Company met or exceeded its environmental targets set in 2009, including reductions in waste, electricity, and net direct emissions. The Disney Studio lots continue to support Disney’s long-term environmental goals through improving and enhancing recycling, composting and waste reduction efforts, achieving a 68% diversion rate in 2013                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Twentieth Century Fox                                                                                                                                                                              
  • After three years of design, construction, and collaboration, Fox Studios officially opened the Richard D. Zanuck Post Production Building, a four-story, 14,000 square foot postproduction facility. The building, which is the first LEEDcertified post-production facility in Los Angeles, house a multi-functional screening room that can be converted to a mixing stage or DI theater as well as three complete post-production suites that can be interconnected to each other or to the screening room. The building boasts some significant environmental technologies, including high efficiency lighting, air conditioning, and plumbing fixtures, which reduce annual energy use by more than 20% and water use by more than 33%. Wind power provides 70% of the building’s energy, offsetting annual CO2 emissions by 225 tons—the equivalent of taking 47 cars off the road every year. In addition, during construction, nearly 84% of construction waste was recycled or re-used.
  • To promote the home release of Epic, Fox Home Entertainment partnered with Walmart for the ‘Epic Green Warriors’ campaign, an effort to educate kids about the environment and encourage families to buy more sustainable products. The promotion, which ran from August through October at more than 2,800 Walmart stores across the United States, became the largest push for a home release in Walmart’s history.
  •  Twentieth Century Fox Film has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council to launch a new series of public service announcements featuring the characters from Rio 2. The PSAs encourage children and their families to spend more time outdoors. The campaign is an extension of the U.S. Forest Service and Ad Council’s existing “Discover the Forest” campaign, which was founded in 2008 with the aim of instilling a lifelong love for nature in children. The campaign’s website gives families ideas for outdoor activities and provides an interactive map that allows users to find nearby forests and parks. The Rio 2 PSAs encourage viewers to visit the site and to take advantage of the benefits that nature has to offer.
  • Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment partnered with WWF, the leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species, to create the “Help Save Tigers” campaign around the release of Life of Pi on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD. The promotion included on-air and print public service announcements, social media outreach, and joint PR efforts. Fox sent PSAs to more than 1600 TV and cable outlets, and the Twitter presence for the campaign garnered more than 863,000 followers. In addition to an initial donation to WWF, Fox donated twenty-five cents from every Bluray, DVD, or download bought from the release on March 12 until June 30, 2013.
  • Super Bowl XLVIII, which aired on FOX, is being called the greenest Super Bowl ever. Among the initiatives taken: Renewable biodiesel was used to power generators; by recycling and re-using old materials, waste was diverted from local landfills and; for the first time ever, all food scraps were composted on site. On Super Bowl Boulevard, energy efficient lighting and heating were used and at Saturday night’s pre-game party all the party’s leftover items were donated to the recycling organization Trash 4 Teaching. FOX also used energy efficient transportation. All buses and coaches were Green Coach certified, the crew was urged to use public transportation rather than rental cars, and all guests at Saturday night’s pre-game party were given Metro Cards so they could also use public transportation. The full list of environmental initiatives for Super Bowl XLVIII can be found at NFL.com.

NBC Universal

  • The recently opened News Center, home to the Los Angeles bureaus of NBC News and Telemundo, as well as the locally owned and operated KNBC4 and KVEA stations, incorporated LED studio lighting, fiber-optic wiring, advanced cooling systems and efficient power management controls to give the facility an advanced technology infrastructure that helps conserve energy throughout the building. Even the trestles and shades adorning the exterior serve both aesthetic and conservation purposes. These sustainability innovations will yield annual estimated savings of 800,000 kWH of electricity, the equivalent of more than 700,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, and more than $128,404 in energy costs. The facility also features drought tolerant landscaping. Fed by an electronic moisture detection drip irrigation system, the plants include kangaroo paws, Melaleuca trees, bougainvilleas, and ornamental grasses.
  •  In March of 2014, Universal City Studios rolled out a new robust recycling program throughout the majority of the lot including corporate, studio and production office buildings. Consisting of three stream collection, recycling, compostables and landfill, the new program called “Spotlight on Zero Waste” engages all employees in the effort to recycle and compost as much material as possible. The program will be expanded to production stages with the return of the television production season this summer.


  • The micro turbines that Paramount Pictures has installed continue to significantly reduce the Studio’s electrical consumption by about2.1 million lbs. of CO2 annually which is equivalent to:
    o Removing 182 passenger cars from the highway
    o Planting 200 acres of pine trees
    o Avoids gas emissions of recycling 320 tons of waste instead of sending to a landfill
    o CO2 emissions from the energy use of 81 homes annually
  •  Paramount Pictures chose to support the WWF’s Earth Hour with a ‘Star Trek – Into Darkness’ themed light display in London. Key landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and The London Eye went dark at 8:30 p.m. to signal the end of Earth Hour and at 9:30 p.m. quadrocopters formed the Star Trek logo above London’s skyline. Locally, Paramount Pictures had more than 250 employees pledge to turn off all nonessential lighting at home during Earth Hour.
  •  In July of 2013, Paramount Pictures hosted an Electric Vehicle Fair for all employees to experience test drives throughout the day. With electric vehicle charging stations already in place on the lot, allowing employees to perform electric vehicle test drives at their office enables them to make better choices about the fuel efficient vehicles they might choose to drive to work.
  •  As a back- to- school initiative, the Paramount Green Team partnered with Grades of Green for a lunch and learn seminar, teaching working parents how to make environmental conservation part of their children’s lives.
  • In partnership with Catalogue Choice, Paramount presented an ice cream social on Junk Mail Awareness Dayto show all employees how to drastically reduce or eliminate the unwanted letters and catalogues they receive. In conjunction with America Recycles Day, Paramount Pictures hosted an EWaste drive on November 15th to properly dispose of potentially hazardous waste from the workplace

Sony Pictures

  •  Sony Pictures sustainability efforts, from script to screen, are evident in its upcoming movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Throughout pre-production and principal photography, Sony Pictures implemented environmental best practices on set, which helped the production become the most eco-friendly tentpole in the history of the studio. Everyone involved in the making of the film contributed by limiting their impact both individually and collectively. The results were meaningful, with the production: achieving a 52% diversion rate from landfills; recovering 49.7 tons of materials for donation or reuse on other films; avoiding 193,000 single-use plastic water bottles; and donating 5,861 meals to local shelters. The studio estimated cost savings resulting from sustainability efforts totaled more than $400,000, demonstrating that what is good for the planet can also be good for the bottom line.
  •  In keeping with the tradition of all Columbia Pictures’ films, which complete a legacy project, the studio fixed benches and planted trees during The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on-location shoot in East River Park, which had been devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and donated an additional 50 trees after production on the film finished.
  • Sony Pictures and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 collaborated with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) on Earth Hour, a global movement that inspires individuals to use their power to protect the planet. Spider-Man was named the first Super Hero ambassador for Earth Hour; he encouraged people to use their power to become Super Heroes for the planet, reminding them that “with great power comes great responsibility.” In its eighth year, Earth Hour broke all records of mass participation, mobilizing hundreds of millions of everyday Super Heroes from around the world to join in the world’s largest celebration for the planet.
  •  The studio also created an EcoSpidey “sizzle reel” featuring the behind-the-scenes ecoefforts and developed an EcoSpidey Photo Hunt game; in which users help Spider-Man defeat Electro by becoming a superhero for the planet.
  •  Sony Pictures plans to purchase carbon offsets that render the physical production of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as well as its publicity tour, carbon neutral.
  •  In 2001, Sony Pictures Entertainment was certified ISO14000, which is the environmental management standard defined by the International Organization for Standardization (http://www.iso.org/iso/about.htm). The ISO 14000 reinforces sound environmental practices by requiring certified companies to have programs and procedures in place that support recycling efforts, hazardous waste management, and natural resource conservation.
  •  Sony Pictures was recertified to the updated ISO14001 standard in 2005has and has maintained it each year since, expanding certification to an additional six sites worldwide. It remains the first and only studio certified to this standard of environmental practice.

Warner Bros. Entertainment

  • Warner Bros. continues to invest in innovative technologies designed to reduce energy usage at its facilities. Examples of energy conservation measures (ECMs) completed on Warner Bros. owned properties include groundbreaking LED space lights used for set lighting, magnetic bearing chillers, dynamic stage house lights featuring energy-efficient induction lights and motion sensors, and the installation of 260 wireless thermostats. Total annual savings from all 2013 ECMs is estimated at 3,110,968 kWh and $450,090. ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” one of the first Warner Bros. Television shows to adopt LED lights on set, used Warner Bros’ latest technology and in the first 33 weeks of the 2013 filming season saved more than 1,500 kilowatt hours of energy each day of filming (equivalent to the average amount of energy expended by a U.S. home in three months).
  • In 2013, Warner Bros. continued to implement green practices on both its feature film and television productions filming around the world. Participating film and television productions were based in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Vancouver, Wilmington, and in the UK. Best practices included recycling, composting, biodiesel fueling, sustainable lumber purchasing, LED set lighting, and material and food donations to local community partners. More information on Warner Bros.’ green production initiatives and other sustainable business practices can be found at http://www.wbcitizenship.com/.
  • Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden (WBSL) won the “Retrofit for the Future” award at the Building Futures Awards in November 2013. Located just outside of London, the studio’s UK production facility and home to the “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter” was recognized for its sustainable refurbishment of the former Rolls Royce factory in Hertfordshire County. WBSL implemented of a number of sustainable features, including a building energy management system (BEMS) controlling heating, lighting, and ventilation, photocell controls, efficient insulation, and a robust waste management and recycling strategy. The state-of-the-art facility, which offers some of the largest stages in Europe across the 538,000 square foot property, has been completely rebuilt and received a “Very Good” sustainable design and building assessment rating from BREEAM (equivalent to the LEED™ certification system in the U.S.).
  • Warner Bros. has been contributing to the communities where it works and films since 1995 through its material donation program, Encore! As part of this program, the studio collaborates with local partner organizations to provide thousands of meals each year by donating leftover food from film and television productions, as well as from the studio’s Burbank facilities. In 2013, Warner Bros. donated 27,862 meals to local organizations in and around multiple cities, including New York, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, and Los Angeles.
  • From Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX Entertainment, “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” is a film that takes audiences on a spectacular journey to the remote and wondrous world of Madagascar, where lemurs arrived millions of years ago as castaways. Striving to educate audiences about these highly endangered creatures and the fragile state of their population, Warner Bros. and IMAX have partnered with conservation organizations, which work tirelessly to ensure the future of the lemur population on Madagascar, and educational organizations to help most effectively spread the message of the film and inspire, captivate, and create a more informed generation about wildlife conservation. To learn more, please visit http://islandoflemurs.imax.com/.


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 behalfof over 350 motion picture and television producers (member companies include studios, broadcast networks, certain cable networks and independent producers).

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For more information, contact:

MPAA Washington, D.C.
TJ Ducklo
(202) 293-1966

*This press release was updated on April 13, 2015 to correct that the MPAA’s members collectively prevented more than 19,000 tons of their studio sets and other solid waste from entering landfills in 2013. The number was previously listed as 19 million tons.