Major Film and Television Studios Expand Sustainability Efforts; Donate Over 130,000 Meals in 2018

April 22, 2019

Earth Day Announcement Illustrates Film and TV Industry’s Ongoing Commitment to Environmentally Friendly Practices

WASHINGTON ­­– In commemoration of Earth Day, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) today released highlights of the environmental sustainability efforts of its member studios,[1] including waste diversion statistics and newly incorporated data on donated food.

In all, last year, studios donated the equivalent of over 130,000 meals[2] from production and commissary donations throughout the United States. Member companies also continued to prevent studio sets and other solid waste from entering landfills, achieving a 64 percent diversion rate in 2018. Set materials, costumes, and other items were sent to over 150 non-profit organizations throughout the country, including in Virginia, New Mexico, Georgia, Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois, Tennessee, Louisiana, New York, and California.

These figures are compiled through the Solid Waste Task Force, a joint program between the MPAA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The Task Force was designed to promote environmentally friendly practices across the film and television industry.

“Our studios champion pro-environmental policies each and every day, from conserving energy to reducing waste,” said MPAA Chairman and CEO Charles H. Rivkin. “This Earth Day, we join with others across the globe in not only doing our part, but in going above and beyond. I am proud of how our studios are leading by example on this critical issue – and using their platforms as global leaders in storytelling to bring awareness about green business practices to a worldwide audience.”

Member company efforts include reducing carbon emissions at their studio facilities and on production. For example, Warner Bros. completed its fifth LEED™ project and its second LEED™ soundstage certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), an 18,040-square foot facility featuring significant sustainable building measures, including a 110-kilowatt rooftop solar system, the third large solar system on the main lot. Disney expanded the use of renewable diesel, which was made available this year to all production trucks and generators in Burbank, California. Renewable diesel is made mostly from agricultural waste products and the life cycle carbon emissions are 70% lower than normal diesel; in 2018, the carbon savings from using renewable diesel were equivalent to not driving 600,000 miles. NBCUniversal has quadrupled its use of LED set lighting across its productions over the last few years and invested in advancing this cutting-edge technology with the NBCUniversal LightBlade. LED set lights use approximately 70 percent less power than conventional lighting and reduce the energy needed to cool production sets.

In 2018, studio waste reduction continued to expand. Fox built on its ban on plastics by switching from compostable plastic straws to paper in all of its food outlets, adding to previous efforts to remove plastic bags and single use water bottles on the studio lot. Since 2009, Fox has eliminated nearly three million plastic water bottles. CBS Corporation encouraged sustainability efforts through its “1, 2, 3, GREEN” campaign, which, in partnership with preferred vendors, resulted in cost savings and 350 metric tons of carbon avoided by using rechargeable batteries, electronic signatures, and water filters to replace bottled water.

Studio sustainability programs had a positive impact on employees and the communities where they operate. Paramount expanded its Green Team initiative globally, reaching their offices in the UK and Australia. The Green Teams encourage employees focus on sustainability by creating educational opportunities, implementing enhancements to studio facilities, and promoting sustainable protocols during the creation of content. Sony Pictures’ Columbia, TriStar and Screen Gems Legacy program supported 32 organizations focused on sustainability in 31 cities across nine countries, contributing approximately $100,000 toward community environmental efforts. Through planting trees or working with projects such as Flow’s Genius of Space initiative in South Africa, the program supports local environmental activities.

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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. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Netflix, Inc.; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; 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).

For more information, contact:

MPAA Washington, D.C.
Tom Zigo
(202) 293-1966

[1] In 2019, Netflix joined the MPAA, and Disney completed its acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox. Given this report covers the year 2018, figures that specifically reference the MPAA member companies do not include Netflix and do include Fox.

[2] All meal equivalents are calculated as equal to 1.2 pounds of food. Collectively, the studios donated over 156,000 pounds of food.