Disney Parks Celebrate Earth Month with a Focus on Renewable Energy
by Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks
This week marks the start of Earth Month, and we are showcasing our approach to environmental efforts at Disney Parks!
From the recently opened 50-megawatt solar facility providing power to Walt Disney World to ongoing efforts to reduce single-use plastics and the granting of more than $75 million to nonprofits through the Disney Conservation Fund, we are making great strides towards our long-term goals of attaining net zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste, while conserving water resources and reversing the decline of wildlife around the globe.
Along with conserving energy and fuel, a key part of our success in cutting greenhouse gas emissions is due to work expanding renewable energy sources. I’m proud to share how we are tackling this challenge around the world.
Around the globe, solar energy is playing a big role in our strategy, including the new 50MW facility and a second, Mickey-shaped array servicing Walt Disney World, rooftop systems at Tokyo Disneyland and 1,400 panels on top of Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure. These facilities combine with other energy projects to create enough solar energy to power a small city like Key West, Florida for a year!
Shanghai Disney Resort’s innovative Combined Cooling and Heating Plant may sound intimidating, but this facility reuses heat and condensation from normal operations to reduce energy use. That’s 70% more efficient than traditional facilities! And Disneyland Paris is leveraging geothermal energy to help power their onsite theme parks and resorts.
Our parks include a global fleet of vehicles running on renewable and alternative fuels – and their impact really adds up! In fact, the Walt Disney World Transportation bus fleet was one of the first in the country to run on R50, a renewable fuel.
Steam trains and the Mark Twain Riverboat at Disneyland Resort utilize fuel made with used cooking oil from resort kitchens, and cleaner fuel alternatives also power parade floats, Monorails and various attraction vehicles. These efforts along with other energy and fuel projects contribute to the emissions reduction equivalent of removing more than 4,000 cars from roadways each year.
Plant a tree! Disney-funded forestry projects are helping to protect and restore natural ecosystems around the globe. In the last decade, projects in six countries have supported more than 1 million acres of forestlands, protecting global areas more than 33 times the size of Walt Disney World Resort.
All of these efforts have significantly helped us reach our goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2020. Looking ahead, we have plans in place to continue making great progress on all of our sustainability goals. Learn more about our investments in natural climate solutions and commitment to the environment on the Walt Disney Company website.
Join us! What will you do to celebrate Earth Month?