Green in Hollywood today does not just stand for green rooms and money anymore; studios are taking steps to help green their facilities. From saving plastic bottles to building new green studios and production facilities, film companies are leading the way as examples for other corporate businesses to follow in environmental conservation. The tasks that these large companies take to become environmentally friendly are no different than what the average person can do at home, it is simply on an enormous scale.
A Good Start
Universal Studios utilizes one of the basic conservation methods by making sure that rechargeable batteries are used in their sound equipment. They use steel scaffolding, and sustainable wood whenever possible. Universal uses an underground pond of over 70,000 gallons to store rainwater for use in the irrigation system. They also have a wind turbine and solar panels at two local TV stations.
That’s All Folks
Warner Brothers (WB) went full tilt when they decided to destroy one studio and build a modern one in its place. The new Studio 23 was completed in 2009 and was the first studio to receive a Leadership in Energy and Engineering Design (LEED) award. In achieving the Gold level award, they found a way to utilize over ninety percent of the old studio into the new building and saved almost 2,000 tons of material from hitting the landfill. Next, WB ingeniously mixed thirty percent of fly ash, a coal waste product, into the concrete foundations. Then, on the top of Studio 23 a solar power system was installed bringing the total amount of solar power used by Warner Brothers to an amazing 600 kilowatts.
WB has not stopped at only the permanent studios, but has used creative ways to save energy on the go. They have added dozens of Prius vehicles to their transportation fleet. WB takes energy conservation with them on the road to remote locations by utilizing greener diesel engine generators, and solar arrays on top of travel trailers.
Not So Goofy
The Walt Disney Company has become a standard for green changes at film and production companies. Watch any of the Disney channels for a few minutes and you will see commercials for the “Friends for Change” campaign. This campaign works to educate children and their families on ways to help improve the planet by becoming environmentally active. What better way to make a change in conservation than to start with an entire generation when they are young. Then when they grow into adulthood, good habits are already in place and a new generation can be taught.
Disney takes its dedication to environmental change within their company even further than its campaign to empower children to save the planet. When someone makes the comment, “Sure they can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?” Disney has proven that they can run. They have created a company policy that details the steps that all their employees should take at work. Disney has specific policies on all parts of work from individual offices, meetings and events, travel, to even how they dine and cater.
When Disney is planning to use an offsite facility a green evaluation form must be completed for review to check on the capabilities of conservation the facility has. Company travel is to be done alone only as a last resort; travel should be by car pooling, mass transit, or hybrid vehicle. When coordinating a meeting, the virtual world is to be used as much as possible. Disney has even requested that the photo copiers used be duplex printers to conserve paper waste by not printing single sided pages.
Wave of Change
Ironically, the film companies that produce some of the best comedies and children shows appear to be the most serious about environmental conservation and are in the forefront to creating company policies to reduce their carbon footprints. Other major studios are behind the curve on going green and are working fast to play catch up. Thankfully, there are major companies making a change, and as history has proven, taking the first step can be the hardest. But when you do, and others see you succeed, they will follow. This philosophy works on all scales, including a neighborhood. By taking small steps, even a single person can create a wave of change.