The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) published its annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report, detailing the Company’s efforts to operate with integrity and to make a positive impact in society using its unique platform. “We remain deeply committed to doing our part to ensure that in growing our businesses, we are always operating with the utmost integrity, taking care of our people and doing good in our world,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer.
In addition to several areas that the Company reports on each year, the newly released 2020 report —which is available here—highlights the Company’s social and environmental stewardship efforts including: its response to the COVID-19 pandemic; increased emphasis on Diversity & Inclusion; and additional focus on the Company’s new 2030 environmental goals.
“Our commitment to corporate responsibility is fundamental to our culture, and aligns with the growing calls for businesses to take action,” said Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “This year we met our 2020 environmental goals and set ambitious new 2030 goals, accelerated our initiatives addressing racial and social injustice, and we continue to strengthen our ESG transparency.”
Here are some highlights from this year’s report:
Responding to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant and lasting impact on businesses, communities and people worldwide. While working relentlessly to promote the safety and well-being of its employees and guests, TWDC has also increased support to local communities in need. For example, Disney launched a cross-Company campaign, Feed the Love, with talent from ABC, Freeform, FX, National Geographic, ESPN and A&E, which raised awareness and nearly $2.8 million in donations to Feeding America’s food security efforts. Also, Disney Theatrical Group, in collaboration with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, created virtual events such as Disney on Broadway’s 25th Anniversary Concert, collectively raising more than $615,000 for COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Funds.
TWDC provided nearly $27 million in in-kind support, such as donating food and unused PPE from closed parks and production sets. The Company also sent 150,000 rain ponchos to MedShare to help protect nurses’ clothing along with a $1 million donation in connection with sales of U.S. cloth face masks. More than 100,000 N95 masks were sent to healthcare workers in New York, California, Florida and Washington, D.C. And Star India made a cash contribution to Project Mumbai to supply 150,000 urgently requested PPE kits for healthcare providers in Mumbai hospitals.
Advancing Social Equity
Disney has a strong commitment to Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and this year served as a catalyst to further accelerate the Company’s work in that area. In June 2020, CEO Bob Chapek launched a new Company-wide initiative composed of six pillars focused on increasing D&I: Transparency, Representation, Accountability, Community, Content and Culture. The Company also announced a new CEO D&I Council, led by Bob Chapek, and a Creative Inclusion Council, led by Bob Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board. Both councils are co-chaired by Latondra Newton, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer.
Disney made a commitment to advance social justice and deepen connections to the next generation of Black leaders, and pledged $5 million to nonprofit organizations that support
Black communities. As part of that pledge, TWDC has made commitments to the NAACP and other organizations such as Equal Justice Initiative and the United Negro College Fund. Disney’s Content Groups have committed to inclusive and authentic storytelling across our brands and are working to increase diversity in creative roles both in front of and behind the camera. The ESPYS and the 2020 Sports Humanitarian Awards came together for a week-long celebration where athletes addressed racial equity head on and called for justice, true unity and change. ESPN also committed more than $3 million to help make sure kids from all backgrounds have the same access to the sports experiences that greatly influence and empower so many lives.
Since 2009, Disney has operated under a long-term vision to achieve net zero Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Recently, TWDC reached its 2020 target to reduce net GHG emissions by 50 percent relative to 2012 total levels, and announced a slate of new, ambitious goals including achieving net zero GHG emissions for direct operations by 2030.
To reach these goals, Disney’s approach will focus on the following areas: climate and energy, water and oceans, waste, materials and sustainable building design. Among other things, this means achieving 100 percent zero carbon electricity by 2030 and investment in natural climate solutions; localized watershed stewardship strategies; zero waste to landfill for the Company’s wholly owned and operated parks and resorts; at least 30 percent recycled plastic in products and packaging; and 90 percent diversion for construction waste for projects in the U.S. and Europe.
The Company’s emissions reduction strategy includes measures recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These include choosing sustainable design features in buildings, reducing emissions through operational efficiencies, choosing lower carbon fuels and energy sources and investing in certified natural climate solutions.
Social Impact, Workforce, Supply Chain Standards
In addition to those three key areas, the report also spotlights Disney’s commitment to creating high-quality content, maintaining ethical supply chain standards, fostering a safe and inclusive employee experience and engaging in charitable giving and employee volunteerism. In FY20, Disney’s $333 million in cash and in-kind charitable contributions supported programs and nonprofit organizations that bring comfort, inspiration and opportunity to kids, families and communities around the world. Additionally, in FY20, Disney cast members and employees contributed 321,700 hours of service through the Disney VoluntEARS program, which this year included a wide variety of digital online volunteering opportunities for employees.
To learn about the Company’s efforts to operate an honorable business and be a good corporate citizen, click here to access the full 2020 report.