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Walt Disney World Releases 2008 Community Report

The Walt Disney Company recently committed to cutting its green house gas emissions in half as well as continuing its progress toward going green in other areas. They also released a consolidated corporate responsibility report so you can track their progress.

As part of The Walt Disney Company’s first consolidated corporate responsibility report, Walt Disney World Resort released the 2008 Community Report that highlights the many ways the company remains actively involved in Central Florida.

The community report focuses on accomplishments related to the environment, workplace and community, with a special emphasis on children and families. The detailed snapshot also represents the latest phase in Disney’s longstanding heritage of corporate social responsibility and reflects a company-wide effort to build an integrated, transparent strategy for serving the needs of primary stakeholders, including guests, Cast Members, shareholders, business partners and local communities.

“Our commitment to the Central Florida community is unwavering,” said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “We are focused on helping to make this community an inviting and dynamic place to live, work and play, not only for ourselves, but also for our nearly two million neighbors.”

In 2008, Walt Disney World Resort and its Cast Members contributed approximately $32.5 million to local organizations for programs that focus on building a brighter future for children in Central Florida. In addition, Disney VoluntEARS donated more than 204,000 hours to benefit local non-profit organizations.

Highlights from the report are below the cut:

The Environment

Walt Disney World Resort is committed to minimizing its overall impact on the environment as it encourages and inspires environmentally responsible behavior on the part of Cast Members, guests and business partners.

  • In collaboration with Keep Brevard Beautiful and the Ocean Conservancy, Disney VoluntEARS participated in the 2008 Florida Coastal Cleanup, removing more than 3,500 pounds of trash and storm debris from the shores of Lake Fran in Orlando.
  • Conservation biologists from Disney’s Animal Programs released a loggerhead sea turtle into the Atlantic Ocean as part of a program to raise awareness of threats to sea turtle survival.
  • In April, Walt Disney World Resort completed the state’s Green Lodging certification program for its 23 Central Florida resort hotels and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary state initiative that encourages hotels and motels to adopt cost-saving green practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources.

The Workplace

Walt Disney World Resort is committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace. In recognition of the magic Cast Members create for guests each and every day, Walt Disney World Resort offers a wide variety of programs, services and benefits that are designed to make a difference in Cast Members’ lives.

  • In October, Walt Disney World Resort opened the Center for Living Well – a state-of-the-art, on-site health and wellness center – to provide eligible Cast Members and their families a ‘one-stop shop’ for primary medical care and related services. The $6 million, 15,000- square-foot facility includes a pharmacy, lab, basic radiology, and wellness and behavioral health resources.
  • With 62,000 Cast Members speaking 59 languages from 81 countries, diversity and inclusion are core values that drive growth, creativity and innovation at Walt Disney World Resort. The company received the highest honor at the 2008 Beacon Awards ceremony, which celebrates diversity in the greater Orlando-area workforce.
  • Walt Disney World Resort is actively involved in cultivating the workforce of the future. In January 2008, the resort hosted Disney’s Dreamers Academy, an innovative program that aims to expose high-school students to creative and non-traditional career opportunities, while inspiring them to exceed the boundaries of their dreams and imaginations.

The Community

A tradition of community service has been an integral part of the Disney heritage since the company’s early beginnings in Central Florida. That commitment extends from charitable giving to minority business development to generating tax revenue for the local community.

  • In March, Central Florida celebrated the opening of a Boys & Girls Clubs facility in the Pine Hills area of Orlando. Walt Disney World Resort donated $1 million toward the construction of the new building which includes computer stations, learning centers, game rooms and a multi-purpose gym.
  • Walt Disney World Resort awarded $700,000 in Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grants to 38 Central Florida non-profit organizations for programs that focused on building better futures for children.
  • During the 2008 Heart of Florida United Way Campaign, Cast Members contributed $3.2 million to help local agencies assist fellow residents in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties.
  • Walt Disney World Cast Members conducted a successful Back-to-School Supply Drive, donating more than 6,000 backpacks to Central Florida students and more than 467,000 supplies to A Gift for Teaching.
  • In August, Walt Disney World Resort helped bring a second Historically Black College and University football game to Central Florida. The MEAC / SWAC challenge brought thousands of fans to Central Florida from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Disney’s 2008 Corporate Responsibility Report may be found at

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