||With hundreds of theme parks in America alone-both large and small-there is seemingly a theme for everyone: history, sea life, shopping, fantasy, chocolate, etc. With millions of visitors each year, there is little doubt that they are a lucrative industry. Given the challenges we face from climate change, with such success and immense reach comes the responsibility of environmental stewardship.
While some theme parks are just about the size of a small village, others are larger than many cities. Transportation, waste management, food supply, workforce administration, housing, etc. are all key concerns. In short, they face the same challenges and would reap the same benefits from going green as do villages and cities. Several of the examples below show the power of doing so, from water conservation to alternatives to paint, to new energy technology.
Social Responsibility Programs
|Busch Entertainment Corporation|
From shuttles fueled with hydrogen to dinner plates made from sugarcane, the 10 theme parks owned by Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC) -- including SeaWorld and Busch Gardens - have launched initiatives to tackle some of today's most pressing environmental challenges in the areas of waste, water, food and fuel. This is in addition to the 50-year commitment that the company has to wildlife conservation, animal care, research and education, and care for one of the world's largest zoological animal collections - more than 65,000 animals, including more than 100 endangered, threatened and at-risk species. In addition, the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund supports wildlife research, animal rescue and rehabilitation, habitat protection and education throughout the U.S. and around the world.
|Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund: Ensuring a Future for Wildlife and Wild Places|
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) helps scientists all over the world study animals, their habitats and the people so closely linked to their survival. The DWCF supports qualified and respected nonprofit organizations devoted to working with others to create change addressing today's most pressing conservation issues. Since 1995 Disney conservation support totals more than $12 million from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and an additional $8 million from The Walt Disney Company Foundation. The DWCF has helped sponsor more than 750 projects in 110 countries. Projects are selected annually based on their focus on community education and engagement, solid research and field studies, and communications with decision makers to ensure the funds will truly make the greatest positive impact on wildlife. In 2008, the DWCF supported 106 projects operated by 75 nonprofit organizations working in 44 countries at an investment of $1.8 million.
|The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund|
For more than 40 years, the Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks have initiated and supported wildlife conservation, research and education efforts at home and around the world. In 2003, the company created a new non-profit charitable organization, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, in order to increase and strengthen its long-standing commitment to the cause of wildlife conservation. Through this fund, guests at the Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks, BEC's corporate partners, and the general public will be able to join with BEC to support wildlife conservation around the globe.
|The Walt Disney Company|
The Walt Disney Company seeks to establish a positive environmental legacy for Disney and for future generations. In doing so, the Company is committed to minimizing its overall impact on the environment while encouraging and activating environmentally responsible behavior on the part of Cast Members and employees, guests and business associates throughout the world. Specifically, Disney aims to conserve water, energy and econsystems; to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; to mimimize waste and to inspire public consciousness in support of environmental sustainability. The Company seeks to identify, measure and understand the direct and indirect impact of its operations and develop innovative and realistic solutions for mitigating those impacts. It also complies with, and in some cases exceeds environmental laws and regulations. Since the company's earliest days, conservation and the environment have been recurring themes in Disney offerings, from motion pictures and television programming to our parks and resorts. Building on this legacy, the Company has recently intensified its actions on behalf of the environment. It is committed to communicating its progress and invites those interested to learn more about these efforts by visiting The Walt Disney Company's 2008 Corporate Responsibility Report and clicking on the "Environment" tab.
|Universal Studios Orlando to Use Renewables in All Service Vehicles|
Universal Orlando Resort (UOR) made a commitment to use alternative or "green" fuels in 100 percent of its service verhicles and mobile equipment. Univeral Orlando's conversion to alternative fuels includes the use of B-20 Biodiesel for use in its diesel-powered vehicles; E-10 Ethanol for all gasoline vehicles and equipment; and E-85 Ethanol for current FlexFuel vehicles. The use of green fuels will result in 260 fewer tons annually of polluting carbon dioxide emissions by UOR service vehicles. Alternative fuel sources are not the only elements of UOR's commitment to sound environmental stewardship. Energy conservation and recycling also play dominant roles in the theme park's overall environmental focus.