MPAA: Major Studios Prevented 40 Million Lbs. of Sets From Entering Landfills Last Year

It is is the highest figure reported by the studios since they began voluntary waste reduction programs 20 years ago

To mark Earth Day, which is celebrated Friday, the Motion Picture Assn. of America is trumpeting the fact that Hollywood’s major movie studios collectively prevented more than 40 million pounds, or 66%, of their studio sets and other solid waste from entering landfills last year.  That percentage, according to the Solid Waste Task Force, a joint program of the MPAA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, is on a par with 2009 levels, and is the highest figure reported by the studios since they began voluntary waste reduction programs 20 years ago.

As examples of various studio initiatives, the MPAA cited Disney’s goal of eliminating disposable water bottles on its sets and in its offices; Fox’s support of The Home Tree Initiative, a partnership between the Earth Day Network and Avatar,  which planted 1,006,639 trees in 15 countries on six continents in 2010; and Paramount’s installation of more than 100 waterless urinals to replace water-based urinals, resulting in four million gallons in annual water savings.
Over the past year, the MPAA said the studios have concentrated their efforts on reducing single-use and five-gallon bottled water consumption on their lots, sets, and offices. The studios’ efforts to reduce bottled water consumption eliminates waste from landfills, as well as reducing transportation-related emissions from water bottle delivery services.
“Through a sustained commitment to a variety of new and ongoing creative initiatives, the studios are changing procedures across all aspects of their operations to reduce their environmental footprint,” Sen. Chris Dodd, the
new chairman and CEO of the MPAA, said. “From green building designs that promote energy efficiency; employee incentive programs; waste reduction measures across the production process; and a sustained commitment to
promoting consumer awareness, the studios are continuing to lead the way and defining best practices for business around the world.”
 Highlights of the studio’s efforts also included:
 -- Disney’s Friends for Change campaign, which includes a website where kids can make personal action pledges to help the environment; a 30% drop in the water bottle purchases from 2009 to 2010; Walt Disney Studios’ introduction of a new full-time position of environmental steward on every live-action film crew; and a studio  commitment to make a contribution to Kenya’s Amboseli Wildlife Corridor from its share of ticket sales to the documentary African Cats, opening Friday.
 -- Fox’s parent company News Corp.’s announcement that it has become the first carbon-neutral global media company; the studio’s involvement in the U.S. Dept. of Energy initiative to provide technical assistance to improve
energy use in commercial buildings; and the Fox network’s “Green It, Mean It” campaign, spotlighted at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards.
 -- At NBCUniversal, the movie Hop used sustainable production practices, which prevented 34 tons of material, 85% of its location set waste, from ending up in a landfill; the company’s EcoOvation Awards recognizes employees who have promoted, incorporated or innovated green practices within their departments; and Universal Media Studios and the Universal Cable Production units have launched an internal “TV Green Competition” to promote sustainable production best practices. The winning production, Syfy’s Warehouse 13, implemented a “Bike to Work” contest, which eliminated
217 round trips via car by crew members.
  --At Paramount, the new Post Production Building ,scheduled for summer 2011, will be one of the first post production facilities in the United States with a LEED certified interior; the studio’s bottle-less water filtration systems, which were installed in 2009, have reduced single-use and five-gallon bottled water consumption on the studio lot; and Paramount’s holiday lighting now uses LED bulbs instead of incandescents.
 -- Sony Pictures reports it has achieved a solid waste diversion rate of more than 90% on its Culver City lot and adjacent buildings; the studio has also completed a closed loop system with compost created from the lot's organic waste composting program delivered back for landscaping and an additional three tons offered to employees for home use; throughout the pantries on the studio lot, water coolers were installed in place of the traditional five-gallon water dispensers, and the studio also reduced its water consumption by using lower flow faucets and toilets, waterless
urinals, and drought resistant plants; additionally, Sony offers employees hybrid vehicle and home solar purchase incentive programs; and it launched the Greener World Grant Program, under which teams of  employees can partner
with an environmental organization in their community to complete a project and then nominate that charity for a grant of $7,500 from Sony.
 -- At Warners, all Warner Bros. Television Group-produced shows participate in waste reduction through reuse and recycling; additionally, The Big Bang Theory and The Mentalist are participating in a pilot program implementing
energy conservation measures that include optimizing equipment settings to reduce energy consumption on hiatus, holidays and during both working and non-working hours; all Warner Bros. Pictures productions now use a carbon
calculator to measure the footprint of each production and on-set sustainability coordinators are employed to help implement and measure sustainable production initiatives, with the result that nine of the studio’s last 25 films were carbon neutral; and the studio also encourages employees to use reusable water bottles over disposable ones.