Comment & Question of Dr. David Randle Disney 2011 Shareholder Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT
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I first visited Disneyland in 1955 a few weeks after it opened. I remember there used to be orange groves where the Matterhorn Mountain is now, twice meeting Walt Disney at the Park, and many good times over the years. I have had the pleasure of visiting Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, and Paris over a hundred times including my high school graduation and part of my honeymoon.
So Disney has many positive memories for me.
What I want to comment on this morning though is a relatively new positive image of Disney that I have developed over the past few years. This is the positive role that the Walt Disney Company plays in contributing to solutions to pressing global issues such as climate change and ocean acidification.
During the past few years, I along with my colleagues Dr. Noel Brown, President of Friends of the U.N. and former head of the U.N. Environment Programme at the U.N. headquarters in NY and Dr. Reese Halter, award winning conservation biologist who directs a team of 165 scientists around the globe, have becoming increasingly convinced that if the planet has any chance of turning the present environmental crises around it will be through the leadership of companies like the Walt Disney Company.
In the past few years I have had the opportunity to personally collaborate with some of your team’s leadership including Dr. Beth Stevens, Jackie Ogden, and John Lehnhardt.
These Disney cast members are doing an incredible job in putting the Walt Disney Company ahead of schedule in its ambitious goals of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2012
If it were up to me I would award each with a medal, a bonus, or platinum mouse ears, or maybe a combination of all three for their outstanding achievements.
I noted with interest that in the recent Newsweek 2010 Green Rankings, the Walt Disney Company scored 97.92 in terms of its environmental performance on a scale of 100. This placed Walt Disney Company at #11 out of the 500 largest U.S. corporations and #11 out of the top Global corporations
When one looks at these rankings by the various categories Disney is #2 among U.S. Corporations & #1 among Global Corporations in its category by environmental performance.
Where the Walt Disney Co. does not rank as high as other corporations is not its actual performance but its reputation does not score as well.
My question then is this: “Will Walt Disney Company, who is arguably the best story teller in the world, consider telling its story of its environmental achievements and take stronger leadership in the Corporate World in encouraging others to do the same?”