A peer giant of Central Florida, serving millions of guests a year and employing over 70,000 individuals, brought its insight to the University of Central Florida on how to go about lessening this large footprint. Tammy Kaleel, Environmental Integration Director of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, spoke with a select group of Faculty and Staff on how the Walt Disney Company is essentially “building a culture of sustainability.”
Kaleel is a Central Florida native, University of Central Florida alumna, and multi-decade Cast Member, working to implement waste minimization and energy and water conservation solutions. The group, being was her first unwavering audience of prior Disney visitors, was enlightened to the aggressive goals of the iconic theme park and hospitality attraction: zero net greenhouse gas emissions, zero waste, and water resource conservation by an undetermined deadline. How can these be accomplished with such a grand reach?
Kaleel explained the only solution is to mold the existing culture by using an intertwined approach: engaging executive individuals and committees, accounting for performance standards, inspiring and aligning grassroots efforts, and taking local ownership. This plan involved numerous trial and errors; however, it currently incorporates “environmentality” into employee training, job descriptions, review processes, and scorecards.
The Walt Disney Company seeks to establish and sustain a positive environmental legacy for Disney and for future generations. In doing so, Disney 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. Disney aims to conserve water, energy and ecosystems; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and minimize waste and to inspire public consciousness in support of environmental sustainability. Like UCF, the Walt Disney Company is in the works of retrofitting existing buildings, improving their solid waste diversion, and anticipating a reaction to future growth.