Disney Sees Green in Going Green

Want to be kind to the planet and your portfolio at the same time? The Fool shows you how in our special series on Earth-friendly investing.

Head out to Disney World, and you will see more green than the Fantasyland churro cart operator collecting greenbacks, hand over mouse-gloved fist. Head out to Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) EPCOT and you'll see the solar panels. Animal Kingdom screams so much green that it actually opened on Earth Day nine years ago.

Disney isn't perfect. When your chain of theme parks serves four times as many guests worldwide every year than your nearest rivals -- Six Flags (NYSE: SIX  ) and Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN  ) -- you're going to deal with factors like patron consumption and attraction emissions.

Being that big will also make you a target for things that can be done better. The Center for Health, Environment and Justice is urging Disney to migrate to green cleaners at its Florida resort, the way it already is at six of its hotels that have been certified by the Florida Green Lodging Certification Program.

Disney hasn't backed down from the challenge.

"Because our organization has held a unique position of public confidence and trust for more than fifty years, we are keenly aware of our ability to influence public opinion and inspire action," acknowledges Disney's environmental policy.

That policy includes several park-level initiatives. From waste minimization to water and energy conservation, Disney certainly knows how to talk green. Other aspects of its environmental policy include:

  • Studying the environmental impact of its operations, developing proactive guidelines.
  • Promoting wildlife and habitat conservation.
  • Educating its employees on the policy itself.
  • Integrating environmental theming into its attractions when appropriate.
  • Advocating cost-effective technologies that improve environmental conditions.

Embracing its role as a social trendsetter, Disney has led the way in banning trans fats and limiting in-park smoking. Now that going green is the social flavor of the month, expect Disney to back up its eco-friendly words with eco-friendly actions in the coming years.

Shrek isn't one of Disney's countless beloved animated characters. He's the superstar handiwork of DreamWorks Animation (NYSE: DWA  ) . However, if Disney has its way, it too can be big and green like Shrek.

Disney and DreamWorks Animation are Stock Advisor recommendations. Cedar Fair is an Income Investor selection.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz enjoys taking his family to amusement parks as often as possible. He owns shares in Disney, DreamWorks Animation, and Cedar Fair. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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