For a company like Disney, maintaining its brand name and reputation is a daily struggle. With its mission statement, value, and approach to social responsibility, management does their best to ensure that no one tarnishes Disney’s good name. Every shareholder, critic, and citizen keeps a close eye on Disney, as the name resonates greatly among children and parents worldwide. So, every year they release a statement presenting and explain their goals online. Last year, it was under the title “Citizenship Targets 2012.” The following goals and vision will discuss these goals more in depth. Disney’s vision is “to be the most admired company in the world: equally admired for the integrity of our people and the way we behave as citizens of the world, as we are for the quality of our exceptional entertainment experiences (Citizenship at Disney, 2012).”
By acting with integrity, professionalism, and goodwill, Disney work to earn the public trust daily. During the 2013 BCS National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama, broadcasters Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit spotted 23-year-old Katherine Webb among the 90,000+ fans attending the game. What followed was a conversation in which both parties recognizing a woman’s beauty (Nordyke, 2013). Many believed that both men were creepy and over the top, prompting ESPN to immediately apologize to the fans for Musberger’s remarks (Soltys, 2013). Though the actual comments were not derogative in any sort of way, because ESPN is under Disney’s control, should management not acted the way they did, the corporation’s reputation would take a hit.
Since Disney’s vision is oriented towards family values, this minor incident might have impact the way people see this organization. Aside from this incident, Disney stakeholders have very little reason to complain about their company’s actions throughout the years. Corporate has proven to be transparent on their yearly reports. They first point out that “working with stakeholders enhances our ability to address issues…We actively listen to and learn from stakeholders and provide them with information to better understand our actions and intentions (Corporate Citizenship, 2010, pp 9).” By conducting yearly meetings, providing surveys, and distributing contact information, Disney has done everything in their power to actively engage stakeholders and their concerns. It is rarely seen that a company is so active in connecting with their clients. Yesterland’s founder Werner Weiss shares his experience from the 2012 Annual Meeting of Shareholders:
“The meeting began with a nicely made video about Walt Disney’s connection to Missouri, including his childhood in Marceline, his later childhood in Kansas City, and his pre-Hollywood career in Kansas City. I didn’t expect to learn anything new at the meeting. A shareholder meeting is not a forum for announcements about new attractions or movies. And when a shareholder asks a question about something that might happen in the future, the executive who answers will not knowingly disclose a company secret. Actually, there was an announcement. Disney President and CEO Bob Iger announced Heroes Work Here, a program to provide at least 1,000 jobs throughout the Disney Company for returning U.S. veterans over the next three years (Weiss, 2012).” This is almost expected from Disney when conducting meetings with stakeholders and clients alike.
No information is held back. There are no surprises. Since stakeholders invested in the company, such as Weiss’s 38 shares, Disney is upfront to everyone, minimizing any misinterpretation and confusion about their vision towards the future. At the beginning of the year, Disney will set goals on many topics such as waste, water, corporate giving, diversity, and safety. From the 2010 Corporate Citizenship Report, Disney will lay out their goals according to their three main principles: Act, Champion, and Inspire. They work their due diligence to accomplish these goals and look ahead into the future. When the report is finalized and published, Disney does an excellent job in showing both progress and setbacks of these projects. An illustration is shown here (Disney, 2013):
According to its 2010 report, for example, Disney’s long term goal is to “send zero waste to landfill.” To accomplish this, their short-term targets are to “decrease solid waste to landfill to 50% of 2006 baseline by 2013” and “increase percentage of purchases that include post-consumer recycled material (Disney “Environment”, 2013).” From 2009-2010, Disney fell short of their target of 150,000 tons of its waste target. Information such as this gives stakeholders a chance to present ideas in meeting this goal or focus elsewhere. Any company can give positive highlights financially and illustrate their involvement to the community. Yet, how many companies show their failures as well?
Among other positive developments coming from their citizenship report (Frost, 2011): * “Announcement of a comprehensive set of commitments and metrics that address Disney’s worldwide business impacts and opportunities. * Global expansion of programs aimed at inspiring kids, parents, and communities to make a difference in the world. Disney Friends for Change, now in 19 countries, has rallied 2.5 million kids to take pledges for the environment. Disney Magic of Healthy Living, launched in September, partners with parents and kids to make healthy choices simple and fun. * Investment of $15.5 million in carbon offset projects around the world as part of Disney’s Climate Solutions Fund, the Company’s internal carbon pricing program. * Release of Disney’s Human Rights Policy Statement, with the aim of more clearly articulating the Company’s commitment to respecting human rights.
* Detailed data and progress updates on Disney’s supply chain and environmental footprint * Corporate charitable contributions of $198 million, and more than 548,000 hours of VoluntEAR service contributed by Disney employees.” With these actions, stakeholders have first-hand information needed when electing officials, and presenting ideas in which to improve the company overall. Not only are they worried about putting a great product, but they also want the see the company’s growth, impact on society, and how they deliver on their missions and values. This, in the end, will affect the bottom line for stakeholders.
Disney furthers its goodwill with stakeholders with launching a “Heroes Work Here” campaign in 2012. This program allows for military veterans to transition to a career in security, finance, legal, information technology, or many other areas that fits their experience. For the next three years, there will be over 1,000 jobs available (Disney “Heroes”, 2013). It’s Disney’s way of expressing gratitude for those who served this nation. Leading the front in appreciating veterans is ESPN. The sports juggernaut visit military posts, and even host sporting events at their facilities. This past year, ESPN announced a college basketball game featuring Michigan State and North Carolina aboard San Diego Harbor’s USS Carl Vinson. Popular show First Take televised an episode inside Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio, TX. Also, ESPN worked with USO in donations for soldiers serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan (Team ESPN, 2013).
At Disney, we are committed to improving the welfare of the environment. Our goals and actions reflect that idea. Though much progress has been made during the past few years, we acknowledge that we have a long way to go in preserving our habitat. As you’ll see on our 2010 Citizenship report, we have an outline on what we can accomplish with your help. Our strategies in preserving our environment will focus on the following: energy, waste, and water. Energy
Our long-term goals are to “achieve zero net direct greenhouse gas emissions” and “reduce indirect greenhouse gas emissions from electricity consumption.” In order to accomplish that, we achieve to reduce consumption by 10% with our current assets by 2013, and to pursue “renewable sources of electricity to reduce emissions from electricity.” In 2010, our energy consumption decreased to 6.6% from 2006 (Disney “Environment”, 2013):
In order to help the environment, Disney is targeting a zero waste to landfill long-term. By 2013, we are targeting a 50% solid waste to landfill, which is over 137,556 tons. During this time, we have increased our focus in recycling programs in all venues associated with Disney. For example, all merchandise bags at our resorts are made from 100% recycled plastic. Here is our progress so far (Disney “Waste”, 2013):
One of Disney’s most important resources of daily operations is the consummation of freshwater. We are striving to save water for future generations. Without it, we will be unable to supply human needs, ensure healthy ecosystems, and maintaining business security. Disney has begun implementing water consumption plans in 2012. An example lies in our resorts, as new efficient washers were installed in 2010. The new technology has improved efficiency by 20% since then (Disney “Water”, 2013).
With these three programs, Disney is working at making a positive impact on the environment. Your help and contributions can help make a difference.
Disney. (2013). Waste. Retrieved January 17, 2013 from http://corporate.disney.go.com/citizenship2010/environment/overview/waste/ Disney. (2013). Climate and energy. Retrieved January 17, 2013 from http://corporate.disney.go.com/citizenship2010/environment/overview/climateandenergy/ Disney. (2013). Water. Retrieved January 17, 2013 from http://corporate.disney.go.com/citizenship2010/environment/overview/water/ Disney. (2013). Overview. Retrieved January 17, 2013 from http://heroesworkhere.disney.com/overview Frost, J. (2011, March 22). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://thedisneyblog.com/2011/03/22/disney-company-releases-2010-corporate-responsibility-report/ Nordyke, K. (2013, January 08). Espn apologizes for brent musburger’s comments about aj mccarron’s girlfriend. Retrieved from http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/espn-apologizes-brent-musburgers-comments-410134 Soltys, M. (2013, January 08). Twitlonger [Twitter message]. Retrieved from http://www.twitlonger.com/show/kl9vfj Team ESPN. (2013). Heroes work here. Retrieved January 17, 2013 from http://team.espn.com/top_menu/vets_military Weiss, W. (2012, March 16). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.yesterland.com/wdcmeeting2012.html