Disney Television Shows and Films Honored for Their Environmental Efforts

The Environmental Media Association (EMA) celebrated the TV shows and films that helped move the sustainability conversation forward at the 2021 Environmental Media Awards, and Disney shows took several of the top honors.

The awards ceremony, hosted by actor Jeff Goldblum, recognized shows that address climate change, sustainability and other environmental topics through storylines, while also recognizing studios and productions for their efforts to be sustainable in front of and behind the camera.

Disney Channel’s Sydney to the Max took home the Environmental Media Award in the Children’s Television category for “Going the Green Mile.” In this episode, after a field trip to the aquarium, Sydney can’t stop thinking about plastic pollution in the ocean and decides to organize a protest at her school to ban the single use plastics used in the cafeteria.

Disney’s other winner this year was the Hulu Original documentary I Am Greta, which follows the teenage climate activist from Sweden on her international crusade to get the world to take the urgent action needed to address the global climate crisis. Starting with her one-person school strike for climate action outside the Swedish Parliament, the film chronicles Greta Thunberg’s rise to prominence and her galvanizing global impact as she sparks school strikes and climate activism around the world.

Several other Disney titles were named finalists for this year’s EMA Awards, including The Simpsons (the show’s record-breaking 15th nomination), Kal Penn Approves This Message, and LEGO Marvel Avengers: Climate Conundrum.

“LEGO Marvel Avengers: Climate Conundrum” was nominated for an EMA Award in the Children’s Television category.

In addition to awarding films and television shows with environmental storylines, EMA also recognizes productions for their environmental efforts behind the scenes with the EMA Green Seal, a program honoring excellence in sustainable production. The EMA Green Seals are awarded to productions that meet or exceed a set of sustainability criteria on a scale of 200 points. Any production that earns at least 75 points is awarded a Green Seal. Additionally, productions that achieve a score of 125 or more receive a Gold Seal.

A battery electric generator replaces diesel fuel and waste sorting bins help reduce waste sent to landfill on a recent production in Toronto.

This year, Disney productions were awarded a total of 58 Green Seals, 22 of which achieved Gold Seal status. The full list of Disney’s winners can be found below.

EMA also added an EMA Green Seal for Students this year, which is supported by the Green Film School Alliance and the Sustainable Production Alliance, of which Disney is a founding member.

Disney continues to work to ensure all of its productions are being created in an environmentally responsible manner, and to help the entire entertainment industry make progress in addressing our collective impacts. Some common practices include:

  • Maximizing LED set lighting, which keeps sets cool, and reduces electricity by up to 70%.
  • Using solar powered cast trailers, some of which can run completely off the sun for an entire production.
  • Reducing diesel generator use by tying into the electric grid and using clean and silent battery electric power sources.
  • Using cleaner alternative fuels such as renewable diesel.
  • Renting hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles.
  • Reusing materials when building sets and passing those materials on to other productions or donating them to schools and non-profit organizations after production is completed.
  • Donating excess food to local shelters and composting what can’t be donated instead of sending it to the landfill.
  • Eliminating single use plastic items like water bottles and coffee cups by using reusables in offices and on set.
  • Trialing new technologies such as on-site waste digesters to compost food waste and solar-powered, mobile EV chargers while filming on location.

2021 Gold Seal Winners:

Better Nate Than Never
Big Sky
Cheaper By the Dozen
The Little Mermaid
Mayans M.C.
Motherland: Fort Salem
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Nightmare Alley
No Exit
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Peter Pan & Wendy
The Resident
See How They Run
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
This is Us
Thor: Love and Thunder
Turner & Hooch
Y: The Last Man


2021 Green Seal Winners:

9-1-1: Lone Star
Impeachment: American Crime Story
American Horror Story: Double Feature
The Chi
Chip ’N Dale: Rescue Rangers
Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.
Gabby Duran & The Unsittables
Good Trouble
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
Hollywood Stargirl
Home Sweet Home Alone
The Hot Zone: Anthrax
Just Beyond
Just Roll with it
The Last Duel
Last Man Standing
Love, Victor
Mr. Inbetween
Only Murders in the Building
The Orville
The Premise
Queen of the South
Raven’s Home
Reservation Dogs
Secrets of Sulphur Springs
Single Drunk Female
Vacation Friends
What We Do in the Shadows
Wu-Tang: An American Saga