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Studios Make Eco-Friendly Efforts

2 Apr, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

LOS ANGELES — Representatives from Gaiam, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video finished off the first-ever Green Media Summit April 2 with a discussion on their eco-friendly efforts, and whether they are noticed by consumers.

Warner Home Video is taking a unique route with the upcoming release of The 11th Hour. The DVD will come in 100% recyclable packaging, and will have a “impulse buy” price of $5, said Tamar Dolgen, marketing director for Warner Home Video.

Warner will donate part of the sale of every DVD to charity, and will take a similar tact with the upcoming DVD release of Darfur Now. Previously, Warner included an environmental public service announcement at the beginning of Happy Feet.

For Disney, which has its own, small group of people at the corporate level dedicated to environmental practices, more digital distribution, better efficiency in packaging, and relaying a strong conservation message to the public are just a few steps the studio has taken, according to Gordon Ho, EVP of worldwide marketing for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

Disney has tied in its feature-length animated films to environmental causes for the ocean and forests.

For Gaiam, “The very DNA of our company is eco-oriented,” said Bill Sondheim, president of entertainment and worldwide distribution. Employees are offered discounts for buying solar panels and other green products, and the employee with the best eco-friendly idea for Gaiam each year is rewarded with a large bonus.

Sondheim also took a small jab at leading DVD retailer Wal-Mart: “While many of us are going out of our way to lower carbon emissions, I would like to find a way for them to lower theirs.”

Steve Feldstein, SVP of corporate and marketing communications for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, said his parent company's (News Corp.) green efforts can be seen in “everything we do,” from green broadcasts to analyzing the carbon footprint of Fox DVDs. Fox has found being green to be profitable as well.

“We've found tremendous cost savings in it,” said Mike Dunn, president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Fox released one of the first carbon-neutral DVDs in Futurama: Bender's BigScore, and has plans for more.

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