Answers

The Walt Disney Company’s report is attached. Click on the image to view. The following are the answers to the questions in synopsis:

1. Disney’s profile is defined through five business segments and eight key themes that the report addresses.

a) Name the five business segments and eight key themes.

Answer: Disney’s five business segments are Media Networks, Studio Entertainment, Parks and Resorts, Consumer Products, and Interactive Media. The key themes are Family Entertainment, Inspiring Kids and Communities, Nature Conservation, Environment, Community, Disney Workplaces, Supply Chain, and Human Rights.

b) Briefly explain why the company’s profile is important and where it is usually located.

Answer: Knowing the nature of Disney’s operations helps the reader to determine the following:

  • what types of impacts the company should be addressing,
  • whether the report is complete, and
  • the key themes address all potential areas of impact.

Having the profile fairly early in the report provides the context and helps to understand the rest of the report. Disney offers some additional information about the Report Framework (Report Profile) on page 78.

2. Do you think that Disney has the right corporate governance structure and does the corporate governance structure explain, in part, Disney’s management approach?

Answer: Qualities of the corporate governance structure that show Disney is serious about its citizenship are the following:

  • The Senior Vice President is a member of top management and reports through the same lines as financial performance is reported, namely, the CFO and the CEO.
  • The four areas of Community Engagement, Strategic Philanthropy, Environment and Conservation, and International Labor Standards are staffed with dedicated staff.
  • Metrics have been developed for the reporting function and reporting is done periodically throughout the year.
  • The Audit Committee on the Board reviews the performance report.

The four areas of Community Engagement, Strategic Philanthropy, Environment and Conservation, and International Labor Standards give the reader a good idea of how Disney is interpreting its citizenship responsibilities.

3. How and for what purposes does Disney engage stakeholders?

Answer: Disney uses a number of different methods (both in-person and Web-based meetings) for engaging stakeholders, such as

  • conference calls;
  • correspondence;
  • working groups and workshops; and
  • conferences and events.

In brief, Disney engages stakeholders for two broad reasons (also see pages 70 and 71 for more information):

  • suggestions on performance improvement, and
  • assessment of, and suggestions to improve, report quality.

4. Does Disney provide a highlights section or a quick overview of the report?

Answer: Yes. On pages 10 and 11, Disney presents brief results of each of its main themes. It also provides a list of awards and recognitions that the company has received. On pages 76 and 77, Disney summarizes its commitments, goals, and the related report content.

5. Does Disney set goals and targets and report on progress on the environment theme? For which areas has Disney made good progress and for which areas is Disney challenged?

Answer: On page 38, Disney provides a table with several dimensions of the environment. To determine accomplishments and challenges, it is helpful to look at the graphs and charts on the next few pages as well. A few examples of good news/bad news follow:

  • The target for reduction of GHG emission is 50% by 2012; however, for some years emissions have decreased; for others, they have increased questioning whether Disney will make its target.
  • The target for electricity reduction is 10 percent by 2013. The total decrease thus far is 6.6 percent; therefore, it appears that Disney could reach its target.
  • The target for waste reduction is “to decrease solid waste to landfill to 50 percent of the baseline”. Waste sent to landfill was 44 percent of the total. It looks like the target has been surpassed.
  • The level of support from Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund was targeted to increase each year. For some years, it increased; for others, it decreased; thus, the target was not meet.
  • Other targets are less quantifiable or are under development.

6. How does Disney interpret and measure the social aspect of sustainability for its employees?

Answer: Although there are a number of activities and events in which Disney participates, the company provides training, minority, and gender statistics for its employees. Other answers may be correct as well.

7. Has any of Disney’s performance been audited or has the report been assured?

Answer: On page 68, Disney discusses a number of audits that have been performed to ensure that its suppliers, often located in developing countries, are adhering to Disney’s standards. Disney does admit that the number of audits should increase, as there is currently low coverage. Audits are performed by employees, independent auditing organizations, and licensees, vendors, and buying agents. There is also information on the Code of Conduct findings on page 69.

On page 78, Disney indicates that it followed the GRI Guidelines, but an independent assurance provider has not checked the data for accuracy. Many first-time reporters do not have their reports assured but plan to do so in the future, as Disney plans.