Walt Disney World Co. Wins 2006 Florida Energy Achievement Award

The Walt Disney World Company’s “Strive for Five” energy reduction program has been named the winner of the second annual Florida Energy Achievement Award. The award is presented by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) to a company, organization or individual that has made a significant achievement in the efficient utilization of energy, energy conservation, energy education or renewable energy in the state of Florida.

Jim Fenton, director of FSEC, explained that “Choosing the winner of this year’s competition was especially hard because we had a number of high-quality applications from private companies and utilities who are conducting energy-saving programs in the state and achieving significant results. Our committee felt, though, that Disney’s innovative company-wide program designed to reduce overall energy consumption by 5 percent by involving everyone from management to cast members stood out because of its wide impact as well as its individual components.”

The overall program includes a web-based Utility Report Card distributed monthly with data on energy use, including comparisons between individual Disney areas, helping foster a spirit of competition among area managers. Disney also has an Energy Star Team with membership from their parks, resorts and support areas through the Walt Disney World Resort that meets monthly to share and discuss best practices.

“Not only are they meeting their energy-saving goals and getting their employees motivated to save energy in their homes,” Fenton added, “but they are making this program an integral part of their management goals and using creative programs to make it successful. I hope that their work inspires other companies in the state to make energy-saving an integral part of their work.”

The award was presented in 2005 to Sarasota County Government for its many programs that reduce organizational energy use, conserve water, and provide support to other agencies and businesses in their community. Companies interested in applying for the 2007 award should visit the FSEC Web site (www.fsec.ucf.edu) this fall for full details and an application.

The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research center in the country. Current research activities include solar water and pool heating, solar electric and distributed generation systems, energy-efficient buildings, alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel, fuel cells and other energy areas. For more information about the center, visit www.fsec.ucf.edu or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.