by Michael dEstries
Categories: Events.

goreleo.jpgOn Oscar night, it was pretty exciting when Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio came out on stage to announce that the Academy Awards had gone green. They even mentioned a page on the official website where you could find out more about the initiative. However, when I punched up this site, I was bummed to find very little information on how eco-friendly the Oscars had become. Instead, there were steps that I could take to go green. What the?

Turns out, I had to click through to the NRDC’s (National Resourcce Defense Council) website to get a clearer picture of the greening process. (Why the Oscars didn’t list the same info on their site, I have no idea..) If you thought Gore and Leo’s little speech was just some environmental window dressing, I’m here to tell you that based on this list, the Oscars most definitely have dramatically changed colors. This was not something thrown together a week before over sushi. This appears to have been a process that took months of planning. You can get a very detailed list of the accomplishments here or skim the bullets below for some great overview. Congrats to the NRDC and the Academy on their partnership and green efforts!

Paper:

* Tissue products used in the pre-show trailers, Kodak Theatre, dressing rooms, green room, and portable toilets were 100% recycled content, non-endangered forest paper.
* Printed materials – nominations ballots, programs, invitations, RSVP cards, envelopes, business cards, letterhead, and notepads – included Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper including 30% post-consumer recycled content.
* The Academy distributed fewer paper press packets and requested the press download materials from the Internet; materials that were distributed were printed on 30% post-consumer recycled paper.

Energy:

* The Academy purchased 178 “Green Tag” renewable energy credits from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to offset carbon emissions from the telecast, pre-show, red -carpet event, and Governor’s Ball. 250,000 pounds of carbon emissions were offset by this investment in renewable energy.
* The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power conducted an audit of Kodak Theatre and developed a report on efficiency improvements for the theatre and adjacent mall complex.
* Southern California Edison conducted an energy audit of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Edison will soon issue its report on energy efficiency options to the Academy.

Transportation:

* Hybrid vehicles were made available for presenters and staff.

Waste:

* Property managers of the Kodak Theatre and the Hollywood & Highland complex, in which the Kodak Theatre is located, instituted a comprehensive recycling program.
* Recycling containers were purchased and placed with appropriate signage throughout Kodak Theatre; caterers arranged for bottles and cans to be recycled at the Governor’s Ball and Kodak lobby bar.
* Batteries from production equipment were recycled by stagehands.
* Caterers used on-site recycling and waste disposal systems for telecast and non-telecast events.

Set Pieces/Flowers:

* Many set pieces for Oscar-related events—including staging, tables, couches, chairs, curtains, and bleachers—were rented and/or shared and may be reused for future productions.
* Set that could not be re-used was sent to a construction and demolition site where approximately 77% of the materials will be re-purposed.

Food/Drink:

* Food service at most events, in trailers, green rooms, and press rooms used reusable dishware, silverware and glasses, cloth or recycled-content paper napkins, and/or biodegradable serviceware.
* Nearly 100% of Wolfgang Puck’s Governor’s Ball menu was organic and environmentally friendly, including seafood, dairy and produce selections. Even the large chocolate Oscar was organic.
* Again this year – leftover food from the Governor’s Ball was donated to Angel Harvest.
* Biota bottled water, which uses cornstarch-based plastic for bottles, was featured in the greenroom and dressing rooms; Biota agreed to accept its used bottles for remanufacturing.

Telecast Green Room:

* Upholstered furniture was returned to manufacturer for reuse/resale.
* Wall covering material, Cadiz, harvested in an eco-friendly way and may be rapidly renewable.
* Drink tables were made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood.
* Wood flooring was made from 90% pre-consumer recycled materials.
* Entire green room will be reused for upcoming event at Kodak Theatre.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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