The Walt Disney Company (DIS) Meets Calvert Signature ® Criteria and Added to Calvert Social Index
The Walt Disney Company now meets Calvert’s environmental, social and governance criteria as a result of clear progress on workplace safety and human rights
Following steady progress over the last several years, Calvert Investment Management, Inc. (“Calvert”) has determined that The Walt Disney Company now meets all environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria for inclusion in the Calvert Social Index and investment in Calvert Signature Strategies Portfolios and is becoming a leader in its industries. Disney is a diversified international family entertainment and media company that operates in distinct industries – multi-media, theme parks and cruise ships – each with its own particular corporate responsibility and sustainability risks and opportunities. The multi-media sector, which includes television, films, internet, gaming, music, and publishing, faces the highest risks in the area of workplace labor and diversity, governance and product. The theme parks face elevated risks from workplace safety, product (customer) safety and the environment, while the cruise line’s biggest risks stem from workplace labor and safety and the environment. The company’s product merchandising supply chains cut across these industries with significant human rights issues and risks in over 100 countries.
Calvert engaged in intensive dialogue this past year through numerous meetings and conference calls with the company regarding safety and human rights issues in particular. This dialogue, underpinned by independent and rigorous research, now gives us confidence in the company’s commitment and performance in both these critical areas. The company has made steady progress and now demonstrates marked improvement in these areas with policies, programs and practices with a firm commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability, while continuing to meet the criteria across other issue areas.
Overall, the company demonstrates leadership through its strong workplace safety policies that include a commitment to safe practices and strong safety programs. Disney emphasizes integration of safety as a key corporate value and management priority and has taken numerous steps to ensure that safety is a top priority company-wide and at every level, with a strong emphasis on safety, including meeting with all managers, seeking suggestions to improve safety and providing safety training to all managers and salaried employees. This concerted push to embed safety more deeply within the company is reflected in improved safety performance at Disney theme parks. Calvert believes the company’s comprehensive safety policies, programs and performance now make it a clear leader in its industry and beyond.
Comprehensive human rights policies and management systems have helped to reduce risks across Disney’s supply chain, with both a supplier code of conduct and a human rights policy statement. Both policies include the ILO core labor standards (including freedom of association and collective bargaining) and reference the UN Declaration on Human Rights. The company also has a strong supplier monitoring program, which includes dedicated staff, training and both internal and external auditing. Although Disney does not audit licensees, the company requires licensees to identify factories that it plans to source from. Furthermore, the company tracks this information through a database and reviews audits of manufacturing facilities.
Other Key Impacts
The company has a sound track record on the environment, as demonstrated through its solid policy framework and broad array of programs to address key impacts. Disney continues to improve efforts to mitigate offsets and has made significant strides with goal setting and disclosure of tangible progress over the last few years, making it an emerging leader at its theme parks and on cruise ships, which now contain advanced sewage treatment systems. The company’s product marketing policies relating to children make it a leader, particularly on nutrition and advertising, while its product safety performance could be strengthened.
Calvert Investment Management, Inc. 4550 Montgomery Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.