Org a conduit for green initiatives in the Biz

The Environmental Media Assn. was a conduit for entertainment industry green initiatives before green initiatives were cool.

One reason why the org remains vital, more than 20 years after it was founded by Lyn and Norman Lear and Cindy and Alan Horn, is its family-friendly orientation. Its board of directors features numerous power couples, and the EMA has championed initiatives that make it easy for showbizzers to involve their children and local schools, such as its partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District to help create organic gardens and green spaces on campuses.

“So much of what we do is about educating children,” says Cristan Reilly, who serves on the EMA board along with her husband, Fox Broadcasting’s Kevin Reilly. “It starts at a young age, and certainly our kids’ awareness of environmental issues is 5,000 times what ours was when we were their age.”

The Reillys and other praise the dedication of EMA prexy Debbie Levin for keeping the org active in both fund-raising and outreach. One of the best resources the org provides is criteria for a TV or film production to achieve its Green Seal, meaning that it embraces sustainability and is making an effort to reduce the environmental impact of lensing activity.

“We as an industry can be unbelievably wasteful,” Kevin Reilly says. “EMA was forward-thinking in promoting the idea that productions and companies could strive to be carbon-neutral. Now all of the major studios have their own green departments.”

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