Making Hollywood Green

At the cornerstone of celebrity and activism, there is one nonprofit that stands out: the Environmental Media Association (EMA). For nearly three decades, the Los Angeles-based organization has been working hand-in-hand with Hollywood to bring awareness to the plight of the planet using one of the most powerful tools available—the media.

Founded by Cindy and Alan Horn and Lyn and Norman Lear in 1989, EMA has continued to raise the public’s environmental awareness for nearly three decades, starting numerous campaigns along the way to inspire people to reduce air pollution, ensure clean water for drinking and recreation, protect endangered species, preserve open spaces, minimize waste, promote a safe food supply and live more environmentally-sustainable lives.

“We don’t just do one thing,” says EMA President Debbie Levin. “Because of our unique access to the Hollywood community, we’re able to expose billions of people to these issues [by] creating an understandable, pop culture approach to living a sustainable lifestyle and understanding the power of each of our voices. For example, our EMA Healthy Family Program has researched and created a seal to help consumers easily identify nontoxic, chemical-free products, including skin care, food, cleaning products—even fashion.” Levin points to other programs as well, including a speaker series, podcast network and their longtime #GreenMyGarden movement, which brings organically-grown edible gardens to underserved schools nationwide.

Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother, Blythe Danner, at the EMA Awards
Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother, Blythe Danner, at the EMA Awards. (Getty On Behalf of the Environmental Media Association)

EMA also ensures its message is heard is by working directly with the creators of movies and TV shows to include green plotlines in which characters discuss issues like chemically- and hormonally-enhanced food, alternative fuel options and dangers like toxic gas leaks.

Along with influencing television, the organization’s 26th Annual EMA Awards gala is the only event solely devoted to celebrating the entertainment industry’s creative environmental efforts, connecting them with Hollywood both on- and off-screen as they roll out the green carpet for innovations like the Toyota Prius, environmental films like “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Avatar,” and highlight brands, chefs and artists who are dedicated to sustainability and eco-friendliness. The event gets more than a billion media impressions and has led to great exposure for green standards in the entertainment industry.

“We’re so proud that we can share the impact of the incredible influencers that we’ve honored.” Levin says. “… Our celebrity supporters are the best of our industry and, most importantly, the most authentic and inspiring role models for a conscious lifestyle …”

March 23 and 24, EMA will be partnering with Montage Beverly Hills to launch EMA’s inaugural Impact Summit, which tells the story of innovation and impact investment and explores ways shareholders can create change for the next generation of entrepreneurs and investors.

For more information, go to:

By Jackie Adams and Montage Magazine Staff
Lead photo by Jay Jasinski