Report focuses on greenhouse gas emissions reductions and leading change in the midst of recycling challenges
HOUSTON – DEC 14, 2016 – Waste Management released its 2016 Sustainability Report today. Titled “Leading Change”, the report highlights progress toward making recycling sustainable, reducing the Company’s greenhouse gas footprint, keeping employees and communities safe and giving back to the communities it serves.
The addition of the Company’s first-ever interactive report invites visitors to go on a digital journey to see the many ways Waste Management collects, processes and safely manages waste.
In the report, the Company’s president and chief executive officer, Jim Fish, highlights the important and growing focus on making recycling sustainable over the long term. “It’s time for recycling to evolve. We’ve started to see progress on this front, and steady progress is what we need—for the good times and the bad,” said Fish. “When we encounter roadblocks like those we’ve seen in our recycling business over the past few years, we see our role as leading change to overcome them.”
Fish describes the Company as a pragmatic optimist, looking over the life cycle of materials management to reduce waste, handle customers’ wastes safely, all while looking for new technologies that might one day handle waste even more efficiently and effectively.
Additional 2016 report highlights include:
Recycling. Waste Management recycled and composted more than 14 million tons of materials from the waste stream in 2015. The Company is focused on raising awareness of the urgent need to get serious about recycling — its economics and its environmental value. Putting recycling on its best foot for the future means acknowledging some very real challenges facing the recycling industry, including a changing waste stream, slowing global demand, low commodity prices and rising processing costs. To adapt to recycling challenges, the Company has worked to increase operational efficiencies and lower operating costs at recycling facilities; as well as work customers, communities, and environmental organizations across the country to get the word out on contamination and reinvigorate a spirit of environmental stewardship.
Lowering emissions. As a company, Waste Management is a net greenhouse gas reducer —by a lot. In 2015, the Company’s GHG-reducing services — recycling, landfill renewable natural gas projects, landfill gas-to-energy projects and carbon sequestration in landfills — saved over three times the total greenhouse gas emissions its operations generated all year.
Growing cleaner fleet. In 2015, the Company currently operated more than 5,100 of natural gas vehicles, the largest fleet of its kind in North America.
Harnessing energy at the landfill. When materials are disposed of at landfills there’s still an opportunity to produce electricity using naturally occurring landfill gas. Waste Management currently uses this technology at landfill-gas-to-energy facilities, which powers the equivalent of 470,000 households, offsets 2.5 million tons of coal per year and offsets 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Reducing waste. By working with myriad businesses and organizations, Waste Management helped create customized solutions that lower waste production, increase reuse and improve the recyclability of products.
The report also includes statistics on the Company’s environmental performance, from fleet emissions to wildlife habitat protection to the variety of materials managed each year.
The report’s content is prepared in accordance with the core application level of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 guidelines. GRI sets the global standards for sustainability reporting, including criteria for a range of economic, environmental, and social impacts.
Learn more by visiting our new site, and reading our 2016 Sustainability Report: sustainability.wm.com
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.
Ed Egl, 713.265.1656
Toni Beck, 713.394.5093