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Paul Polman and George Bandy Among Sustainability Experts and Industry Leaders Convening at WM's 2022 Sustainability Forum, "For Tomorrow"
Event to Explore Progress and Solutions as New Research Shows 72 percent of U.S. Adults Indicate Concerns with the State of Sustainability

HOUSTON – Feb. 3, 2022 – Engaging others in dialogue around climate, innovation, social impact and circularity, Waste Management (NYSE:WM) is hosting its 11th annual 2022 WM Sustainability Forum on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 11 a.m. CT/12 p.m. ET, and the company is inviting anyone interested in joining the online event to register at no cost at  

This year’s Forum brings together sustainability visionaries, George Bandy and Paul Polman, and will also feature a variety of additional eco-visionaries, leaders and activists. Topics span across industries and sectors for a dynamic, knowledge-sharing event including keynote themes such as environmental impact, striving for a more circular economy, the role of textiles in circularity, social impact, climate, culture and more. RSVP here to virtually attend the WM Sustainability Forum featured sessions.

“As we drive WM’s sustainability journey forward and lead our industry in setting aggressive goals for our own facilities, sites and fleet, we also see our unique position in the circular economy, which is to provide solutions to our customers to meet their sustainability goals,” said Tara Hemmer, chief sustainability officer, WM. “We think a big part of our role is to create an opportunity to share learnings and successes, shed light on new environmental advancements and social impact initiatives, and explore new concerns across ESG topics. The Sustainability Forum is a way for us to further the dialogue with experts and leaders who share the same vision and inspire others to work toward a more sustainable future.”

In advance of the Sustainability Forum, new research from WM and global intelligence company, Morning Consult, uncovered the latest sustainability perceptions and expectations among adults in the U.S. The WM Sustainability Green Index survey revealed adults in the U.S. indicate concerns about the state of sustainability. Americans are looking for governments, corporations, and individuals to take action and they expect brands to commit to a range of meaningful sustainability initiatives. 

WM Sustainability Green Index survey findings include: 

  • The state of sustainability is overwhelming to Americans – 72 percent indicate concerns with the state of sustainability today in the U.S.
  • However, purchasing decisions are made with sustainability in mind – Six in 10 consumers say they would be more likely to purchase from a brand that offers sustainable options.
  • Most Americans equate recycling with sustainabilityWhile U.S. adults are becoming increasingly concerned about sustainability, 56 percent of adults said they equate sustainability with recycling. Nine in 10 see recycling as important to having an environmental impact.
  • However, most Americans are still confused on what’s recyclable – When it comes to awareness of recycling best practices, three in four adults say they feel confident in knowing what can and can’t be recycled; however, this figure drops substantially among non-recyclers, suggesting that confusion might be an obstacle for many to recycle. 
  • Food waste is on consumers’ radar, but it’s underestimated how much there is in the U.S. – Seven in 10 believe they waste less than the actual rate of food waste in the U.S. and half of U.S. adults don’t compost. However, eight in 10 still consider food waste an important issue to the environment.
  • Americans aren’t aware of some renewable resources, such as renewable natural gas that is created from waste in landfills – Two in three adults said they don’t know much or anything about renewable natural gas as an energy resource for things like vehicles or powering homes.

“The WM Sustainability Forum, as well as the other investments we continue to make in sustainability, helps us arm consumers with education and solutions to better understand the greater issues related to sustainability and how they can do their part to help,” said Jim Fish, president and chief executive officer, WM. “It's critical we foster awareness for recycling and circular solutions.”

About WM
WM (Waste Management), based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive environmental services in North America, providing services throughout the United States and Canada. Through its subsidiaries, the Company provides collection, transfer, disposal services, and recycling and resource recovery. 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 WM, visit

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Toni Werner / Natalie Ilseng