The Heap

Saving Money, Helping the Environment

Republic Services has announced that the firm will, as allowed under the Security and Exchange Commission's new "Notice and Access Rule," make proxy materials available to shareholders online. Instead of mailing the materials to shareholders, the company will send its stockholders a "Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials." Republic will be required to send a hard copy set of the materials to any shareholder who requests one.

"At Republic Services Inc., 'eco' stands for both ecology, as in the enviroment, and economy, as in the financial bottom line," said Tod Holmes, senior vice president and chief financial officer of the company. "By using the electronic financial filings, Republic will reduce our hard-copy printing of proxy materials by 75 percent, from 36,000 copies to approximately 9,000 copies reducing paper and printing costs." The firm estimates it will save about 3 million pieces of paper a year.

The non-profit organization American Forests estimates that eliminating the mailing of 300 million proxy material packages would save 800,000 trees each year from being cut down, reduce fossil fuel consumption by about 500,000 gallons annually by eliminating the need to transport the proxy materials, prevent 100,000 tons of paper from going to the nation's landfills each year, and eliminate 380,000 tons of greenhouse gases produced in the paper manufacturing process.