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Need to Know

Turning Waste into Clean Hydrogen Fuel

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There are a myriad of start-ups racing to turn trash into clean hydrogen.

CA-based Ways2H doesn’t believe we need landfills. With all of the waste available throughout the world, they want to use waste as the raw feedstock to produce hydrogen, which could power our homes, planes, car and more.

Ways2H is partnering with an engineering firm to build a first-of-its-kind commercial waste-to-hydrogen facility, which should be complete by the end of the year. For every ton of waste fed, the plant will produce approximately 100 pounds of carbon-neutral hydrogen. Ways2H should be able to begin supplying hydrogen to customers by early 2021.

Other companies agree. CA-based SGH2 is also building a waste-to-hydrogen plant.

In addition, Florida-based Standard Hydrogen is looking to produce clean hydrogen. Initially, the company was focused on extracting hydrogen from the hydrogen sulfide produced at oil refineries, but its reactor can handle most other kinds of waste. Standard Hydrogen is working to create partnerships with companies that are interested in using the system to process waste or procure hydrogen.

With all the interest around hydrogen, not everyone is convinced that these solutions are a good idea. In the U.S. the barriers have been economic and political, not technological.

Read the original story here.

Plastic-Free July: Talking Solutions for Businesses and Consumers

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 Plastic-Free July is a worldwide annual initiative aimed at reducing the use of single-use plastics and encouraging businesses and consumers to find more responsible alternatives.

Waste360 spoke with Christy Leavitt, Oceana’s plastics campaign director, to learn more about the companies that are doing this well now and what else can be done. Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. We talk reuse, policy and the momentum that is building around the plastics crisis.

Waste360: As part of the plastics-crisis campaign, you use the powerful statistic that, "A garbage truck's worth of plastic ends up in the ocean every minute." Over the past few years, are you seeing real momentum among companies that understand the magnitude of the problem and their role in being part of the solution?

Awareness around the plastic pollution problem, and the desire to address it, has spread greatly over the last few years among both consumers and decision-makers — but we need that acknowledgment to translate into meaningful corporate and political action.

While many smaller companies are innovating their products in ways that don’t require plastic packaging, the multinational companies that supply Americans with most of their everyday items have been stubbornly clinging to recycling commitments and waste-management solutions that have proven unsuccessful for decades.

When pressed on the issue, executives of these large corporations will freely express their concern around plastic pollution, but they refuse to pivot from plastic to sustainable — preferably refillable and reusable — alternatives. We need companies to do more than acknowledge the issue; we need them to commit to real reductions in their use of plastic. And we need policymakers to pass legislation on the local, state and federal level to ensure they do so.

Waste360: What are the main hurdles you’ve seen for companies that wish to incorporate refillable or reusable programs but do not know where to start?

For a company to pivot from plastic packaging to refillable or reusable alternatives, they often need to re-envision how a product is delivered to — and sometimes collected from — the consumer. We’re already seeing this kind of innovation across multiple economic sectors, with companies establishing new business models to change how we consume.

For example:

  • The Wally Shop in Brooklyn, New York, has implemented a reusable delivery system to deliver groceries to customers in reusable packaging like organic cotton mesh bags, resealable glass jars and totes. The company charges a fee per piece of reusable packaging provided, and the price of this deposit is deducted from the customer’s next delivery, at which point old packaging is taken back to be cleaned and reused.
  • Loop is experimenting with a new business model that uses reusable product containers. The company delivers packaged consumer goods, including food, in reusable containers to customers for a deposit. It offers products from dozens of brands — detergent, shampoo, mouthwash and even groceries — in steel, glass and durable plastic reusable containers. The products arrive in a Loop Tote, and used containers are placed back in the tote and left on the doorstep for pickup. Loop’s product containers are then cleaned, refilled and shipped out again.
  • In Switzerland, consumers can pay for reusable to-go cups and containers when they order takeout at any of 1,000-plus restaurants that have partnered with the company reCIRCLE. Through reCIRCLE, these items can be returned to any other partner restaurant for a full refund, at which point they’ll be washed and provided to the next customer. Customers can also choose to keep the containers or take them home and reuse them before returning.
  • Refill stations have also started popping up for consumer goods. For example, Ecopod refill stations in Florida supply eco-friendly laundry detergent, fabric softener, liquid dish soap, dishwasher gel and all-purpose cleaner. Customers bring their empty Ecopod containers to the refill kiosks and select what they would like dispensed.

Companies like these have provided a jumping-off point for the world’s necessary switch to a zero-waste economy, creating innovative business models that prove we can move away from throwaway living. A “refill and reuse” economy is in our sights. As more corporations follow the lead of plastic-free pioneers by transitioning to new ways of packaging products, we’ll finally be on the path to safeguarding this planet for future generations.

Waste360: And what are the main hurdles in getting customers to adapt refillable, reusable, or plastic-free packaging and products? (For instance, is there still a need for significant investment in customer education to get people to understand why it is important to look for these kinds of solutions, or is it more important to show them how/how easy it is to make these sorts of changes?)

The biggest obstacle in shifting from a throwaway society to a refillable, reusable, zero-waste one is getting companies to break free from plastic and innovate. Consumers have long expressed dissatisfaction with companies’ excessive use of single-use plastic, yet the world’s largest corporations have resisted evolution and instead relied on plastic recycling and other inadequate solutions. Public support for plastic-free products has been clear, with 55% of Americans believing companies are not doing enough to reduce plastic waste, and two-thirds of Americans expressing a willingness to pay more for everyday items made out of environmentally sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic.

Oceana has also conducted polls outside of the U.S. showing consumer support for corporate and political action to reduce single-use plastic. A poll released last month by Oceana Canada revealed that 86% of Canadians support a national ban on single-use plastics by 2021 — up from a reported 81% last year. Our Oceana Europe colleagues last year polled U.K. residents, 83% of whom believed businesses were not doing enough to reduce plastic waste, and 74% of whom thought the government is doing too little to curb plastic in the oceans.

Waste360: Can you tell us more about Oceana's vision for reusable packaging and delivery systems – and how to make these viable on a mass scale? 

It's absolutely possible for companies to make reusable packaging and delivery systems viable on a mass scale. Don't forget: We once lived without plastic. Beverage companies, for example, once relied entirely on refillable bottle systems — there's no reason we can't do that today while applying new technologies to increase sustainability and convenience for consumers.

Many companies have already provided a jumping-off point for the world's necessary switch to a zero-waste economy, creating innovative business models that prove we can move away from throwaway living.

It’s critical that companies sufficiently invest in programs testing new reusable/refillable business models so that consumers are offered enough of the products they want, with the convenience they expect, to make the program viable. Take Loop for example. A consumer is unlikely to pay the deposit for a Loop Tote delivery if the online store doesn’t offer enough relevant products to fill the tote and make it worth it. Reusable/refillable business models will succeed if consumers are given the options they need, and that requires companies currently relying on single-use plastic to invest in the future.

Some companies like Ecopod, Lush, and Blueland are having success with product-refill models and/or removing excess water and eliminating the need for plastic packaging. Are you seeing any similar developments/R&D from any of the larger players in the cleaning- or personal-care products arena? What would you say to a big company that says, "Our customers want to buy our product in the same container they have always bought it in?"

While the switch from plastic-packaged shampoo, conditioner and body wash to plastic-free bars started with smaller companies like Lush, we’re slowly seeing larger players get on board. For example, L’Oreal announced last month that it plans to introduce more sustainable products like solid shampoo bars under its flagship Garnier brand. While L’Oreal’s plan to transition to zero-waste packaging for some of its products is admirable, we need to see a broader commitment to ditching single-use plastic packaging — whether it’s recyclable or not — among leading consumer goods providers.

Waste360: Do you have any examples of companies that have seen costs go down and/or profits go up when they have moved away from single-use plastics?

Lush discovered that by nixing plastic packaging, they actually saved money — which they could then invest into extra staff and training. More from their website: “Some time ago a TV company asked us to cost a typical shower gel for a consumer program. In doing this it became obvious that the packaging was a larger part of the manufacturing cost than the contents, and that the bottle label and lid cost more than twice the shower gel itself.”

This 2019 “Reuse” report from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation also lays out business benefits of reusable delivery systems, including “Superior user experiences, user insights, brand loyalty and cost savings.” It lists those benefits specific to each company example it provides.

Waste360: What would you say to companies who are focusing their "sustainability" efforts on using ocean plastic in their products and packaging?

Ocean plastic is going to last for many years, so it doesn’t hurt for companies to make something useful out of it, but recycling, upcycling and cleaning up plastic in the ocean and on beaches will never solve the plastic pollution problem. With plastic production rates projected to quadruple between 2014 and 2050, we can expect increasingly more plastic to flood our oceans, choke marine life and end up in our water, soil, food and air. Only 9% of the plastic waste ever generated has been recycled, and much of the plastic produced every year isn’t recyclable anyway. To stop the massive amount of plastic flooding our oceans, we need companies to prioritize the one real solution to this crisis: reducing the amount of single-use plastic they produce and use. 

Waste360:  As part of its plastics-crisis campaign, Oceana recently helped in the passing of New York state's ban on styrofoam food and beverage containers and the use of plastic foam packaging peanuts. What is next as far as a particular project or regional effort your team is focused on?

Part of our local- and state-level policy work includes fighting preemption in Florida, where the state legislature has increasingly restricted the ability of cities and counties to govern by passing preemption laws around policies it dislikes, including those that regulate single-use plastics. Local governments have a right to make their own decisions about the regulation of single-use plastic. Their communities are directly affected when plastic contaminates their coastlines and waterways, and these cities and towns are also bearing the costs of managing plastic waste, so they should have the authority to regulate it.

We're urging the state legislature and Gov. DeSantis to put an end to this disturbing trend and place the authority to ban plastic with local governments.

In California, we’re working to pass the California Circular Economy and Pollution Reduction Act, which would be the first state-level bill to mandate source reduction of single-use packaging and disposable foodware, including plates, bowls, cups, stirrers and straws. The bill would require producers to reduce waste from single-use packaging and foodware by 75% by 2030 through source reduction, recycling and composting.

In addition to continuing to push for single-use plastic policies on the local and state level, Oceana is actively working to grow awareness and support around the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, the first-ever comprehensive federal legislation that reduces the production and use of single-use plastic and holds companies responsible for the plastic waste they create.

There isn't a place on Earth untouched by plastic. One way individuals can make a difference during Plastic-Free July is by showing their support for the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, the first-ever federal legislation that stops plastic pollution at the source by reducing the use of single-use plastic and holding companies accountable for their waste. There is a petition in support of this federal legislation here. 

Need to Know

New Report Offers Pathways to Reduce Plastic Pollution Entering Ocean

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July 23, 2020 -- new report released today raises the alarm on the need to act now to prevent the tripling of plastic pollution washing into the oceans by 2040.

The report — authored by The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ — prioritizes the elimination of all avoidable plastic and the implementation of reuse and refill systems, stating this “offers the biggest reduction in plastic pollution, often represents a net savings and provides the highest mitigation opportunity in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Oceana’s plastics campaign director, Christy Leavitt, released this statement following today’s announcement:

“The single most effective way to save our oceans and climate from plastic’s destructive wake is by stopping the problem at the source. Continuing to rely on inadequate solutions like recycling to reverse this crisis is like trying to mop up water from an overflowing bathtub while the faucet is still running — we need to turn off the tap.

This new report’s evidence of source reduction’s effectiveness strongly reinforces what the industry has ignored for far too long: The throwaway culture cultivated by companies selling disposable plastic products is not sustainable. Moving forward will require a shift away from unnecessary single-use plastic to refillable and reusable alternatives, and making that pivot is feasible only with bold action from policymakers and industry.

While the report emphasizes source reduction, it also recommends some strategies that pose real risks to environmental and public health. Because of the pollution released by incineration and chemical recycling, these waste-management ‘solutions’ should not be considered responsible pathways in curbing plastic waste.

The amount of plastic entering our ocean is projected to triple by 2040, according to the authors of this study, so maintaining ‘business as usual’ is not an option. To counter plastic’s ever-growing threat to our blue planet and our future, we need companies to cut ties with this persistent pollutant and start thinking outside of the disposable box — now.”

Our oceans suffer from a daily onslaught of plastic pollution that harms marine life of all kinds, from zooplankton and sea turtles to whales and dolphins. An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic enter the marine environment every year — roughly the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the oceans every minute. It’s been found in every corner of the world and has turned up in our drinking water, beer, salt, honey and more. With plastic production growing at a rapid rate, increasing amounts of plastic can be expected to flood our blue planet with devastating consequences.

To learn more about Oceana’s campaign to stop plastic pollution, please visit usa.oceana.org/plastics

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 200 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that one billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.usa.oceana.org to learn more.

 

Contacts: 
Melissa Valliant: mvalliant@oceana.org 410.829.0726  
Dustin Cranor, APR: dcranor@Oceana.org 954.348.1314  

Need to Know

LA Sanitation and Environment Director and General Manager Enrique C. Zaldivar Wins Prestigious SWANA Award

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[LOS ANGELES, July 24, 2020] - Enrique C. Zaldivar, Director and General Manager of LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN), has been awarded the Robert L. Lawrence Distinguished Service Award. This award from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) honors distinguished service to the Municipal Solid Waste Management field. Determination of the award is based on the nominee’s service and activity beyond normal responsibilities to the employer and to the general public. Not granted every year, this award represents the highest accolade the solid waste field can bestow. 

With this award, Mr. Zaldivar is recognized for his accomplishments through  innovative public-private partnerships and commitments to Zero Emissions, Zero Waste and the environment. Through his leadership, LASAN oversees the City’s Clean Water program, the Solid Resources program, and the Watershed Protection program.

"I thank SWANA and its member agencies for this very prestigious recognition and thank my entire staff at LASAN for making me worthy of the award," said Mr. Zaldivar.

Director and General Manager Zaldivar has been at the helm of LASAN for over 12 years. LASAN’s achievements in solid waste under Mr. Zaldivar’s direction include the recently implemented recycLA program with the adoption of the Solid Waste Private Hauler Exclusive Franchise Initiative. Under the leadership of Mayor Garcetti and Council President Nury Martinez, Zaldivar has also led the City's Zero Waste Initiative, anchored on resource conservation and recovery strategies with the ultimate goal to eliminate landfilling by 2050. He has endeavored to develop reliable and sustainable markets for recycled commodities within North America (USA - Mexico - Canada), working in full integration with the logistics of trade within one of the world's largest trading blocs - right here in North America with no reliance on overseas markets.

Another new initiative under Mr. Zaldivar's direction includes a commitment to electrification of the refuse collection truck fleet to move toward Zero Emission goals.

"We are pleased to be able to honor your leadership and stewardship with this award," said Brenda Haney and Michael Brinchek of SWANA.

SWANA is developing a virtual alternative to the typical awards ceremony held at WASTECON. The award and Mr. Zaldivar's accomplishments will be recognized at a virtual event at a future date to be announced.

About LA Sanitation and Environment

As the lead agency for the City’s environmental programs and initiatives, Sanitation protects public health and the environment through the administration and management of three program areas: Clean Water (Wastewater), Solid Resources (Solid Waste Management) and Watershed Protection (Stormwater). These infrastructure programs collect, treat, dispose and recycle the solid and liquid waste generated by the nation’s second largest city of more than four million residents. Through these essential Public Works programs, Sanitation delivers a triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social benefits that sustain quality of life in Los Angeles.

Media Contact

Vanessa Bulkacz, Public Works Public Affairs Office

(213) 278-2102 Cell | vanessa.bulkacz@lacity.org

Need to Know

Meridian Waste Employee Recognized for Outstanding Contributions

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PETERSBURG, Va. (July 22, 2020) – Meridian Waste Virginia, LLC (formerly Container First Services), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Meridian Waste, an integrated, non-hazardous solid waste services company, is announcing their July 2020 Employee of the Month.

Karen Turner of the Petersburg Customer Care department is the July 2020 Employee of the month for Meridian Waste Virginia. Turner has been with the company since November 2012, serving the local area for nearly eight years. Turner learned about the kudos when the team surprised her in her office.  “Karen is the heart of our residential business, she brings the sunshine to work with her every day,” said Area President Nathan Geldner.

“I love helping people out and making a difference in their day”, said Turner when asked what keeps her motivated. “I work hard for this community and do my best to make people’s days better.” Outside of work, Turner enjoys cooking country-style and soul food with her husband. She is also a dedicated volunteer in her church.

The designation of a Meridian Waste Employee of the Month goes beyond meeting the objectives of the business, these individuals make consistent positive contributions to their team and their customers. Criteria for the honor include adhering to safety standards, quality of work, and performance, among additional measures. Co-workers and management choose recipients who are awarded a $100 gift card and a designated parking space for the month.

The community can engage in recognizing excellent service by Meridian Waste team members through the Shout Out program (https://www.meridianwaste.com/our-company/testimonials/)

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Karen Turner after receiving the Employee of the Month for July 2020 designation.

About Meridian Waste

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Meridian Waste is a company defined by its commitment to servicing its customers, caring for and engaging its employees, and generating financial value for its shareholders while delivering a clean and healthy community. The company’s core waste business is centered on residential, commercial, and industrial non-hazardous waste collection and disposal. Currently, the company operates in St. Louis, Mo., Richmond, Va., Blacksburg, Va., Augusta, Ga., Northeast Fla., Knoxville, Tenn., and Raleigh, N.C., servicing more than 96,651 residential, commercial, industrial and governmental customers. In addition to a fleet of commercial, residential, and roll-off trucks, the company operates seven transfer stations/materials recycling facilities (MRFs), three municipal solid waste landfills, and three C&D landfills in which 810,325 tons of waste are safely disposed annually. For more information, visit MeridianWaste.com.

Contact:
Mary O’Brien
(904) 616-5322
MObrien@MeridianWaste.com

Rheaply Asset Management Tool Targets Reuse

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Increasingly, organizations are adopting sustainability goals, many of them focused on recycling. Though recycling is important, reuse is higher on the Environmental Protection Agency’s waste management hierarchy. Yet many organizations, even those trying to prioritize sustainability, have a supply of valuable unused assets that stockpile at their sites or end up in landfills.

So Rheaply, an asset management tech company, has come up with a way to get these assets back in circulation.

The Chicago-based operation is working to scale the circular economy with a cloud-based platform that enables organizations to sell, rent, or buy used equipment and other resources.

The goal is to combine a resource-sharing network with a user-friendly asset management platform for companies with sustainability goals.

Organizations can post items that they no longer need to make available within their own organization or that they would like to offer to other organizations. So idle materials and would-be waste find a useful home, reuse becomes a priority, and companies avoid double-buying or otherwise investing unnecessarily in capital.

Tom Fecarotta, vice president of external affairs and marketing at Rheaply, describes the system, called Asset Exchange Manager (AxM), as a tailored resource management tool and preferred network that offers a streamlined and circular resource platform. The majority of its 6,000-plus users are universities, biopharma and biotech companies, technology companies, and government entities.

A main selling point, according to Fecarotta, is that users have the ability to get a true sense of an item’s value.

“Old systems track resources that devaluate over time and don’t have a way to discern the current value to the rest of the community,” he says. “But we have a robust reporting section to understand recaptured value.”

For instance, says Fecarotta, users input fair market value as well as sustainability metrics such as avoided weight sent to landfill.

The platform was designed to work from any device and to be scalable and easy to understand and use.

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“We want to make sure that all resources within organizations are utilized and accessible to large populations to retain the value of that resource,” says Fecarotta.

Another design focus besides the value-reporting feature was the ability to give users full control over preferences, such as item category and user group affiliations, to set a structured reuse circle.

There is also flexibility regarding whom organizations can admit to share with and sell to. Companies can set administrative controls to assign users desired access to the system.

Rheaply says its network has helped divert 14.5 tons of waste from landfills and has collectively saved organizations $1.3 million, almost exclusively in 2019. With specific regard to plastics, the network has saved over $300,000 by diverting plastic products from landfills.

Sam Light, assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Chicago, has found the platform to be both a cost saver and a waste saver, though waste reduction was his department’s primary motivation for tapping into this resource.

Prior to getting set up on Rheaply, Light and his lab team were acquiring scientific supplies exclusively through conventional vendors.

Now they look for items on the platform first, and not only have they cut waste and costs, but they have been able to cheaply acquire some supplies that otherwise wouldn’t have been a top priority.

“When it comes to disposability and excessive packaging, acquiring scientific supplies is particularly frustrating,” Light says. “I like that Rheaply provides an economical and sustainable alternative. Hopefully, this approach can help promote a culture change that will make a broad impact.”

Chris Weber, associate professor in the department of pathology at the University of Chicago, has tapped into Rheaply to redistribute lab items that are no longer needed.

“My lab’s funding is limited, so it has worked well for me,” says Weber, who estimates that he has saved thousands of dollars.

Then there is the sustainability focus. “Medical research does a lot of good for humans, but I am always troubled that it can hurt the environment,” says Weber. “Thus, I am looking for anything to minimize this. The Rheaply platform is a good way to redistribute unwanted equipment to labs that need it, and in doing so prevent the equipment and supplies from ending up in landfills.”

To take its concept further, Rheaply recently offered a $1,000 scholarship for anyone with a circular economy idea for reuse and waste reduction, and the company recently secured $2.5 million to further invest in the platform and to build out its engineering, product development, and marketing teams.

Sustainability Talks

Republic Services Reports Meaningful Progress on 2030 Sustainability Goals

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PHOENIX, July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG) has released its annual Sustainability Report to share progress and achievements toward meeting its 2030 sustainability goals announced last year.

"Our year-one 2019 achievements demonstrate a sustained ability to connect financial results with environmental and social performance, including addressing various risks and opportunities posed by climate change," said Donald W. Slager, chief executive officer. "I'm particularly proud of the progress we're making in supporting the circular economy, generating renewable energy and helping our communities through the Republic Services Charitable Foundation."

Republic's Our Blue Planet: 2030 Goals are ambitious, and they align with select United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals addressing critical global macrotrends. The goals are also integrated into the Company's business strategy, designed to help achieve long-term financial targets while creating value for key stakeholders. 

Our Blue Planet: 2030 Goals

  • Safety Amplified: 
    • Zero employee fatalities 
    • Reduce OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) to 2.0 or less by 2030
  • Engaged Workforce: Achieve and maintain employee engagement scores at or above 88 percent by 2030 
  • Climate Leadership: Reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2030 (2017 baseline year), approved by SBTi1
  • Circular Economy: Increase recovery of key materials by 40 percent on a combined basis by 2030 (2017 baseline year) 
  • Regenerative Landfills: Increase biogas sent to beneficial reuse by 50 percent by 2030 (2017 baseline year) 
  • Charitable Giving: Positively impact 20 million people by 2030

The report highlights the Company's 2019 progress against its long-term goals. During this time, Republic became the first U.S. recycling and solid waste services provider to have its emissions reduction target approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative1. Additionally, Republic was named to the North American and World Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for a fourth consecutive year, the CDP Climate A List, Barron's 100 Most Sustainable Companies list, Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies list, and Forbes Best Employers for Women list.

"This broad third-party recognition highlights our leadership in corporate governance as well as environmental, social and financial aspects of sustainability," said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability. "We're committed to increased transparency on metrics that matter to our stakeholders as we pursue our 2030 goals."

In addition to the 2019 Sustainability Report, which includes a special section dedicated to how Republic responded to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the Company also released its 2019 Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Report and 2019 Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Report.

To learn more about Republic's Blue Planet sustainability platform and to download the 2019 reports, visit RepublicServices.com/sustainability.

SBTi, or Science-Based Targets initiative, is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

About Republic Services

Republic Services, Inc. is an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste disposal. Through its subsidiaries, Republic's collection companies, transfer stations, recycling centers, landfills and environmental services provide effective solutions to make responsible recycling and waste disposal effortless for its customers across the country. Its 36,000 employees are committed to providing a superior experience while fostering a sustainable Blue Planet® for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world. For more information, visit RepublicServices.com, or follow us at Facebook.com/RepublicServices@RepublicService on Twitter and @republic_services on Instagram.

SOURCE Republic Services, Inc.

Sustainability Talks

U.S. Paper and Wood Products Manufacturers Report Sustainability Progress U.S. Paper and Wood Products Manufacturers Report Sustainability Progress

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WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released its 2020 Sustainability Report, highlighting the paper and wood products industry’s sustainability efforts, including members’ progress toward achieving the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals. 

“Nearly a decade ago, AF&PA members introduced a set of sustainability goals that continue to demonstrate a commitment to improving the environment and ensuring the safety of our workers. Today, we have many reasons to be proud. We have achieved many of our goals, including reducing workplace injuries, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency in manufacturing facilities,” said AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. 

“On behalf of all AF&PA members, I am proud of the progress we’ve made together. Our industry continues to demonstrate leadership in sustainability across the entire value chain as we produce essential products for everyday life,” said Mark Sutton, CEO of International Paper and chairman of the AF&PA Board of Directors. 

AF&PA member companies have been required to adhere to and report biennially on a set of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) principles (since they were adopted in 1998) and Sustainable Procurement principles. The current report reflects members’ progress in 2018. 

2020 AF&PA Sustainability Report accomplishments (based on 2018 calendar year performance, except where noted) include:  

  • AF&PA member companies achieved a 38.4 percent improvement in the safety incidence rate from the 2006 baseline, surpassing the 25 percent goal. There were 1.617 recordable cases per 200,000 hours worked in 2018, compared to 2.625 in 2006. 
  • AF&PA members adhere to sustainable fiber procurement principles, which assure that wood is sourced from suppliers who are committed to sustainable management and harvesting practices. Members procured 99 percent of the total wood fiber through a Certified Sourcing Program – a 12 percent increase from the 2005 baseline. 
  • AF&PA members’ purchased energy use per ton of product was 13.3 percent lower than the baseline year, surpassing the goal to improve energy efficiency by 10 percent. Member pulp and paper mills self-generated 55 percent of the electricity needed to power their mills in 2018, most of which was renewable using carbon-neutral biomass manufacturing residuals. 
  • Members surpassed their goal, reducing GHG emissions – measured in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2eq) per ton of product – by 23.2 percent from the 2005 baseline.
  • AF&PA members’ pulp and paper mill water use per ton of product decreased by 6.9 percent, largely unchanged from recent years. When adjusted to provide greater weight to reductions occurring at mills in water-stressed areas, pursuant to the World Resources Institute (WRI) aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, members reduced process water use by 13.1 percent. 
  • In 2019, the paper recycling rate was 66.2 percent, falling shy of the 70 percent goal, but still, nearly a 15 percent increase from the 2005 baseline

“This year, our industry also rose to another unexpected challenge. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic reinforced the role our industry plays in producing essential products for safe and healthy living,” Brock said. “I am heartened to see that we continue to rise to every occasion, whether it is a goal we set for ourselves or challenges we face in the global marketplace. Our members are constantly striving to reach new limits of possibility.” 

The full sustainability report is available at sustainability.afandpa.org

Clara Cozort
Coordinator, Communications

Clara_Cozort@afandpa.org
(202) 463-2722 – Office
(717) 386-3076 – Cell

 

AMERICAN FOREST & PAPER ASSOCIATION
1101 K Street, N.W., Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20005

NothingWasted! Podcast Top 9 Episodes

Check out some of our most popular NothingWasted! podcast episodes for 2020 (so far!). These top 9 episodes range from food waste challenges to how the industry has been impacted by COVID-19.

Take a listen and let us know what your thoughts are by tweeting to Waste360 and using the hashtag #NothingWastedPodcast

Need to Know

Hartford, CT’s Trash-to-Energy Facility Needs an Influx of Cash

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Hartford, CT’s trash-to-energy facility is showing its age and without an influx of $330 million to refurbish the plant the state may need to send its garbage to landfills.

The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) doesn’t agree with the plan. “The concept of investing that kind of subsidy in a decades-old facility, decades-old technology, is in our view, really not moving us forward in terms of more sustainable solutions for our state,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. 

Ned Lemont, CT’s governor, is interested in having small businesses come forward with new ideas for sustainable waste management solutions.

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