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Takeaways from WM’s Susan Robinson at Waste360 Sustainability Talks


The inaugural Sustainability Talks went live in Vegas at WasteExpo. Susan Robinson from Waste Management was the perfect person to kick off the thought-provoking day and wrap up with a Capstone overview.

Here is a look at her top takeaways from this eventful day.

What a great overview it was at Sustainability Talks at WasteExpo. It started out broadly and we learned about sustainability and then we took that out globally. And then we brought it back to the U.S. and what we’re doing in our industry.

We looked at ways that people and companies are mitigating climate change. We also saw how they’re finding business opportunities and using good, common sense to work with customers to show them how to reduce their own emissions along the way.

It was a great tour of what is happening in sustainability broadly and then all the way back to our industry and how we can apply it to look into the future. We learned about what we need to focus on in the future, including policies, new design and new technology.

We have to be poised to be looking for what we can do to mitigate climate change. We are the tip of the sphere. We are managing materials and looking for ways to find optimal solutions for that material. We need to do that in a way that reduces our own environmental impact while offering services to our customers to allow them to achieve their climate goals.

So, it really is a critical part of what we are doing. You could hear so many examples here of many technology evolutions and working with customers to really make that happen.

Robinson is optimistic and here is why…

I have been looking at how far we’ve come and we’ve made great strides in evolving and developing solutions for our customers. We are also seeing so much investment in technology that’s really going to be critical to making huge advances in the future.

You combine that with customer interest and the political will as well, and there’s no doubt for us that we have a big upside and opportunity to make a positive impact to help grow our industry.

Her advice on what we can all do…

Read, listen and learn. Learn about sustainability. Think about it broadly and look at those opportunities you can do to really work with customers and also try and look at It from a scientific perspective.

I appreciated the dialogue around how important it is to understand the actual impact of what we’re doing and the various choices we can make that yield a difference. It’s important to be open minded, do research, and make those commitments and really following through in the future.

Thank you to Susan Robinson and the many other speakers who made this an engaging and thoughtful inaugural event. We look forward to hosting an even wider audience for next year’s edition of Waste360 Sustainability Talks.

Let’s keep this important conversation going throughout the year. Please connect with me at [email protected] with any insights you have around this.

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