Waste Management to expand environmental activities
Waste Management is undertaking a series of initiatives intended to increase the value of the company's services to its customers while benefiting the environment. Investments will focus on waste-based energy, recycling, fuel efficiency, new waste technologies and protected habitats.
The actions were outlined by Waste Management CEO David Steiner at an October 12 luncheon during the World Business Forum in New York. Specifically, the company plans to:
*Increase the volume of recyclable materials processed from the present eight million tons, capturing enough of the increasing volumes to process more than 20 million tons by 2020.
*Increase waste-based energy production. Waste Management currently creates enough energy for the equivalent of one million homes each year. By 2020 it expects to double this output.
*Direct up to $500 million per year in capital spending over a ten-year period to increase the fuel efficiency of its fleet by 15% and reduce fleet emissions by 15% by 2020. The company also expects to invest in technologies to enhance its waste business.
*Preserve and restore wildlife habitat across North America. By 2020, Waste Management plans to more than quadruple the number of its facilities (from 24 to 100) certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council, and increase the total area set aside for conservation and wildlife habitat to approximately 25,000 acres.
The company will report regularly to the public on its progress in each of these activities.
"Taking innovative steps to protect and enhance the environment has been a historically successful business approach for Waste Management," said Steiner. "By increasing our focus on the environment, we expect to better meet the needs of our customers, the communities we serve and our shareholders.
"We believe that as we improve our environmental stewardship, our profitability will improve as well," he added.
In addition to being North America's largest recycler, Waste Management supplies enough waste-based energy to replace over 14 million barrels of oil per year. In 2006, the company recycled enough paper to save 41 million trees. Its landfills provide more than 17,000 acres of protected wildlife habitat.
Steiner's speech outlining the company's environmental initiative may be viewed on the Waste Management Web site, www.wm.com.