2 waste industry giants are leading in efforts to reverse climate change
- Both Waste Management and Republic Services have been recognized by the nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) on its 2016 Climate A List for climate change mitigation efforts.
- The report analyzed data from 1,089 companies, and 193 companies made the top list. Other notable companies include Apple, Nissan, Sony and General Motors along with many other brand names.
- According to CDP, the overall list of companies that reported data represent 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Of those companies, 85% have set emissions reductions goals, though the majority of those goals are for 2030 and beyond which CDP notes is a sign that more long-term planning could be done.
Republic was included on the A List last year and this is the first time for Waste Management. Having the industry's top two companies make the list helps make the case for the role of sustainable materials management in reducing emissions. Recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that the waste industry's reported greenhouse gas emissions have been decreasing, and are much lower than power utilities, though still leave room for improvement.
Waste Management recently reported positive Q3 earnings, aided by an increase in commodity prices and more strategic decisions about weighing the environmental benefits of its recycling operations against costs. While the business decisions aren't always favorable to the environment, Waste Management has proven that a balance can be struck by waste companies to both stay profitable and mitigate climate change. Republic recently touted sustainability progress through its Blue Planet initiative and has been particularly focused on expanding the use of compressed natural gas within its fleet.
Republic and Covanta were also recently listed among the "Clean 200" companies that are profiting from alternative energy. In a simulated analysis of the past decade the Clean 200 outperformed the S&P 1200. Though this was mainly driven by rapid growth of Chinese companies it indicates the financial potential of switching over to new ways of doing business.
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