- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized two companies for their use of renewable energy from landfills as part of the 16th annual Green Power Leadership Awards in San Francisco.
- SC Johnson won an Excellence in Green Power Award for producing 44% of its U.S. electricity from renewable sources, including 16 kWh of electricity from a landfill gas-to-energy system which it owns and operates in Wisconsin.
- General Motors (GM) won a Direct Project Engagement Award for generating more than half of the Orion Assembly Plant's from an on-site landfill gas system in Michigan.
The two companies have been investing in their landfill gas operations for years in addition to making more facilities "landfill-free." Both were also ranked on the EPA's Green Power Partnership National Top 100 list this summer along with a number of other award winners including Apple Inc., Goldman Sachs, Google, the Intel Corporation and Cisco Systems.
This trend of corporate sustainability efforts isn't new, but has become increasingly common as a way to satisfy consumer interest and often save money. Google recently announced plans to make its data centers "zero waste," Apple got into the landfill gas business over the summer and other major brand names have followed suit. Waste-to-energy companies such as Covanta have even seen increased interest in their services as a way to avoid landfilling.
On a national level the push to reduce emissions as part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan has a long way to go but is beginning to show results. According to new data from the EPA, emissions from power plants and the municipal solid waste sector were down in 2015.