Republic Services released its 2022 sustainability report on Tuesday with a new climate transition road map to delineate progress made and the steps needed to achieve 2030 goals on emissions reductions, safety and other metrics.
In the report, Republic noted that landfill diversion efforts and collection of landfill gas make the greatest impact on the company’s overall emissions levels. Other efforts, including fleet electrification, continue — the company plans to have 20 electric trucks on the road by the end of the year, and remains on track for half of its new truck purchases to be electric vehicles by 2028.
Goal: Reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 35% by 2030 against a 2017 baseline
Update: Reduced emissions 9.3% against the baseline, compared with a 9% decrease against the baseline in 2021
Republic reported a slight improvement in its operational emissions for 2022 — 13.99 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2022, compared with 14.07 million metric tons of CO2e in 2021. The company’s goal was the first for an environmental services provider to be verified by the Science Based Target initiative, and includes an interim target of 10% reduction by 2025. The company reports it’s on track to meet that goal.
In its climate transition road map, Republic indicated landfill improvements like emissions monitoring, cover timing optimization and cloud-based data tools would constitute a major portion of the company’s efforts through 2025. Additional optimization would continue to play a role in later years. The company also reported a slight decline in its beneficial gas reuse in 2022, though it expects that number to tick back up following improvements.
Goal: Increase recovery and circularity of key materials 40% on a combined basis by 2030, or 3.4 million tons
Update: 2.4 million tons of materials recovered, down from 2.6 million tons in 2021
Republic reported that upgrades to some of its facilities were responsible for the dip in 2022, but expects those upgrades to assist in achieving the company’s long-term goal. Republic counts cardboard, metal, organics, paper and plastic in this goal. The company’s overall diversion rate was 13.1% in 2022, compared with 12.3% in 2021.
Republic is also on track to open its first vertically-integrated Polymer Center this year with a major offtake agreement from Coca-Cola, with another scheduled to open in the Midwest next year.
Goal: Reduce OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate to 2.0 or less by 2030, with zero employee fatalities
Update: TRIR was down to 2.9 in 2022, a 19% improvement over 2021
The OSHA recordable incidents measure tracks worker-related fatalities, injuries or illnesses. In 2022, Republic logged one OSHA reportable employee death, with an additional death under investigation by OSHA but not recordable at the time of the report’s publication.
Goal: ‘Positively impact’ 20 million people through charitable giving by 2030
Update: Increased goal to positively impact 45 million people by 2030; 9.4 million people impacted in 2022 compared with 5.9 in 2021
Republic’s charitable giving is tracked in part through grants to nonprofits supporting neighborhood revitalization. The company reported disbursing 808 Community Grants in 2022 and 10 National Neighborhood Promise grants, the latter of which largely went to local chapters of national organizations like Rebuilding Together, Habitat for Humanity International and NeighborWorks America. Donations in the latter grant program totaled $2.5 million, according to a May release.