CSR and Competitiveness (1 of 4): Environment and Energy

March 2, 2010

BCLC’s February e-newsletter included a piece by Ben Erulkar, BCLC’s senior advisor for Corporate Community Investment, that weaves together commentary from four business and community leaders working at the intersection of CSR and competitiveness.

According to Erulkar: “Today, unprecedented challenges and opportunities reshape how businesses compete and communities grow. Companies of all types continue to pioneer innovative, sustainable solutions to these real-world challenges. Corporate citizenship programs can be highly effective when they’re fully leveraged within a company’s value proposition, making these programs well positioned to handle the leading competitive challenges of today: education, energy, health care and job creation.”

Nancy Nalence of Waste Management gave us her thoughts on environmental challenges and opportunities.

[Editor's note: Leading companies and partner organizations will address this topic -- and other competitiveness topics such as the education, health and wellness, and jobs-- at BCLC's conference, Provide and Prosper: Corporate Citizenship and Competitiveness in the 21st Century.]

Waste-services providers have a unique opportunity to contribute in critical ways to environmental and competitive business challenges. As North America’s largest waste-services provider, Waste Management has been not only expanding our services to meet changing community and customer needs, but partnering with experts in business, education, and industry to develop technologies and programs for sustainable energy and environmental solutions.

These efforts include working with equipment manufacturers to develop vehicles that will improve our fuel efficiency and significantly reduce our fleet emissions; doubling our waste- and landfill-gas-to-energy production; and increasing the amount of recycling we handle – much of it though single-stream technology – to more than 20 million tons. We are also partnering with solutions providers on projects aimed at producing diesel and alternative fuels, as well as electricity, from landfill gas.

Knowing all businesses face similar challenges, the company formed its consultation group, Green Squad, to help customers implement and enhance their own sustainability initiatives by reducing resource consumption, managing materials and developing overarching sustainability strategies.

 

WM works extensively with the communities where we operate, within our industry, and with others who share our commitment to a sustainable environment.   This is reflected in one of our sustainability goals where WM has committed to provide 25,000 acres of protected wildlife habitat and certifying 100 facilities by the Wildlife Habitat Council by 2010.   Currently we are protecting 24,000 acres and have certified 73 sites for their wildlife management programs. 

Getting the message out is critical, and that’s why we have engaged in social networking through a very active Facebook page, along with printing our goals for sustainability on the sides of all our trucks, keeping our employees informed so they can act as ambassadors for our messages, and reaching out to the public through speeches, presentations and branded activities.

See related posts in the CSR and competitiveness series:  Education, Health/Wellenss, and Jobs Creation.