Waste Management executives and employees kicked off Earth Day on Wall Street by sounding the New York Stock Exchange’s opening bell to mark the 39th international observance of environmental awareness.
Earth Day, celebrated every year on April 22, is intended to create awareness and appreciation for the environment. It is also a chance for individuals to reflect on their own environmental impact and look for ways to improve.
“Having the New York Stock Exchange recognize Earth Day so prominently is another promising sign that environmentally sound business and technology is here to stay,” said David Steiner, chief executive officer for Waste Management. “It was a genuine honor for Waste Management to be asked to open trading on Earth Day.”
Waste Management’s 105 North American recycling facilities recover nearly eight million tons of recyclable material from the waste stream per year. The company’s landfill gas recovery operations generate over 475 megawatts of energy annually, which is enough to power more than 400,000 homes and saves the equivalent of nearly seven million barrels of oil. Its 16 waste-to-energy plants generate 609 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 700,000 homes. Together, Waste Management provides enough energy to the equivalent of over one million homes.
Waste Management is undertaking an ambitious sustainability program to build the foundation for its growth in the years ahead. By 2020, the company plans to double renewable energy production to power the equivalent of two million homes, nearly triple the amount of materials it recycles to 20 million tons, increase the amount of land set aside for conservation and wildlife habitat to 25,000 acres, and improve fleet efficiency by 15% to reduce emissions.