Casella Waste Systems, Inc. published its 2020 Sustainability Report today, outlining the company’s progress toward its sustainability vision, and sharing a roadmap for the next ten years. A pioneer in sustainable waste and recycling innovation, Casella established the first recycling facility in Vermont in 1977, was a charter member of the EPA Climate Leaders program, and this report is the company’s fifth biennial report on its sustainability activities.
“We have spent most of our 45-year history building a business around sustainability through the work we do, the infrastructure we build, and the expertise we bring to challenges like recycling and resource management,” said John Casella, Chairman and CEO. “We have set our sights on creating a sustainable business culture – from our people to our operations – and creating more sustainable value, especially for our customers but for all our stakeholders as well.”
With this report, the company announces ten sustainability goals for the year 2030. The goals were selected through a materiality assessment process aimed at identifying the company’s most significant impacts on and opportunities to improve society, natural resources, and the environment.
While some goals focus on lessening negative impacts (e.g., reducing Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions), many of the goals focus on amplifying beneficial impacts (e.g., increasing tons recycled to 2 million tons per year, and doubling the company’s renewable energy production).
One goal aims to grow the company’s Net Climate Benefit Factor, a measure of the climate benefit of its recycling, energy, and sequestration activities divided by its scope 1 and 2 emissions. The company, using USEPA factors, calculates that it currently reduces or prevents 2.9 tons of emissions for every ton it emits and aims to grow this factor to 5x by 2030.
“This Report represents real progress, not only in the sophistication of our sustainability reporting but in telling the story of how ingrained and important these efforts are to our present and future success as a company,” Casella said. “Our industry is evolving and our company is proud to be one of the leaders of this evolution.”
As the only waste and recycling company among the founding members of the EPA Climate Leaders program, Casella reduced its carbon footprint by 45% from 2005 to 2010. The company’s climate achievements were recognized in 2012 by the EPA, the Association of Climate Change Officers, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and the Climate Registry with a Climate Leadership Award for Excellence in GHG management. Casella’s first sustainability report was issued in 2009.
In response to growing stakeholder interest in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) disclosures, the company also this year issued a Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) report, filed a CDP Climate report, and launched an ESG hub on its website.