Our People

Renewing our Most Valued Resource
For over forty years, we have prioritized the growth and development of our people. Our approach is grounded in the bedrock of our core values and our safety culture. On this foundation, we are actively working to deepen our focus on talent renewal, which seeks to source, engage, develop, and advance our strong and thriving team.

In this section, we explain our talent renewal philosophy. We then explain and celebrate the diverse and inspiring ways that our teams engage with their local communities through giving, volunteering, education, and good old fashioned fun.

Resource Renewal and Our People

Our Commitment: We strive to cultivate a culture of lifelong learning and growth, in which all Casella employees can access career development pathways to develop their technical and leadership skills and advance their careers within the company.

Throughout this report we have described our commitment to resource renewal, focusing on the physical materials we manage. However, we firmly believe that our most important resource is our people, and our ethic of resource renewal informs the way we treat them. Our approach to renewing and sustaining our people is depicted in the figure here. Everything at Casella revolves around our core values and our safety culture. Through a series of programs focused on sourcing, engagement, development, and opportunity, we continuously invest in the renewal of our people. When we do this well, we create a virtuous cycle of employee retention, enhanced productivity, and improved customer satisfaction. This in turn gives us increased capacity to invest further in our people, and the beneficial cycle continues.

Our Culture

Our culture is at the center of our approach to talent renewal. It flows from our Core Values and our unwavering dedication to safety and wellness.

Casella's Core Values
Casella employees make decisions and solve customer problems every day. We make good decisions for our business, customers, and communities when we adhere to our core values, which provide a shared framework within which to apply our individual skills and strengths to solve problems. Our Casella Core Values are as follows:
Service
We win when we help others.
We are willing servants. We are sensitive to needs and are eager to be a resource to everyone around us, being generous with our time, talent and energy.
Trust
We excel when we assume the best in each other.
Mutual respect and an open, honest environment mark our interactions with others. We acknowledge each other's contributions, we practice active listening, and we deliver on our promises.
Responsibility
We succeed when we balance our freedom to act with a sense of accountability.
We invest deeply in creativity, autonomy and the willingness to take risks. We recognize these investments bear the greatest fruit when exercised within a framework of disciplined boundaries.
Integrity
We thrive when we do the right thing.
We believe there are enduring principles for everything we do and we strive, in our words and deeds, to meet or exceed those standards.
Continuous Improvement
We prosper when we learn, understand, and improve.
We create opportunities for human talent to thrive. We share what we’ve learned. We apply the lessons we learn every day to the goal of getting better and better at everything we do.
Teamwork
We're more effective when we work together.
Our impact is consistently stronger when we respect, support and view each other as partners.
Talent Renewal

People thrive and grow when they can clearly envision their successful future. We build each role within Casella around a defined set of core competencies: the aspirational skills and capabilities necessary for success. This set of competencies becomes the north star of each individual's growth and development path within the company. With a clear understanding of these requisite competencies, Casella employees are empowered to pursue targeted training and coaching to succeed today and advance to their aspired future role tomorrow.

Safety and Wellness

The men and women who work in the solid waste industry operate heavy-duty vehicles, work on busy streets, and navigate difficult terrain in every type of weather. They run and repair equipment specifically designed to convey, compact, perforate, grind, pulp, and shred. This type of work can be dangerous and unforgiving of even the smallest mistakes.

Protection of employee health and safety is the top priority in all of our operations. At the heart of our safety program is our dedicated safety department, working hand-in-hand with our operating teams to get every employee home to his or her family at the end of each day.

Our safety success begins with hiring; a commitment to the safety of yourself and your team is a prerequisite for employment with Casella. It continues with new hire training, ongoing training, and thousands of daily decisions and actions that add up to a safe day.

One of the largest safety risk factors in our business is beyond our direct control. Our drivers share the roads with members of the general public who are increasingly hurried, stressed, and distracted. To remind everyone to take caution near solid waste vehicles and their operators, we support Slow Down to Get Around legislation in all states where we operate. So far, the legislation has passed in 18 states, including New York and Vermont. We are lobbying for other northeastern states to pass these measures.

Safety and health in our business must be a part of every operation. Without question it is every employee's responsibility at all levels.- John W. Casella, 2015
Opportunity

When we apply a resource renewal mindset to the way we manage our people, the final step in closing the loop is to provide opportunities for advancement and promotions within the company. We currently fill approximately 50% of our non-entry level positions with internal candidates. We strive to increase that number to 80%. At this targeted rate of retention, our people will have ample opportunity to grow and advance within the organization, and we will also continue to import a healthy amount of new perspective and diversity of thought through outside hires.

Achieving this 80% goal will require a consistent and disciplined approach to our sourcing, engagement, and development strategies. It will require a company-wide commitment to the belief that talented people are a limited and valuable resource, worthy of our investment, and that when we renew and sustain our people, our people will renew and sustain our business

Sourcing

Our success begins with attracting and hiring the best people to run our business and serve our customers. We source exceptional talent through select programs such as military organizations and vocational schools. We are building on that success with our military apprenticeship programs.

Once we've attracted a talented pool of applicants, our Selecting the One approach to interviewing and hiring focuses on finding people whose abilities and experience, temperament, and character are well matched to our company culture.

Engagement

On day one with Casella, newly hired employees begin a detailed on-boarding experience focused on achieving full engagement around our supportive culture, strong relationships, and core values. We recognize that this intensive process goes beyond what most organizations offer, but we see it as an essential investment because we know that our engaged employees are the heart and soul of Casella.

Engaged employees are proud stewards of our organization. They bring their best self to work every day. They go above and beyond for their customers. Their enthusiastic energy naturally spreads to their friends and family, future employees, members of the community, and beyond.

The simple truth is that the work we do is important and meaningful. We serve our customers and communities by conserving and sustaining the world's limited resources. We are stewards of our region's stunningly beautiful natural environment.

We are thoughtful leaders in our local communities. Each employee contributes tangibly to this important work, and our approach to engagement is helping them see that beginning on day one.

Development

We believe that every Casella employee should have a clear and compelling pathway for learning, development, and growth.

Great Drivers & Great Technicians:
Our company’s success flows from the enduring commitment of our drivers and mechanics, and their daily dedication to service and safety. In today’s economy, commercial drivers and fleet technicians are in high demand, and we need to attract and retain the best of the best: the talented men and women who will deliver the highest standards of safety, service, and leadership every day. With our innovative new approach to talent management, we provide our drivers and mechanics with continuing opportunities to learn and grow, and a compensation program that increases along with their contributions and capabilities.

Customer Care:
Our customer care representatives participate in a comprehensive training program focused on customer service excellence and continuous improvement. Our structured career path helps us to attract and retain the best people. Every employee starts out as a CCR (customer care representative) and works their way through CCR1 and CCR2 as they fine-tune their skills, gain experience, and build confidence. Top performers can aspire to become a Senior Care representative, and eventually a trainer or a Team Manager. Representatives also learn and are incentivized to sell our services. All promotions stem from performance and character, as opposed to tenure.

Sales:
As new technologies emerge, infrastructure shifts, and goals advance, our customers need more from us than ever before. To meet these new expectations, our specialized operating divisions must collaborate seamlessly, and our customer account representatives need to become fluent in a growing list of services and solutions. Our inter-regional sales round tables and workshops provide growth opportunities for our sales teams to learn new skills and collaborate with their peers to offer an integrated suite of exciting and effective resource solutions for their customers.

Impact Leadership:
The development of our people is one of our most important strategic initiatives. Leadership at Casella is not limited by title or role. It is a daily practice and expectation of every Casella employee. We all lead through the power of example and our ability to solve problems. We regularly invite our employees to build their leadership skills through retreats and round tables. With a nuanced and holistic understanding of leadership, regular reflection, and a commitment to personal growth, we work together to become better leaders for our company, our customers, our families, and our communities.

Other Development Programs:
Other growth and development programs available to Casella employees are our tuition reimbursement program, support in applying for industry scholarships, our emerging leaders executive training program, our operations manager training program, and more.

Community Engagement
Our Commitment: We engage with and invest in our local communities so that customers are proud to hire us, employees are proud to work for us, and communities are proud to host us.

As a locally-focused company, we are proud of all the great things we can do to support and engage with our communities. Our local teams sponsor events, donate services, and volunteer their time and talents. In so many ways, we are woven into the civic fabric of our communities.

We also work to provide our communities with valuable educational resources – including facility tours, classroom talks, community mailers, and more – to help our neighbors learn how and why to recycle, where their waste goes, and much more.

In 2017, we made charitable contributions totaling $70,384, donated thousands of hours of service, and hosted hundreds of community events and tours. In addition to reflecting our core values, we see these activities as a smart business investment, helping us to cultivate customers who are proud to hire us, employees who are proud to work for us, and communities who are proud to host us.

Recycling Education - #RecycleBetter
One of the biggest ways that we engage with our customers is through recycling education. When everybody knows how to recycle better, we make sure that recycling remains environmentally and economically sustainable. We currently offer a variety of educational resources to our customers, including an annual mailer for households, customized signage for businesses, train-the-trainer services, and recycling facility tours. Still, we have lots of ideas to enhance our recycling education programs, and we’ll be rolling those out over the coming months.
Facility Tours - #ThisIsAway
Have you ever wondered where your waste and recyclables go after you throw them "away?" To answer this question, we host facility tours and open houses. We are proud of our operations and eager to show them off. Over the years, some of our annual events have evolved from simple tours into full-fledged community get-togethers drawing as many as a thousand people. At the end of our tours, our visitors understand exactly where "away" is. As we noted in our page 23 case study, we hope this awareness will help to inform ongoing thoughtful discussions about the future of solid waste management in all of our communities.
Local Giving & Volunteering - #CasellaCares
Our White River Junction, VT location employees participating in the annual CHaD HERO competitive run to support the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
Annually, we participate in the Cradles to Crayons Backpack-a-Thon event in Boston, MA where volunteers fill over 40,000 backpacks with supplies for children in need before the school year begins.
Throughout our footprint, we participate in touch-a-truck events that provide an opportunity for children to learn more about our fleet as well as engage with our awesome drivers!
We partcipate in many community events that support cancer research, like the annual Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk/Run as well as events that support the Special Olmpics, like the annual Penquin Plunge.
Learn more about our Sustainability Initiatives
Capturing value from waste through innovative resource solutions.
Our comprehensive Resource Solutions enable us to apply our knowledge and experience in recycling, collection, organics, energy and landfills to create economic and environmental value for our customers and our communities. Click here to download the PDF version of our 2018 Sustainability Report
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