Health and Safety
Our daily focus is to serve our customers and communities in a way that protects the health and safety of our people. Our safety and operations teams strive to ensure that every employee gets home safely to his or her family at the end of each day. Our commitment to safety is deeply integrated in our values and actions, and is reflected in our hiring choices, our training programs, and the thousands of daily decisions and actions that add up to a safe day.
We have seen improvement in our safety performance, with our total recordable incident rate (TRIR) dropping from 6.2 in 2019 to 5.4 in 2021.
One contributing factor to our recent progress is our redesigned driver training program, which clarifies universal training elements, integrates weekly road tests, leverages the knowledge of experienced trainers, and modernizes documentation requirements. We are working to enhance our current training programs that provide drivers with the safety skills required to thrive at Casella.
We are also leveraging technology to bring additional transparency to the review of accidents and injuries at the division level and to enable monthly recognition of top performers. Division management teams have access to Casella safety training materials, logs, and record keeping documents, which are electronically accessible to all on the Company’s internal safety site.
To continue our success over the coming years, we plan to support our divisions in implementing, enhancing, and sustaining their Safety Committee and Continuous Improvement meetings. These meetings provide an invaluable channel for field members to voice their safety concerns and see them promptly addressed. We also intend to focus on increasing on-route and post-trip safety observations to confirm that team members have the skills and materials required to work safely.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Casella is committed to workplace diversity and to fostering a culture of inclusion. These commitments are rooted in our Core Values of service, trust, responsibility, integrity, continuous improvement, and teamwork. By bringing our diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives together, we believe we can develop better and more innovative environmental solutions for the customers and communities we serve.
We have made progress on each of the four areas of focus for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) we described in our 2020 Sustainability Report:
We have worked to include DE&I in our career path programs. This has included innovatively addressing language barriers by supporting Spanish-speaking recycling facility employees seeking to earn their hoisting license and providing Spanish-language leadership certificate programs. Other initiatives have included an emphasis on recruiting female drivers and a review of our approach to promotions and advancement.
We have integrated DE&I into our leadership development training program, and all division managers will complete the training over the coming year. We have also added this training to our onboarding process for new management-level employees.
In 2021 we examined our level of spending with diverse suppliers. We have drafted a supplier diversity policy and are assessing our level of spend with diverse suppliers. In 2023, we intend to pilot a supplier diversity dashboard and training program for procurement team members.
Our internal DE&I team meets quarterly and is focused on continuing to advance the initiatives above. In 2023, the team intends to explore strategies to enable broader engagement and feedback from the full workforce of the company.
Casella's Core Values provide a shared framework within which to apply our individual skills and strengths to solve problems.
We win when we help others.
We are sensitive to needs and are eager to be a resource to everyone around us, being generous with our time, talent and energy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’re more effective when we work together.
Our impact is consistently stronger when we respect, support and view each other as partners.
Overcoming Language Barriers
In the past two years, we have launched three new programs designed to break down language barriers and support career advancement for Spanish speaking employees. Twenty English speaking managers participated in Spanish language training classes this year. Likewise, twenty-three Spanish speaking supervisors and team leaders completed leadership training to advance their management skills.
In Charlestown, MA, four employees participated in our inaugural ESOL classes designed to advance inclusion and help operators complete their hoisting licensure test. This test is required to operate heavy machinery in Massachusetts, and the state offers it only in English, so helping non-English speakers approach the test removes an important barrier to their career advancement.
The goal of the program is to help our employees learn the English language and assist them in growing both professionally and personally. At Casella, we want all our employees to have the same opportunities to advance and grow.
- Jonathan Reynolds
Operations Manager, Charlestown MRF
The Casella team now includes over 3,000 people made up of drivers, technicians, sorters, engineers, accountants, sales teams, customer care specialists, and more. What unites us are our Core Values and our passion for resource management and renewal.
Building our people is a critical element of strengthening our foundational pillars. Our ability to evolve, innovate, and grow is directly tied to the capabilities of our people. By developing a safe, engaged, and ready workforce, we support the growth and resilience of our organization.
In 2021, our human resources department worked to enhance job designs and career paths for our employees. This ongoing effort improves our ability to market open positions, and to provide employees with clear paths to advancing their careers.
We continue to develop and extend our training programs, which today include: our CDL school; front-line leadership training; entry-level management training programs for operations, maintenance, and controllers; and language classes (English and Spanish.) We continue to bring structure and consistency to our annual performance evaluations and development plans.
We believe that these initiatives and others make us well-positioned to achieve our 2030 engagement target. Nevertheless, our rate of turnover did increase in 2021, due in part to broader market factors, including the global COVID-19 pandemic. We have begun to implement Gallup pulse surveys that will help us better gauge and manage employee engagement and satisfaction levels over time.
CDL Training School
A shining example of Casella’s commitment to building people is the Company’s CDL Training Program, through which people can earn their commercial driver’s license and begin a rewarding career path as a Casella driver.
The program was established in collaboration with Stafford Technical Center in Rutland, VT. It provides an accelerated CDL training program that is fully funded by the company, providing employees with a debt-free way to advance their careers.
In addition to their license, graduates of the CDL school come away with a deep understanding of Casella’s Core Values and our commitment to safety. As of 9/30/2022, 94 employees have secured their CDL license through the program.