A cross the country, thousands of municipalities, businesses, institutions, and households are working to increase their recycling and reduce their waste. They understand how wasting less and recycling more can help conserve resources, protect the climate, support jobs, and create value. Some have already made great progress, and others are just getting started, but nearly everyone wants to be doing more.
As a resource management company, we view our customers as partners, each with their own values, expertise, and a unique set of waste streams waiting to be renewed.
To each customer partnership, we bring decades of practical experience, insights from multiple industries, a willingness to listen and innovate, and a passion for providing resource solutions.
Resource Solutions are the comprehensive services we provide to help our customers achieve their resource management goals, from today's pressing needs to tomorrow's visionary aspirations. The solutions we provide include: Recycling, Collection, Organics, Energy, and Landfills.
For complex industrial, institutional, or multi-location customers, we bring all of these services together with our professional expertise to deliver a holistic, customtailored Resource Solutions approach.
Throughout this report, we often refer to "value creation." With this we are referring to the proven idea that holistic resource management can create real value for businesses, for example by uncovering operational inefficiencies, reducing unnecessary purchasing, minimizing waste disposal, and engaging employees and customers around positive environmental performance.
We have Believed in a vision for resource renewal long before it was first defined in our 2009 Sustainability Report.
Resource renewal is about turning waste into resources. It is what we do when we partner with our customers to find practical ways to harvest value from discarded materials.
With resource renewal, we help to convert society's current linear system of resource extraction-and-disposal into a cyclical system in which eventually there are no wastes; there are only resources.
We humbly acknowledge that we cannot create this transformation overnight, nor can we create it alone. Such a shift requires a thoughtful policy framework and the active collaboration of players throughout the global supply chain, including: manufacturers who insist on responsibly harvested raw materials, designers who craft products for durability and recyclability, and consumers who respectfully handle and care for the products they buy.
Although this cyclical resource economy is still in its infancy today, with this report we are proud to provide a few case studies that show that resource renewal is possible. See page 38 for more.
"There are no benign technologies that take away all of the results of our activities as human beings. One doesn't have the God-given right to consume the world's resources with no consequences for what we're doing. You don't exist to do anything from a socially responsible standpoint unless you're a profitable company. So, we have to be capitalists to survive, but that doesn't mean that's all we have to be."
Against this evolving backdrop, we have gravitated toward a strategic approach that emphasizes:
The approach is customer- rather than technology-centric. Instead of a one-size-fits-all, build-it-and-they-will-come approach, it is adaptive to evolving local needs. The resulting solutions and expertise leave us uniquely positioned to deliver shared environmental and economic value to our customers and communities, which in turn positions our company to thrive in the post-disposal, resource renewal economy.
We believe that the services we provide and the investments we make in managing and renewing resources must be economically sustainable as well as environmentally sustainable. One cannot exist without the other.
We also believe that recycling is part of a larger and more crucial set of challenges facing society and the planet. We are - we believe - entering an era of constraints and limits in nearly all areas of human activity, including energy, climate, and natural resources.
In this belief, we are optimists. These challenges represent significant opportunities for innovation, creativity, economic growth and security, environmental stewardship, and quality of life for future generations. These challenges also demand major shifts in thinking, particularly around how and why we shape public policy, how and why we pay for resource renewal, and how and why we place a value on it - for ourselves, our children, and our society.
The economics around many of our most pressing resource challenges - energy, climate, etc. - remain underdeveloped and in need of transformation. Recycling, for example - and its widening contribution to resource sustainability - is one of those challenges.
If our goal as a society, and as a planet, is to address the challenges of resource limits, and to build a sustainable way of life, are resource renewal services like recycling worth paying for? Is recycling worth investing in for the short- and long-term social, economic, and environmental value it creates? What responsibility does each of us have to contribute to its economic sustainability so we continue to enjoy its environmental sustainability?
Our goal - in fact, our responsibility - is to lead that conversation with our stakeholders, public policymakers, and our customers.