Sustainability Goals: A Focus on Operations

Our newly released 2019 Sustainability Report showcases some of the many great things we are doing to take care of our planet for future generations and help communities thrive. It will take dedication and teamwork to accomplish our ambitious sustainability goals which will carry us through 2030. Thank you for all of your hard work in helping us get there!

To learn more about our 2030 sustainability goals, you’ve come to the right place! Visit Blue Nation Online every week as we take a deep dive into each of our goals and specific initiatives contributing to our success. Over the next several weeks, we’ll take a closer look at the following five areas of our sustainability plan:

Week 3: Sustainable Operations

Our sustainable practices extend throughout our operations – from our landfills and vehicles to equipment and buildings. Whenever possible, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint through the use of alternative and renewable fuels, extracting resources from the waste stream and designing programs that help support the circular economy. In fact, in 2019, we were the first in the industry to have an approved science-based, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target to ensure we’re doing our part to combat global warming.

Our sustainability goal relating to landfills, vehicles and buildings is to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2030.

The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard classifies a company’s GHG emissions into “scopes.” Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.

Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic
Properly maintaining our equipment and facilities is part of our daily routine. During the pandemic, we upped the ante by placing facilities and equipment on an enhanced cleaning schedule and conducting deep cleaning and disinfection of any operating location, including trucks and heavy equipment, that may have been exposed to the virus. We also made extensive changes at all facilities to help ensure proper social distancing for employees, including adjusting our procedures to limit the number of employees interacting with each other when they checked in and out for their shifts. Additionally, we installed plastic protective barriers in our recycling centers to help keep workers safe in areas where they are stationed less than six feet apart.

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Reducing Fleet Emissions
With one of the largest vocational fleets in the country, using innovative technology to reduce emissions is vital. In 2019, we added 158 new compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks, bringing the number of vehicles running on alternative fuels to more than 3,200. Our new CNG-powered trucks replace older, diesel-powered vehicles, can run on renewable natural gas and help decrease emissions and reduce unwanted noise. With an expanding fleet of vehicles that produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions, we're making a difference throughout the communities we serve

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Energy Efficient Buildings and Facilities
Our commitment to sustainable practices extends to approximately 1,000 facilities nationwide that we own and operate. When we construct new buildings and retrofit existing facilities, we work to adhere to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. We strive to use innovative technologies that require less energy, conserve water and utilize sustainable materials and design principles in an effort to make our workspaces more environmentally responsible with increased productivity and efficiency.

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