Paul Stauder is president of Covanta Environmental Solutions, leading the management and growth of this subsidiary that provides companies with comprehensive environmental services.
Successfully integrating the three pillars of sustainability into any organization requires coordinated efforts from the top down. Whether they come from company c-suiters, legislators, community officials or institutional heads and educators, having committed leadership with a clear, strategic direction can make all the difference. Why?
From the procurement of materials all the way to their final disposition, a sizable portion of sustainability is intertwined with materials management. As a result, sustainability (or lack thereof) pervades the entire value chain, from the methane emissions caused by oil and gas extraction, to the availability of raw materials that make up the plastics and metals so critical to the technological needs of our future low-carbon economy, to the climate and land impacts of landfilling.
Considering the relationships with social infrastructure, the environment, resources and finances that materials management has, utilizing the waste hierarchy to address risks, support timely decision-making and guide operations is a valuable tool in driving sustainability.
Putting sustainable thinking into sustainable action can be a complex and daunting challenge, but it’s a task many businesses have already excelled in, and one your organization can take on too. Through sustainable waste management and some accompanying elements that help support social equity, environmental health and economic vitality, business leaders can, and have shown they can, make lasting, positive environmental impacts.
The time is now—we must coordinate our sustainability efforts through leadership and strategic thinking, utilize science via the waste hierarchy in our everyday operations, capitalize on the benefits of those efforts and ensure the entire process is handled responsibly and conscientiously.
We know this is far too big a task for any one company to face alone, but together we can better ourselves, better each other, and better those we serve for the sake of the people we care about, the planet we share and the future that is not yet lost. It’s why we must step up and lead this movement as Protectors of Tomorrow.
For more on how business leaders are optimizing their operations while safeguarding the environment through sustainable waste management, read our article: Turning Sustainability Risk into Opportunity.