The solutions we offer are no exception—here's why.

Climate change and the global push for sustainability are changing traditional definitions of business risk, and that’s putting a bigger spotlight on how organizations across the world manage their waste. Finding the right partner to support this shift can make the difference between a company's success or failure moving forward.

Waste's Impact is Significant

As waste breaks down in landfills, it emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is 28 to 36 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

Trapped heat has been directly associated with changes in the environment. Landfilling also poses risks for the future because practices that are considered safe today might result in unanticipated damage as the waste decomposes. Additionally, if hazardous wastes aren’t disposed of properly, they can hurt people, animals, natural water systems, air quality and other vital components of the earth’ s ecosystem.
 
The good news is that with the proper partner , operations that produce solid or liquid wastes can tap into services, expertise, processing facilities and transportation solutions for eclectic, compliant and sustainable waste management.
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Partnering with Covanta Environmental Solutions —

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Why Sustainable Waste Disposal Is More Important Than Ever

How organizations manage waste can affect the environment, as well as their own financial health. This has been true for a while. What’s different today is the growing urgency around climate protection that is upping pressure for environmental accountability in all business decisions.
 
Many people—scientists, consumers, regulators, investors, and business and government leaders—believe climate change is a result of human-caused environmental harm, and its price tag is becoming too high to ignore.

Striking Numbers Support This Observation

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Between 1978 and 1997, the estimated global cost of climate-related natural disasters such as storms, droughts, floods and heatwaves was $895 billion (in 2017 dollars).

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From 1998 to 2017, the number grew to $2.25 trillion, a 151% increase, according to PreventionWeb.

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Additionally, the 215 biggest global companies report that almost $1 trillion of their value will be at risk from climate impacts within the next five years.

Climate-related risks include not only tangible losses from damaged assets and business disruption, but also intangible ones, such as erosion of customer sentiment and brand loyalty. Increasingly, consumers are expressing their preference for buying from environmentally conscious companies. In one study, 42% of U.S. and UK consumers say that products that use sustainable materials are important in their day-to-day purchasing.
50% of consumer packaged goods growth from 2013 to 2018 came from sustainability marketed products.

Source: NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business

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Investors are also using sustainability performance to choose where to put their dollars. Half of all U.S. individual investors now practice sustainable investing, while 80% of institutional asset owners use an ESG (Environmental, Safety, Governance) lens in their investment process, according to surveys by Morgan Stanley.

 

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Over time, companies and countries that do not respond to stakeholders and address sustainability risks will encounter growing skepticism from the markets, and in turn, a higher cost of capital.


Larry Fink, Blackrock Chairman and CEO, In his 2020 Annual Letter to CEOs

With this much at stake, it makes sense to adopt a partnership model for waste management. Not only can this help businesses align their waste management practices with sustainability goals that protect the environment, but it can also assist them in solving difficult-to-fix waste disposal challenges before they affect financial performance.

Common Waste Disposal Challenges

Sustainably managing waste is not a common core business competency. Some challenges companies face as a result include:

Finding safe, secure and reliable waste disposal/handling solutions
In the U.S., many companies have had to send recyclable materials to a landfill because there is nowhere else to put them. For example, the United States exported 30% less plastic scrap for recycling in the first half of 2018 compared to a year prior, according to FT data, with much of the material ending up in landfill instead.
Meeting sustainability goals

Corporate sustainability programs are more common than ever. In 2019, 90% of companies on the S&P 500 index published sustainability, corporate responsibility or governance reports, tracking relative success against performance benchmarks. That’s up from only 20% in 2011 and 86% in 2018, according to the G&A Institute. Yet, many companies don’t have the inhouse expertise or resources to meet the waste-related goals within their sustainability plans.

Staying compliant

With more than 180 ESG-related corporate disclosure regulations in place globally and with the European Union’s Nonfinancial Reporting Directive at the forefront, tracking and maintaining compliance has never been more difficult. Many companies need help staying compliant as their regulatory burden becomes more difficult to support on their own.

Protecting the brand

Defective product incidents have cost more than $2 billion in insured losses over the past five years, according to global risk management company Allianz, with the average cost of a significant incident topping more than $12 million. Assuring destruction of defective products is a necessity to prevent these losses from continuing to accrue and requires specialized resources, such as dedicated waste destruction facilities, that can provide final disposal certification.

Controlling waste-handling costs

As more waste is sent overseas for processing, the costs to manage that waste is rising sharply. For instance, Philadelphia’s price-per-ton for recyclables rose from $4 to $40 a ton in 2017. When they sought to renew their recycling contract with the same provider the next year, the new price was a whopping $170 a ton. As a result, they took on a contract with a new provider at $80 a ton—20 times their price per ton from the previous year, according to Cass Information Systems.

Why It's Important to Have the Right Waste Solutions Partner

An effective partner drives sustainability goals without sacrificing important elements and needs of the client business, and will be able to deliver these outcomes:

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Saves money by increasing reuse/recycling, which can cut collecting, hauling and disposal costs and improve your bottom line.

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Provides insight through an understanding of the amount and types of waste an organization produces that leads to a more authoritative position for finding and negotiating contracts for necessary services.

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Streamlines reporting and information sharing about waste management activities by providing a single source for tracking and by using an industry standard set of metrics. This makes it easier to share and report information with stakeholders, mitigate your waste’s risks, and ensure its compliance with policies and standards.

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Conserves resources through recycling including trees, metals, water, energy and the finances associated with acquiring them from virgin sources.

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Protects your brand by eliminating financial, environmental and reputational liabilities that are inherent in waste due to its secure, hazardous or controversial nature.

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Enhances sustainability and reduces environmental impacts by managing waste and energy more efficiently. Sustainable waste services offer significant potential for reducing land usage, habitat disruption, greenhouse gas generation, and soil and waterway contamination due to dated operations and disposal methods.

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How Waste Impacts Financial Performance

There’s urgency around solving waste management challenges because they can impact top- and bottom-line performance. While both figures help to gauge business performance, each term is significant for different reasons. For example, the top line indicates business growth—it’s a measure of a company’s ability to market and sell its products against its competitors. The bottom line in business demonstrates how efficiently a company can make a product or provide a service that creates enough gross profit to cover overhead expenses, while yielding a reasonable net profit.
 
A “no” answer to either of the two questions to the right can impact sales growth because more consumers are favoring brands that are working to be sustainability champions. A 2019 survey led by Hotwire and reported by Business Insider found that 47% of internet users worldwide had ditched products and services from a brand that violated their personal values. Protecting the environment topped that list of values.
 
As for the bottom line, the consideration is this: By meeting the qualifiers that support the top line, is this business able to stay compliant, manage its costs and drive its profitability (EBITDA) and, ultimately, its revenue (the bottom line) after everything is accounted for?
 
Research shows that having an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) program is associated with better performance. Analysis by Boston Consulting Group found that top performers in ESG information benefit from stock market valuations as much as 19% higher than average ESG performers, while margins can be as much as 12% higher.

Top line considerations related to waste are:

- Is this business using safe, secure and reliable disposal solutions? -
- Is this business protecting its brand’s reputation and meeting sustainability goals? -

How Covanta Environmental Solutions Help Support Growth and Protect Profits

Clearly, research and trends show that environmental protection is good for business. But making the case for more sustainable waste management is easier than executing on it. Partnering with a proven provider is the best route for businesses that don’t have waste management expertise, assets, industry relationships and regulatory knowledge.
 
Covanta Environmental Solutions has all of these as well as a four-pillar model that’s focused on risk management, sustainability, superior compliance and (client) brand preservation.
 
Our services help businesses protect both their bottom and top lines by preventing non-compliance and other costly risks, and by demonstrating environmental stewardship on behalf of brands, respectively.
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Recycling Services


water-recycling pipesLiquid Waste Management and Wastewater Treatment

Liquid waste is one of the more challenging material types to dispose of in ways that accommodate the environment, regulations and budgets. Our network of treatment facilities and decades of experience provide organizations with a safe and superior means to eliminate, recycle or reuse their liquid waste streams while reducing the risk of backups and service interruptions that could dramatically affect operations.
 
Services for Non-Hazardous Wastewater Include:
  • Liquid Treatment process with physical and chemical treatment techniques removes contaminants such as oils, dissolved metals and solids. Remaining water is then sent to municipal treatment plants for additional biological water treatment, resulting in clean water that is returned to the water cycle or used in industrial operations. Clean oil products are collected and reused or sold. 

  • Liquid Direct Injection technology destroys contaminants and materials in a wide range of waste streams. Liquid waste is injected directly into our advanced controlled combustion systems where the water is instantly vaporized, and the remaining contaminants and materials are destroyed. For organic waste streams, we partner with organizations that have anaerobic digester facilities that can turn wastewater into a renewable energy source.

Explore Our Liquid Waste Management Solutions >>

 

stacked batteriesUniversal Waste and Electronic Waste

This type of waste is produced by households and businesses and is considered hazardous, such as batteries, light bulbs, aerosol cans, thermometers and electronics. This waste needs to be kept out of trash bins and properly disposed of to avoid potential liability.
 
We help protect our clients with solutions that:
  • Mitigate legal and brand-related risks associated with landfilling hazardous waste
  • Reduce business impact on the environment, human health and wildlife
  • Conserve valuable resources and generate clean, renewable energy
  • Optimize materials management and save money

Explore Our Universal Waste Solutions >>

Explore Our Electronic Waste Solutions >>

 

Plastic and Packaged Goods
 
Waste from packaged goods is inherently voluminous, with most of it being damaged, off-spec, expired or returned products. With waste hauling and disposal costs rising, companies need ways to manage their product destruction in an economical and responsible manner.
 
Among our innovative solutions for plastic and packaged goods recycling is our revolutionary technology that uses new ways to recycle all pack aged products. This process efficiently and securely de-packages “not to be sold” goods, including food waste. While the packaging of most food products can be re covered and recycled, few systems outside of ours can properly separate, clean and process their components, allowing the resulting materials to be used f or production or sold to recyclers.
 

 

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Destruction Services

Pharmaceutical and Medical Waste

When not properly destroyed, medical and pharmaceutical waste can fall into the wrong hands and be misused, or it can cause contamination of soil and water. Non-compliance can also be costly, especially for pharmaceutical waste, and can result in fines up to $10 million.

Clients trust us with this waste because we are a nationwide, DEA-registered reverse distributor with more than 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical waste management and destruction. Each year, we destroy 20 million pounds of controlled substances through our network of DEA Reverse Distributors and our 40-plus Waste-to-Energy facilities.

Explore Our Pharmaceutical Solutions >>

Explore Our Medical Waste Solutions >>

 

Secure Product Destruction

Secure product destruction services address materials that cannot (or should not) be reused or recycled due to an inherently high legal, financial or environmental risk. These solutions mitigate liability by ensuring that confidential, counterfeit, contraband or defective materials are securely, discreetly and absolutely destroyed and then processed into clean energy.

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Product Recall

Product recalls can have a negative impact on a business’s reputation and brand, especially if they cause harm. We have assets and services that help minimize the pain of recalls, such as logistics experts for retrieving products, and truck fleets for transporting the products to secure facilities for secure destruction.

Explore Our Product Recall Solutions >>

 

Industrial Services

waste barrelsField and On-Site

Our staff and facilities are prepared to receive, clean and dispose of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, or the vessels that contain them, wherever they may be. Some of the services we offer include:

  • End-to-end technical and chemical services for hazardous and nonhazardous waste materials
  • Tank maintenance, inspection, cleaning and decommissioning
  • Environmental planning, facility closures and decommissioning services
  • Railcar cleaning
  • Storage tank cleaning
  • Confined space pit cleanout
  • Clarifier cleaning
  • Equipment cleaning
  • Lagoon and retention pond cleaning
  • Pipeline maintenance—hydrostatic testing and gel sealing of pipeline cracks
  • Municipal maintenance—sewer and lift station
  • Marine and ballast tank cleaning
  • Emergency spill response and cleanup
  • Sludge removal
  • Industrial vacuum services
  • Water blasting, line jetting and dewatering services

Explore Our Field and On-Site Solutions >>

 

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Transportation and Logistics

Containing and hauling waste away is often difficult and risky when you don’t have the in-house resources to do so. We have you covered–we’ll help with:

  • Containerized waste transportation (pails, drums, totes)
  • Less-than-truckload (LTL) pick-up service and dedicated truck services
  • Hazardous and non-hazardous waste transportation
  • Bulk waste transportation
  • Remediation, water and wastewater industrial applications equipment
  • Dump trucks, box vans and bulk/storage containers
  • Roll-off containers

Explore Our Transportation and Logistics Solutions >>

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