At Covanta, the work we do is more than just a job. It’s a commitment to something greater, and it has been from the beginning.
In the early ‘80s, before Covanta was Covanta, we entered the waste business as Ogden Corporation, aiming to modernize the industry and help build a cleaner world through a pledge of responsible disposal and the technology sophisticated enough to realize it—Waste-to-Energy. But we didn’t get our start purely from aspirational thinking.
At the time, there was an immediate and very real need. In the energy sector, the crisis of the ‘70s awakened Americans to the danger of relying on limited, foreign fuel sources, spurring domestic investments in renewable energy technologies. Then, just a few years later in the waste world, new regulations forced the shutdowns of antiquated incinerators and local dumps, leaving a gaping space in community infrastructure as the economy demanded growth without having a viable outlet for its waste.
So, we got to work.
Teaming up with municipalities to meet their needs and drive our vision, we opened our first facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1986. Its success in delivering reliable, environmentally friendly disposal services at competitive prices led us to a period of heavy growth, and by 1993, we operated 21 plants with several more projects on the way.
Since then, we have more than doubled the communities we serve, continuing to grow and improve our sites and systems for recycling, reusing incineration ash and advancing emission controls—a pursuit that has made us the world’s largest Waste-to-Energy provider in the process. And although we have always operated well within standards, we hold fast to our original goal of refining all that we do to better face today’s greatest waste and environmental challenges.
To help other businesses do the same, we’ve extended into commercial offerings through our subsidiary, Covanta Environmental Solutions, to deliver world-class enterprise waste services that protect brands, reduce their disposal costs and inspire sustainable change within their operations and the circular economy.
In late 2021, we moved into the private sector after being acquired by the EQT Infrastructure V fund, a global investment organization that specializes in sustainable growth. Together, we’re continuing to improve and invest in our mission by building upon our portfolio of assets, furthering our growth opportunities, expanding our efforts in environmental stewardship and enhancing our company’s value and relationship with industrial peers and community members.
We're working to do something that is truly transformational—something that makes concrete, near-term and lasting changes for the better in pursuit of our goal to become the most sustainable provider of waste solutions.
And while we are excited as to what lies ahead, we have not lost sight of our roots. Our commitment remains strong to the people we serve and the places we call home. To further support them, we volunteer our time and resources to local groups and initiatives we feel passionate about, fostering environmental justice programs, fighting climate change, educating our neighbors and helping our peers to do the same.
At Covanta, the work we do is more than just a job. It’s striving to make a positive, significant difference not only for our industry, but for the people we serve, planet we share and future we hold.
It’s what “Protecting Tomorrow” is all about.