Our Sustainability Commitment
At Stericycle, our focus is on protecting people and reducing risk. Environmental protection and support of sustainable solutions for our company and for yours is a critical component of our mission. Stericycle is committed to capturing new opportunities for sustainable growth by:
- Providing services that sustain people, our customers, and the environment for the future
- Managing our internal operations in socially and environmentally responsible ways
Our Sustainability Business Solutions for Our Customers
Stericycle is proud to provide customers with a broad portfolio of services that are specifically designed to help you be environmentally responsible and achieve your “green” goals while maintaining regulatory compliance. Our sustainability solutions for our customers include:
Sharps Management Service Featuring Bio Systems Reusable Containers
Our Sharps Management Service (SMS) is a comprehensive, proactive sharps disposal service for hospitals that features eco-friendly reusable Bio Systems containers. Our SMS has reduced the number of accidental needlesticks among hospital employees and prevented more than 120 million sharps containers from entering landfills.
Pharmaceutical Waste Solutions
Our Pharmaceutical Waste Solutions are designed to prevent unwanted pharmaceutical products from entering wastewater streams. Stericycle offers services to physicians, hospitals, retail pharmacies, and pharmaceutical manufacturers for the proper destruction of pharmaceutical waste, whether the waste is deemed a hazardous or non-RCRA pharmaceutical.
Integrated Waste Stream Solutions
Our Integrated Waste Stream Solution (IWSS) program centralizes the management of hospital waste handling and provides staff training to allow major medical facilities to implement environmental best practices and maintain regulatory compliance while managing costs. With this program, our hospitals have more than tripled their recycling from less than 10% to 35% of all wastes.
Stericycle StrongPak offers retail establishments a turnkey expert solution for the proper disposal of all retail wastes, including hazardous wastes and pharmaceuticals, while maintaining strict adherence with regulatory requirements for such wastes.
Stericycle ExpertSUSTAINABILITY offers a complete line of services to manage unsalable products, byproducts, and nonperforming inventory for manufacturers, distributors, and research & development (R&D) facilities. Our customized solutions rely on pre-disposal deconstruction to minimize waste volume, reduce disposal costs, and maximize opportunities for sustainability.
Our Company's Internal Sustainability Initiatives
All our services and internal sustainable activities are completely consistent with our corporate vision of being “Leaders in Protecting People & Reducing Risk.” This vision fuels our determination to not only provide sustainability services, but also to lead by example. In our own company, we seek ways to reduce our environmental impact in every operational area.
Our ongoing objectives of waste minimization and recovery continue year after year, and we view all wastes as potential opportunities for recycling or alternative use.
Our Plant Operations Sustainability
Minimization of Incineration Treatment
Since 2001, we have focused on minimizing the use of incineration. We help you properly and conveniently segregate (separate) your waste streams. This reduces the need for incineration; except when legally required. We’ve been able to close many of our incinerator facilities, and we’ve assisted hundreds of customers in closing their onsite incinerators. About 10% of Stericycle's US treatment capacity now includes incineration, which is down from more than 30% in 2001.
Reusable Medical Waste Tubs
Reusable medical waste tubs are our preferred transport container. We actively encourage all our customers to consider the use of reusable disposal containers instead of corrugated boxes to minimize the amount of deforestation. Since 2006, we have specifically initiated programs that foster the use of reusable containers among those customers who generate the largest quantities of medical waste, such as hospitals and medical centers.
Corrugated Cardboard Recycling
Recycling of corrugated cardboard is implemented in the majority of our regulated waste treatment facilities and is an element of our ExpertSUSTAINABILITY service, which manages unsalable products, byproducts, and nonperforming inventory.
We routinely evaluate energy efficiency throughout Stericycle, and we’ve completed lighting surveys at 55% of our facilities. Our transition to high-efficiency lighting has been completed in 14 locations, saving more than 970,000 kilowatts (kwh) of electricity annually.
Boiler Turndown and Tune-up
Our boiler use programs focus on maximizing in-use efficiency and minimizing energy use during downtime. Through this initiative alone, we have seen a 13.5% reduction in the daily use of therms at sites that have completed implementation.
Energy-Efficient Electric Forklift Leases
Instead of diesel or propane powered lifts, electric forklifts are required for all new leases. Besides being energy-efficient, electric forklifts eliminate the fumes and air emissions in our plants. We have already placed 13 electric forklifts into service.
Emission Control Systems
Use of the latest emission control systems is essential to our commitment to clean air standards. All our plants meet or exceed state and local standards for air emissions. Our plant teams carefully and constantly monitor air quality. As new technology becomes available, we’ll continue to evaluate these enhancements.
Transportation Operations Sustainability
We introduced hybrids as test vehicles within Stericycle during 2010 and 2011. We are now evaluating their overall fuel performance and reliability to ensure overall higher fuel efficiency.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicles
We introduced CNG vehicles into our fleet during 2012. Compared to diesel fuel, CNG burns cleaner and generates less carbon emissions for each mile driven. As each new technology is proven within our fleet, we are committed to moving forward with further rollouts.
Advanced Routing Technology
The introduction of routing software systems allows us to plan our driving routes more efficiently, thereby making the same number of stop with the use of fewer trucks and fewer miles driven.
We are currently evaluating vehicle telemetry, a system that uses cellular-based technology within each vehicle. This technology captures engine data and truck movement. Focusing on safety and fuel efficiency, we can reduce incidences of aggressive driving, speeding, and idling time. Preliminary results indicate that this technology may yield greater than 5% savings in fuel efficiency over baselines.
Our vehicle specifications play an important role in fuel reduction, minimizing environmental impact. We’ve implemented several vehicle controls to minimize environmental impact.
Speed governors are used on all vehicles. These settings typically reduce the top driving speed by 3 to 5 mph, which results in approximately 0.5 to 1 miles per gallon (mpg) in additional fuel efficiency.
Preset Idle Times
If a vehicle idels for 5 minutes, its preset ignition automatically shuts off the engine.
Automated Manual Transmissions
Automated manual transmissions are standard in on our route trucks, increasing the fuel efficiency of our straight trucks by more than 7%.
Trailer and Truck Fairings
Fairings deflect wind and rain, reducing drag and enhancing the aerodynamics of vehicles. Our trailer fairings improved fuel efficiency 6-8%. In 2012, we added fairing to all our long-haul trucks.
Our Sustainability Awards and Recognitions
Green Tier Participant for Environmental Excellence
Since 2007 our electro thermal deactivation (ETD) treatment facility in Yorkville, Wisconsin, has been recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
2011 Waste Reduction Award
The California Department of Resource Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) honored us for our help in reducing disposal at landfills, furthering California’s transformation to a zero waste society.
Wastewater Recognition From Regional Authorities
Gold Award for Outstanding Industrial Pretreatment from the Missouri Water Environment Association (2011)
“Going Green” Recognition by the Orange County (Florida) Environmental Department’s Pollution Prevention Program (2011)
Our Sustainability Memberships
Practice Greenhealth and the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Leadership Coalition
In 2012 we became a member Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to positive environmental stewardship within healthcare. Within Practice Greenhealth, we are part of a 15-member Coalition that assists healthcare facilities in greening their supply chains.