Keeping the environment safe and clean has never been more important. Businesses have a responsibility to examine their actions and operations, and embrace efforts that lessen their environmental impacts. Reducing carbon footprints, keeping waterways clean and free of contaminants, conserving natural resources and limiting waste are all areas that warrant attention.
At Stericycle, we are passionate about preserving the environment. As such, we pursue a multifaceted approach to sustainability, and this philosophy serves as a foundational element across our diverse service lines.
Every day is Earth Day at Stericycle
Sustainability work should not be limited to one day or one area of an organization. At Stericycle, we continuously deliver services that protect the public from harmful wastes, promote recycling, encourage alternative use, and support greater safety and personal well-being around the world. Everything from annually treating 1.8 billion pounds of medical waste and more than 1 billion pounds of hazardous waste to diverting 84 million pounds away from landfills reveals our daily commitment to the environment.
We take our role as a global citizen seriously
In 2017, Stericycle set four sustainability goals related to the areas of landfill avoidance, worker safety, emissions and fuel consumption. We set ambitious performance targets and promised to provide an update on our progress in two years’ time.
The results showed significant strides in several areas. Landfill avoidance increased to 49 percent due to waste-to-energy programs along with recycling and reuse initiatives. We also maintained low emission percentages, which are far below federal mandates. We saw progress in fuel efficiency and worker safety as well. Even with these positive statistics, we didn’t accomplish as much as we hoped, but we remain focused on reaching our initial targets and are doubling our efforts to achieve a higher standard.
Energy and water conservation are top priorities
We strive to reduce our use of energy and water across the company, curtailing our consumption of natural resources. For example, we employ wastewater treatment throughout our facilities to limit water use, and leverage high-efficiency and motion-sensing lighting to reduce electricity consumption. We also use steam energy in cleaning and recover heat energy during incineration to curb reliance on fossil fuels.
We think outside the box about fuel efficiency
Our trucks provide an essential service for many organizations. Even though Stericycle trucks drove an estimated 6.5 percent more miles last year than the one before, our fuel consumption dropped by approximately 4 percent. We also improved average miles per gallon by 11.2 percent.
We also think creatively about reducing our fleet’s environmental impact. For example, the US Shred-it division is currently testing newly-designed trucks that are more efficient and have a smaller carbon footprint. Storage space is optimized to accommodate more stops per route, translating into fewer total routes and trucks on the road, less drive miles and lower maintenance costs.
Together we can help preserve the environment
Although every organization and business must make its own sustainability pledge, the true power of this effort comes when we work together to realize change. Stericycle is passionate about protecting what matters for our customers, team members, the communities we serve and the environment.
Visit our Stericycle Corporate Responsibility Overview to learn more about our commitment to sustainability.