New Jersey based waste to energy firm, Covanta (NYSE: CVA), reduced stack emissions by 53% since 2007 and increased the amount of metals it recycles to 500,000 tonnes, according to its third sustainability report.
The company said that the report is aimed at providing comprehensive and transparent disclosures regarding its sustainability management approaches, strategies, activities and performance. It covers performance from 2012 through the end of the 2014 calendar year.
The report provides an update on the company’s progress towards achieving its previous goals. The environmental goals achieved since the last report include:
- Achieved over 99.9% compliance with continuous emissions monitoring system requirements
- Operate over 90% below our permit limits for Hg and dioxin. Since start of its Clean World Initiative, Covanta’s dioxin emissions are down more than 50%
- Successfully validated three out of the four eligible carbon offset projects to generate and sell carbon credits
- Continue to explore technological options for reducing emissions.
The company noted that the report has been prepared in accordance with the latest Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines.
In addition to providing an update on the company’s emission and GHG reduction goals , the report also details specific progress in Covanta’s other areas including: Resource Management, Community Relations and Workforce Engagement. Highlights from these include:
- Increased metals recovery by nearly 20%, exceeding a previous goal of recycling approximately 500,000 tonnes of metal per year
- Added expertise and services in industrial recycling and other energy recovery services to help customers with sustainable waste management and zero waste-to-landfill goals
- Implemented new water conservation projects, including a new water filter plant at the Delaware Valley facility that reuses 1.3 million gallons (4.9 million litres) per day of effluent water from a nearby treatment plant.
- Safely destroyed over 2.5 million pounds (1134 tonnes) of unwanted medications free of charge through the Rx4Safety program, helping to curb abuse and protect water supplies
- Helped to keep 2000 pounds (907kg) of mercury out of the waste stream through community collections - amassing nearly a quarter of a million mercury-containing thermostats
- Recovered and safely disposed of over 1400 tons (1270 tonnes) of derelict fishing gear and marine debris through the Fishing for Energy partnership.
- Supported the transition of military veterans into the workforce with 53 new veteran hires. Veterans represent approximately 15% of the Covanta employee base
- Continued to make workplace safety the top priority - 39 Covanta facilities and/or groups were awarded the Occupational Excellence Achievement Award by the National Safety Council.
Future goals detailed in the report include continuous improvement of safety and health performance, creating and maintaining a more inclusive and equitable work environment, committing to 100% compliance limits at all facilities while also maintaining emissions at levels well below existing regulations, advancing sustainable waste management and further reducing greenhouse gases, and expanding the quality and quantity of community outreach programs.
“By employing a philosophy that integrates sustainability into all parts of the company, we have innovated, continually improved and grown our business,” commented Covanta CEO Stephen J. Jones. “When we meet our sustainability goals, we move closer to achieving our overall corporate objectives,”
Paul Gilman, Covanta’s chief sustainability officer added “We are confident that by continuing to make sustainability a priority throughout our business, we will continue to protect and preserve the planet and human health, as well as address other important social and sustainability issues.”
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