What to Do When Your CEO Sets New Sustainability Goals

What to Do When Your CEO Sets New Sustainability Goals

Perhaps you serve as your company’s Environmental, Health and Safety manager or plant manager. It is becoming increasingly common for CEOs to set sustainability goals, and if you have not faced this scenario yet, chances are you will soon enough. 

Let’s say your CEO recently made it a company-wide priority to reduce waste sent to landfills by 10 percent each year for the next five years. Leaders at your company understand the benefits landfill diversion provide to your company’s bottom line, the environment and surrounding communities. Though you may already have a recycling program in place, as the person in charge of overseeing new sustainability initiatives, you understand it will take additional help to reach these new goals. But what are the best steps toward developing new landfill diversion initiatives? And what should you be looking for in the experts who will assist you? 

Conduct audits or assessments to help ensure compliance.

When seeking experts in resource recovery and building sustainability programs, look at their experience. Ask questions and make sure they have a deep understanding of the local, state and federal regulations that will affect your company. Look for people who have many years in the industry, have worked with small, medium and large companies that generate a variety of materials, and have your best interest in mind. Once you have established trust in their expertise, work with them to conduct an assessment of your materials and seek new solutions. 

At Enviro-Safe, we have over 17 years of experience protecting our customers’ liability and our good standing through thorough initial audits or assessments. Our experts in compliance talk with regulatory authorities and you to verify everything is in proper order. 

“At Enviro-Safe, it’s an integrity thing, and we build relationships based on trust,” said Enviro-Safe’s resource recovery founder and CEO Jeff Vilione. “We work with our customers to help ensure compliance and protect their good name.”

Implement cost-effective recycling and reuse programs.

When considering landfill diversion programs, consult experts with experience in recycling as opposed to companies that focus on disposal activities rather than recycling. Recycling and reuse programs minimize your liabilities, distinguish you in the marketplace, improves your image and protect your company’s bottom line. Recycling is a paramount program at Enviro-Safe, and we help our customers manage materials in a sustainable fashion, ultimately passing the cost savings on to our customers.

“When we get involved, we are always looking at it from a recycling standpoint. We look at a number of different recycling options or better yet, find alternative uses for what would have typically gone to a landfill or incinerator,” Vilione said. “After taking stock of the types of RCRA and non-RCRA materials our customer generates, we sample it, see what value it has to other organizations or companies, and see what beneficial application it may have. We work with our customers to identify whether there’s a better, more cost-effective option they aren’t yet taking advantage of,” Vilione said. For example, Enviro-Safe has helped companies improve their landfill diversion rates and found many uses for expired products and raw materials. 

“We work on behalf of the generator to find secondary markets for their material. Instead of the generator having to pay to dispose of their material, a buyer will pay to remove it from the generator’s facility. In some cases, the generator will even be paid for their material. Instead of a cost, we help our customers turn their waste into a potential revenue stream,” Vilione explained. Savings for the generator can creates lower costs for the buyer since they aren’t having to buy raw materials or finished products in its virgin state. It’s a win-win. In cases when recycling is too costly for a generator, we help you look at other options and understand the differences in liabilities and costs.

Ultimately, recycling and reuse programs are a win-win in the marketplace. Finding sustainable solutions sometimes makes the most business sense.

Are nimble enough to find the best solutions for you.

When looking at experts to partner with in your sustainability efforts, bigger is better, right? Not necessarily. Often, large, national recycling and reuse companies have their own interests to protect, namely, feeding their own sites. Rather than working to find the best, most cost-effective solution for the generator, they purchase hazardous and non-hazardous waste landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, incinerators and then seek to fill them – whether that’s the best solution for their customer or not.

At Enviro-Safe, we search for the best treatment methodology for each customer. We are not financially bound to any specific company. We have our own facility where we can store and treat some materials, and we have an unlimited network of third-party recyclers we trust so we can find the best alternative for your specific material. We also research and know of secondary markets that could benefit with certain materials. Each of our customers has a different need – and we work with each of them to customize a solution.

“That’s our strength in this industry. Ultimately, we can exist to serve our customers’ needs,” Vilione said. 

Create sustainable solutions because it’s the right thing to do.

“At the end of the day, we are a family-owned company focused on sustainability because it is the right thing to do,” Vilione said. “We are fully invested in what we do for the generators and the environment.” When you look for experts to help your company reach new sustainability goals, how will you know they are invested in you? Look for people who take time to get to know your company’s needs, Vilione explained.

“Look for experts who do due diligence and get to know you, the customer,” he said. “At Enviro-Safe, we sit down and look at all the materials being generated. We build the right programs, conduct audits or assessments (if necessary) and make sure compliance is paramount. We get involved in many ways, and a big part is getting to know the people we’re working with.”