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Better Communities

Stakeholder
Engagement

Waste Management actively works with stakeholders that operate within our value chain, such as customers, employees and suppliers, as well as stakeholders outside our value chain, including industry peers and multistakeholder groups. We have regular open discussions about topics that are relevant to our operations and impact our society. These conversations play a key role in shaping how we execute our strategy, materiality and business strategy, as well as how we work to help improve our communities.

Our Approach

We take a systematic approach to stakeholder engagement, starting with public accountability. Every two years we identify the key stakeholders with whom we engage — from environmental and community groups to business and manufacturing leaders, from government associations to scientific academies. These stakeholders can be found across multiple sectors and within our communities. All are essential in helping us stay abreast of current trends, perspectives and policy matters that affect our industry, our customers and our communities.

Our engagement takes many forms. When working on facility upgrades and new construction, we map our community footprint and seek to engage groups and individuals in open dialogue through Community Advisory Councils or more informal routine interactions, open house events, public meetings, tours and more. With our larger customers, we host innovation labs and sustainability forums that focus on ways to reduce costs, lessen environmental footprints and increase the reuse of resources. Each year we complete dozens of surveys on economic sustainability and governance (ESG) to keep investors and customers informed and help customers with their own sustainability reporting. The feedback loop is continuous. As we receive questions about our ESG practices, we benchmark opportunities to improve and then communicate that progress in future responses.

Participation in policy discussions supplements our dialogue at the local level and ensures that we are working with stakeholders from many perspectives. We give dozens of presentations each year on topics involving recycling, renewable energy and fuel and civic engagement. Since 2011, we have sponsored three terms of multistakeholder dialogues on the core issues affecting our industry and those impacted by it: the road to more sustainable materials management; the way life cycle thinking can pave the way to better characterization of environmental impact over time; and ways stakeholders can achieve more recycling productivity. We believe there is enormous value in bringing together diverse viewpoints in a sustained effort to find common ground and mutual understanding of difficult environmental challenges.

Waste Management believes that disclosing our networks of memberships and associations working on policy issues is important. Our employees are enriched by broad interaction with stakeholders and informed dialogue on key issues like materials management, renewable energy, climate change and adaptation, responsible governance, conservation — and a host of other topics. For a full listing of associations and memberships, see stakeholder engagement in the Communities Appendix.