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Climate Impact and KPIs
Reducing Our Carbon Impact
Reaching our 2038 goal will require making operational improvements to decrease our own emissions.
Since 2010, we have reduced GHG emissions from our total collection and support fleet by 43% for every 1,000 miles driven. We’ve achieved these reductions through logistical efficiencies, transitioning to natural gas vehicles, and by increasing our use of renewable fuel. To make progress in each of these areas, WM continues to develop and deploy technology solutions and programs to reduce emissions from our operations while also engaging in policy discussions at the federal and state level and supporting strategies to reduce emissions associated with our industry.
Lowering Our Operational Footprint
The charts on the following page represent 100% of WM’s Scope 1 and 2 GHG inventory, which is third-party verified and reported to CDP. These emissions make up the numerator portion of our environmental goal to reduce, avoid or offset four times the emissions we generate in our operations. For a discussion of the protocols that govern these calculations, please see our Carbon Footprint Calculation Methodology.
We use the modified 100-year global warming potentials (GWPs) promulgated by the U.S. EPA. Pertinent to our carbon footprint, our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions calculations use the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (FAR) GWP. However, prior to 2019 our Scope 2 emissions from purchased electricity used the IPCC Second Assessment Report (SAR) GWP.
Our landfill emissions are from active and closed facilities. However, the methodology used in the U.S. to model landfill emissions, combined with the additional emissions from the ADS acquisition, resulted in WM reporting more emissions. Emissions from ADS landfills make up 30% of the increase, with the remaining increase attributed to the landfill modeling methodology used by the industry for reporting.
The uncertainty associated with landfill emissions methodology has been the key driver in WM’s goal to develop more accurate methods for determining landfill emissions by 2025. We continue to expand our work with various private and government entities employing ground, aerial and satellite-based measurements of our sites. In 2021, we initiated efforts to design a centralized data management and analytics system that will allow for predictive modeling and targeted investments in operations to drive further emissions reductions. We also conducted an enterprise-wide review of best practice procedures that we are implementing as part of our daily operations of continuous improvement to manage and reduce emissions at our landfills.
WM’s Scope 2 emissions from purchased electricity are less than 1% of our total emissions. Overall electricity use decreased in 2020, and we are currently working with our vendor to implement renewable electricity contracts to meet our 2025 goal of using 100% renewable electricity.
This graph includes emissions from our “yellow iron” (i.e., off-road equipment such as forklifts and excavators), heating fuel, jet fuel, propane and a small amount of other fuels. Emissions increase is mainly attributed to other energy use associated with the ADS acquisition.
See our Data Center for details on Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and the Supply Chain section of our ESG Resource Hub to learn how we are reducing our scope 3 emissions.