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Year in Review

The Power
of People

For all its challenges, 2020 was a pivotal year. During a time of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, the public learned what we at WM have always known: our industry provides an essential service to customers and communities across North America. And it’s our people on the front line—technicians, equipment operators, drivers and route managers—who make it all possible.

WM’s People First culture helped see us through this difficult time. Our culture is continually evolving as we welcome new team members, including 5,000 teammates from Advanced Disposal Services (ADS). As our workforce changes, we’ve set bold goals to increase ethnic and gender diversity at all levels. And because we are invested in our employees’ success, we announced a new, first-of-its-kind education benefit in partnership with Guild Education through which WM will pay 100% of employees’ and their dependents’ tuition for hundreds of degree programs.

Beyond the services they provide our customers every day, our WM family encouraged us to think more broadly about the impact we have on society. Recognizing the increased food insecurity that many communities faced during the pandemic, we organized two employee match campaigns, donating over 3 million meals in total. For Earth Day, WM team members made more than 22,000 pledges to live more sustainably, and in honor of the pledges WM is planting 50,000 trees.

As wildfires, hurricanes, extreme temperatures and power outages consumed North America over the past year, we’ve been reminded of the importance of preserving our shared climate. The services that WM provides, including recycling and renewable energy, already avoid far more greenhouse gas emissions than we generate, but we’re working to do even more to decarbonize our operations and help customers embrace new models of resource transformation and reuse.

Post-pandemic, we are embracing opportunities to establish a new normal that is better than the one we had before, and that includes strengthening our focus on all aspects of sustainability. To that end, we’re pleased to have named our company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Tara Hemmer, who has been with WM for more than 20 years. You can read a message from Tara on p. 4. Throughout our 2021 Sustainability Report, you’ll read the stories of other inspiring WM team members who are working to bring about a brighter future. We hope this report gives you a better appreciation for the people behind our progress—and how WM supports them in all that we do.

Jim Fish
President and Chief Executive Officer