Today, Stericycle released its 2021 Corporate Social Responsibility Report outlining our achievements across environmental, social, and governance (ES&G) areas during 2020 and into 2021. Key topics from the report include:
For more than 30 years, Stericycle has helped organizations protect the health and well-being of the people and communities they serve in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. Our compliance-based solutions help the healthcare industry navigate highly regulated, complex situations to safely remove potentially infectious and hazardous materials on a massive scale. We also protect the brand reputations of businesses large and small by safeguarding their confidential information with our Shred-it® secure information destruction service.
In 2020, we treated ~1.5 billion pounds of medical waste, diverted ~104 million pounds of plastic from landfills, safely disposed of ~40 million pounds of unused pharmaceuticals, and recycled ~1.1 billion pounds of paper through our Shred-it secure information destruction service. Every day, we help keep our communities safe, make our oceans and waterways cleaner, reduce demand for landfill space, guard against identity theft, and reduce the need to harvest trees for virgin pulp.
During 2020, our Stericycle team members demonstrated strong leadership in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by leveraging the scale of our infrastructure and the depth of our industry expertise to protect what matters. As integral members of the healthcare community, we successfully met the needs of our customers globally by supporting critical temporary hospitals, such as the USNS Comfort, the Javits Center in New York, Principality Stadium in Wales, large grocery stores turned into hospitals in Portugal, and converted hotels in Spain and Argentina. We also partnered with leading healthcare providers, pharmacy chains, and university laboratories to provide medical waste services to more than 4,500 testing centers in the U.S. plus additional sites across the international markets we serve.
As companies began to modify work environments to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many began considering how to dispose of used personal protective equipment (PPE) generated from employee use and on-site testing. To support companies in their efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we developed a PPE disposal solution that includes both pickup and mail back options. We also established a Coronavirus Knowledge Center for the U.S. healthcare community and hosted well-attended webinars on managing COVID-19 medical waste. Throughout the pandemic, our team members rose to the challenge to safely support our customers.
As a global leader in medical waste management and secure information destruction, we pride ourselves on the responsible and sustainable management of our operations. Stericycle has begun a comprehensive process focused on optimizing and standardizing our facility operation and fleet routing. While making us more efficient, implemented changes across our transportation network have reduced our environmental impact by reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. We believe modernizing our plant infrastructure with new, efficient technology will also lessen our overall energy consumption. In addition, we implemented formal tracking of natural resources used at our facilities to help estimate our baseline greenhouse gas emissions.
Health and Safety in the Workplace
One of Stericycle’s core values is our commitment to the safety and well-being of our team members. In 2020 we continued to develop and improve our comprehensive safety program to protect our team and drive our safety performance. These efforts have resulted in a:
Our safety program includes employee training, especially for our drivers. At Stericycle, we teach our drivers our award-winning, internal defensive driving program known as SWAT (Steer, Watch, Anticipate and Take Action) to reduce collisions, prevent injuries, and save lives. This program was rolled out globally over the last year and was recognized by the Brandon Hall Group in the 2021 Excellence Awards, having earned a gold award in the Best Certification Program category.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is essential to the Stericycle culture and is both a core value and a key element of long-term business sustainability. To support our DE&I goals, we formed an Equity Task Force comprised of Stericycle leaders charged with leading our DE&I efforts and establishing training programs and employee resource groups (ERGs). Thus far, Stericycle has created five ERGs dedicated to supporting women, Black or African Americans, LatinX, Veterans, and the LGBTQ+ community.
To publicly reinforce our commitment, our President and CEO, Cindy J. Miller, signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance DE&I in the workplace.
At Stericycle, we believe that consistent and clear corporate governance policies are essential to helping fulfil our sustainability goals, and this commitment is reflected at the Board level. Over the past several years, Stericycle has continued our commitment to ensuring our Board includes the right skills. In 2020, we expanded our Board with two new, independent directors and established an Operations, Safety, and Environmental Committee of Board of Directors whose responsibilities include oversight and review of safety and environmental matters.
Learn more about these initiatives and other ways we’re shaping a healthier and safer world in our full 2021 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.