April 02, 2024

Stericycle Celebrates Earth Month and our Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

April marks Earth Month, including Earth Day on April 22. Earth Day’s theme, “Planet vs. Plastics,” focuses on a commitment to end plastics for the health of people and the planet. At Stericycle, we believe in doing our part to help protect the health and well-being of the people and places around us safely, responsibly, and sustainably. We deliver essential solutions that protect the environment, people, and public health, including diverting hundreds of millions of pounds of plastics from landfills each year.

In celebration of Earth Month, Stericycle has planned several sustainability-related initiatives for team members, customers, and the public. The month’s events include virtual sustainability training sessions, a community Shred-it® event in the Chicagoland area at our headquarters, and the distribution of Seal&SendTM consumer medication mail envelopes to our team members in certain offices in the United States.

Earth Month is not just one month at Stericycle. All year Stericycle delivers essential services that protect the public from harmful waste and help the healthcare industry make progress towards sustainability and climate goals. Below are a few of our environmental stewardship and sustainability-related global accomplishments from 2023*:

  • 1.3 billion pounds of medical waste treated, helping to protect the public from potentially infectious material.
  • 906 million pounds of paper shredded and recycled, helping to safeguard our customers’ confidential information.
  • 101 million pounds of plastic diverted from landfills through the use of reusable sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste containers as compared to single-use containers.
  • 55 million pounds of pharmaceutical waste treated prior to disposal, helping to ensure that active pharmaceutical ingredients do not end up in waterways.

*Stericycle global data, 2023, normalized to exclude the impact from divested businesses.

As part of our commitment to protecting our communities and the environment, Stericycle joins with like-minded organizations, including our partnerships with the National Park Foundation (NPF) and the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF). Stericycle’s 2023 commitment to the NPF supported wetland restoration efforts at Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts. Our partnership with ADF is helping to protect and restore forest ecosystems through tree planting in the U.S., Canada, and U.K.  According to estimates provided by the ADF, Stericycle’s reforestation efforts during the first year of the partnership will result in the following positive impacts to the environment over the next 40 years:

  • Sequestering 76,548 metric tons of CO2 (equivalent to 16,641 fewer cars on the road)*
  • Avoiding 17,950,811 gallons of water runoff (equivalent to 203,986 people with cleaner water)*
  • Removing 270 tons of air pollutants (equivalent to enough oxygen for 20,106 people)*

*Estimates calculated using iTree, a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban and rural forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools.

To further our efforts in being transparent with our many stakeholders, we recently formally disclosed our climate change data for 2022 through CDP and are proud to have received a B score. This is Stericycle’s highest score to date. 

Stericycle’s commitment to environmental sustainability was recently recognized. In late 2023, Stericycle won two Best in Biz Awards for Sustainability. Stericycle was honored with a gold award for Most Environmentally Responsible Company of the Year and a silver award for Most Environmentally Friendly Service of the Year for our Integrated Waste Stream Solutions (IWSS).

Visit our Stericycle Corporate Responsibility Overview to learn more about our commitment to sustainability.