Our Commitment to Health and Safety

Our global Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Statement guides our commitment to safe, environmentally responsible, and sustainable operations as we work to safeguard the people and communities we serve.

Protecting Communities

Stericycle was established in response to needles and syringes washing up on shores, and our commitment to protecting the environment via the safe disposal of medical waste and sharps has only intensified since then. In the past year, we safely disposed of 40 million pounds of pharmaceutical waste, protecting communities and waterways. We treated 1.5 billion pounds of medical waste, preventing exposure to potential infections. And we shred and recycle 1.1 billion pounds of paper per year, reducing deforestation. Additionally, we offer safe and convenient drug take back and sharps collection and disposal solutions for pharmacies, hospitals, law enforcement, public spaces, employers, governments, and drug coalitions to protect the communities they serve.

Our Health and Safety Management Program

Our safety and environmental management system (EMS) is the backbone of our program. This system and database integrate procedures and processes for training of personnel as well as the monitoring, tracking, and reporting of specialized environmental performance information related to our operations and permits. We leverage our EMS to analyze our compliance requirements, set environmental compliance objectives and targets, and track progress on our overall environmental, health and safety (EHS) management program. 

Additionally, the Company leverages a behaviour-based safety program, which utilizes training and observations to promote positive behavior and reduce or eliminate at-risk behavior at the job or task level as a key element of our increased safety culture. We regularly conduct on-site facility inspections. Our global team of approximately 85 field-based safety and compliance experts who work constructively and collaboratively with local operations managers in monitoring trends and identifying potential opportunities for improvement at each location.

Our safety training programs have earned award recognition, earning the 2021 Gold Excellence in Learning Award for “Best Certification Program” by The Brandon Hall Group for our SWAT: Defensive Driving Certification program.

Finally, we conduct facility risks assessments, which analyze 10 risk categories, as well as comprehensive facility audits to proactively identify risks and operational improvements.

Healthcare Crisis Response

With over 30 years of experience partnering with healthcare organizations, we understand the importance of protecting team members, frontline workers, patients, and communities in times of crisis. In 2014, we were tasked by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to dispose of waste from the Ebola outbreak. Stericycle also provided essential RMW disposal during the 2003 SARs outbreak and the 2009 H1N1 outbreak.

Similarly, we’ve worked closely with government agencies to provide guidance on the best course of actions to properly manage medical waste generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to work with the CDC, OSHA, the DOT, and state regulatory agencies to help our customers navigate the pandemic and resulting regulatory changes.

We also quickly mobilized operations and created new programs to address the medical waste associated with testing and treatment, PPE disposal in workplace, and the unprecedented influx of vaccination waste from COVID-19. Our work during the pandemic earned us a Business Intelligence Group 2020 Company of the Year Award and a Silver Stevie® Award in the 19th Annual American Business Awards®. For more information on Stericycle’s efforts during the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Response page.