BALTIMORE, Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Waste Management (NYSE: WM) announced that it has surpassed its environmental sustainability goal by certifying 103 wildlife habitat programs and preserving close to 26,000 acres of land as protected wildlife habitat. Certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), the protected areas provide homes and breeding grounds for birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and plant species, many of them protected or endangered.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090219/WMLOGO) (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090219/WMLOGO) At its 22nd annual symposium, WHC certified 30 new WM Wildlife at Work(SM) programs to put the company over the top. WHC also awarded WM three new Corporate Lands for Learning(SM) (CLL) certifications, 22 Wildlife at Work recertifications, and seven CLL recertifications. The Wildlife at Work program preserves land as wildlife habitat by ensuring the availability of food, water, cover and space suitable to animals' needs. The CLL program promotes the use of certified company lands for hands-on environmental education by school and community groups. One or more WM locations were also candidates for virtually every category of additional awards presented at the Symposium, including Rookie of the Year, Corporate Lands for Learning of the Year, the Wild Turkey Management Award and others.
"No single company has ever received 30 certifications in one year, and no other company has more than 100 certified programs," said WHC chairman Scott Kilkenny.
"Congratulations to Waste Management and its people for their exemplary dedication to a healthy natural environment and to environmental education for the public." In 2007, WM chief executive officer David Steiner committed the company to reaching 100 WHC-certified programs and 25,000 protected acres for wildlife by 2020. With the addition of 30 new certifications at WM sites announced by WHC today, the company exceeded both goals 10 years ahead of schedule.
"We see many business opportunities in the area of environmental sustainability, including recycling, renewable energy and helping customers with zero waste goals," Steiner said. "And nowhere have our people embraced these opportunities with more enthusiasm and success than in making sure that our locations are compatible with a healthy local ecosystem. We're planning to continue growing our number of certifications and expanding the acreage we manage for wildlife protection." Waste Management has been working closely with WHC since 2000. In 2008, the company was the first recipient of the organization's William W. Howard CEO Award recognizing the company's efforts in conservation, education and outreach efforts.
While the grassroots efforts of employee volunteers form the basis of Waste Management's wildlife programs, these programs also frequently involve a variety of community partners. Scouts, elementary and high schools, community volunteers and even other companies have joined the local efforts to improve wildlife habitat and provide outdoor educational opportunities.
"The Wildlife Habitat Council believes that collaboration among all stakeholder groups is critical to addressing the complex issues facing the sustainability of the planet," said Robert Johnson, WHC President. "All of our members, and Waste Management in particular, have taken a leading role in connecting community stakeholders through wildlife habitat enhancement, community outreach and conservation education. Nurturing the kind of impact that Waste Management has made is exactly why our organization was created." To read more about each program, please visit http://www.wm.com/wm/community/whc/index.asp ABOUT WILDLIFE HABITAT COUNCIL The Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) is a nonprofit, non-lobbying organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. WHC devotes its resources to building partnerships with corporations and conservation groups to create solutions that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy, biodiverse and sustainable environment. WHC-assisted wildlife habitat and conservation education programs are found in 43 states, the District of Columbia and nine other countries. To learn more, visit www.wildlifehc.org.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is the largest recycler in North America and a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company's customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.
SOURCE Waste Management, Inc.
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