Devens Sustainable Business Spotlight: Republic
Devens is known for its commitment to innovation and sustainability, and our business community plays an important role in helping our community meet its sustainability goals. This month, we are highlighting Republic as a model for a sustainable company in Devens.
Devens is a growing commercial hub that is home to nearly 100 businesses employing more than 6,000 workers. Embedding sustainable business practices into our community identity will bring positive benefits for our local economy as we continue to grow.
Republic is a leader in environmental services in Devens and beyond. They are committed to sustainable practices in several areas, including through integrating circular economy practices into their operations. Circular economy refers to an economic system that designs out waste and separates the dependence of economic activity on the consumption of finite resources. In the interview below, Republic explores resource efficiency and renewable resource use through their operations and mission.
CONVERSATION WITH REPUBLIC
What is Republic’s mission and who does your company serve?
At Republic Services, we’re committed to partnering with customers to create a more sustainable world. Through landfill and fleet innovation, recycling and circularity of key materials, and renewable energy production, Republic is dedicated to environmentally responsible operations that increase efficiency and provide sustainable solutions.
What sustainability actions is Republic currently taking?
Our 2030 goal to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 35% has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We have also set additional climate leadership goals to increase recovery and circularity of key materials by 40% and increase beneficial reuse of biogas by 50%.
Our Devens facility specifically ships its processed materials by rail. According to the Association of American Railroads, moving freight by train reduces GHG emissions by up to 75% when compared to traditional trucking, reducing emissions and highway congestion.
We believe that in order to be sustainable we also need to take care of our people and the communities that we serve. That is why we aim to have zero employee fatalities, reduce our OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate to 2.0 or less, achieve and maintain employee engagement scores at or above 88 and positively impact 20 million people through charitable giving by 2030.
What is the biggest driver for change at Republic?
Our people. We are human-centered, and we respect the dignity and unique potential of every person. We rely on the diverse backgrounds of our team members to provide a broad range of ideas and perspectives that allow our employees to grow, thrive and exceed our customers’ expectations. Going forward, Republic will continue to be a model for inclusion, diversity and equal opportunity. Our 39,000 employees are driven to deliver results in the right way.
What are the biggest hurdles to sustainability at a business level?
It’s imperative for us to reduce emissions and achieve greater circularity with the materials we handle to help preserve the environment for future generations. We are evaluating land and air-based technology for direct measurement of surface emissions from our landfills, and we anticipate innovation to occur in the next few years. We are actively working with industry and vendors on advancing measurement techniques.
What is something you have done at Republic to drive sustainability that others could replicate as a best practice?
Our business is fundamentally about keeping communities clean and healthy. Being a good neighbor is a top priority for Republic Services, and we’re proud of the positive impact we make on our local communities and the environment. Republic is committed to transparency in our sustainability reporting and has led our industry in goal setting and disclosures. We were the first in our industry to issue a comprehensive TCFD report identifying our climate-related risks and opportunities, and we are the only environmental services provider with an SBTi-approved greenhouse gas reduction target.
WHAT CAN YOUR BUSINESS IN DEVENS DO?
You can take steps to make your business more competitive, responsible, and resource-efficient like Republic. Some ways are:
- Explore opportunities to manage your waste beyond reduce, reuse, recycle, including redesigning materials and processes in your industry.
- Advance your sustainability objectives and download the Climate Action Toolkit for Businesses.
- Gain eco-efficiencies by pursuing strategies that improve environmental and economic performance by certifying through the Eco-Star program.
- Consider implementing zero-waste and emissions reduction goals and targets to meet them for your business, and commit to transparent sustainability reporting.