Our business is integrally connected to the communities in which we operate. We strive to be a collaborative partner, pursuing sustainable waste and energy solutions together with our communities.
In light of these close relationships, Covanta maintains a robust Community Outreach and Environmental Justice Policy. This policy is our commitment that all communities have a fair opportunity to provide input to the decision-making process about matters impacting their local environments. One hundred percent of our Energy-from-Waste (EfW) operations have a formal ongoing community engagement plan and program. Transfer stations associated with a particular EfW facility will commence reporting their activities during 2015–16.
“It’s important to think about a company from the perspective of those stakeholders who don’t have a direct financial stake in its operations—to think about a company as a neighbor, as part of a community—to make our economies more sustainable for all. I’m happy to see Covanta engaged in just this line of thinking.”
Principal, Miller-Travis & Associates and Senior Associate, Skeo Solutions Inc.
Establishing a Positive Presence
Community relationships begin early in the drafting of contracts with our municipal clients. We work transparently with neighborhood representatives to agree upon minimum contractual performance standards for waste processing, energy efficiency, energy production and environmental management.
Beyond contractual terms, our operations are governed by stringent environmental, safety and health regulations. We care deeply about the safety and health of surrounding communities and believe it is important to communicate how our innovative technologies and processes provide cutting-edge protection. We view full compliance with all environmental, safety and health regulations as a minimum standard of performance, and, wherever we can, we work to exceed these requirements.
Covanta has developed an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for each community in which we operate. Emergency preparedness is a natural extension of our safety and health program. All facility personnel complete an exam regarding EAP provisions when they begin working for Covanta. They also participate in annual certification.
Delivering Economic Benefit
“Covanta Niagara plays a critical role in maintaining and creating high-paying jobs in the region and contributes to stabilizing our local economy. In addition, the clean energy generated from the Covanta Niagara facility supports more than 550 jobs in the Niagara Falls region.”
Assemblyman John Ceretto
Niagara County Legislator, 12th District
Our close community partnerships are paired with economic benefit. Direct outcomes include job creation, while more indirect social gains take the form of additional supplier and vendor contracts and support of community programs. Each Covanta facility engages in community activities and supports local charities. Globally, we donated approximately $2 million per year from 2013 through 2015.
Construction of a 1,500-ton-per-day EfW facility has the potential to generate approximately $1 billion in direct and indirect economic activity and provide significant employment during development and construction.
The construction of our new EfW facility in Dublin, Ireland, is but one such example. Covanta is creating approximately 300 jobs during the three-year construction period and up to 100 permanent jobs once the facility is operational. Throughout its operation, the completed facility will also provide ongoing economic stimulus to the surrounding Dublin region.
Covanta will also provide the Dublin City Council’s Community Gain Fund with an estimated €10 million during construction and up to €600,000 annually thereafter. The future use of this money is tied to local environmental considerations, based on community consensus. In addition, we are funding infrastructure at the facility to ensure that it is capable of connecting to future community-built steam-distribution networks.