Waste Management Hosts Sixth Annual Executive Sustainability Forum

This year’s WM Executive Sustainability Forum will provide a platform to discuss how and why the circular economy is fractured. We will identify collective challenges, and approaches to overcoming these challenges through collaboration along the value chain. Our goal is to facilitate meaningful conversation and for all participants to come away with ideas and partnerships to build upon.

Rarely since the start of the Industrial Revolution have we diverted from the pattern of take-make-dispose. In the 21st century, as the linear consumption model reached its limits, the shift to a circular economy began. Along the way, organizations identified areas of real fracture within the circle that, if not addressed, could have significant consequences.

Registration & Breakfast

Welcome: Barry Caldwell, Waste Management, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Legal Officer

Keynote: David Steiner, Waste Management, President and CEO
Recycling Right: Helping the Environment While Helping the Bottom Line

The recycling industry finds itself at a crossroads. Over the past few years, there has been much debate about the business of recycling. Depressed commodity markets, a changing waste stream and consumer confusion regarding what’s recyclable and what’s not, is placing severe pressure on the current systems and infrastructure. What will it take for recycling to be environmentally and economically sustainable over the long term? What are the key environmental benefits that come from recycling and what materials provide the ‘biggest bang for the buck’?

David Steiner will discuss the current state of recycling and the myriad options along the diversion spectrum. He’ll discuss what recycling ‘right’ could mean for municipalities, customers and consumers looking for the right formula for setting effective – and achievable – environmental goals that protect our planet, while also recognizing the realities of tightening budgets and competing needs for scarce resources.

Panel Discussion: Dana Perino, Co-Host of Fox’s The Five and former White House Press Secretary; John Tierney, Author and writer for The New York Times and Adam Minter, Author and writer for Bloomberg View
Recycling has been a topic of much discussion lately. Whether you think recycling is a moral imperative, a waste of time, or something in the middle, you won’t want to miss this lively panel discussion, moderated by former White House Press Secretary, Dana Perino. Audience engagement will be encouraged and there will be plenty of time for Q&A.

Keynote: The Future of the Commodities Market
Peter Zeihan, Geopolitical strategist, global affairs expert, and author of The Accidental Superpower
Peter Zeihan will discuss future domestic and global projections and our economy, and how that affects global commodities.

Panel Discussion 2
This panel of experts and industry leaders will share success stories and not-so-successful stories from the real world, moderated by Megan Stasz, Senior Director of the Grocery Manufacturers Association in Washington, DC.

Meghan Stasz, Senior Director, Sustainability, Grocery Manufacturers Association
Jim Hanna, Director of Environmental Impact, Starbucks
Keefe Harrison, Executive Director, The Recycling Partnership
Jeff Wooster, Global Sustainability Leader, Dow
David Allaway, Policy Analyst, Oregon DEQ

Breakout sessions are an opportunity for Forum attendees to learn from each other by sharing their challenges, successes and best practices. Attendees can create solutions together, ask and answer questions, and establish valuable partnerships. Breakouts occur concurrently.
• Solutions for Recycling Plastics: Design, contamination, and the challenges of the feedstock that we call recycling, facilitated by Keith Edwards from BASF.
• Organic Waste Recycling: As the dialogue around wasted food and food waste grows, we will discuss national programs, costs and challenges.
• Standardized Contracts: Updating contract language for the “new and changing” waste stream.” Developing consistent messages throughout the industry, facilitated by Keefe Harrison from The Recycling Partnership.

(TOURS AVAILABLE THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND FRIDAY MORNING) Our private tour of the Waste Management Phoenix Open is back by popular demand. See firsthand what goes into making the most highly attended event on the PGA TOUR® a zero-waste success for three years running. We’ll walk you through the operational efficiencies, supply-chain choices, vendor engagement and market alignment programs, as well as our new approach to event hospitality. Register for the Forum to secure tickets for the tour.

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