BALTIMORE, Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- At its 23rd Annual Symposium, People, Partnerships and Pathways, the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) announced that Waste Management (NYSE: WM) is the only company to achieve greater than 100 WHC certifications. WHC presented the company with nine new certifications for Wildlife at Work(SM) programs (WaW), 35 WaW re-certifications, one new certification for Corporate Lands for Learning(SM) programs (CLL) and seven CLL re-certifications. This brings the company-wide total to 128 certified programs at 110 sites.
Two Waste Management locations were also nominees for awards presented at the symposium, including Rookie of the Year, Corporate Habitat of the Year and Wings over Wetlands. Rookie of the Year and Corporate Habitat of the Year award nominees represent the top certified or re-certified programs of the year.
"The sheer number of Waste Management programs certified by WHC highlights the company's role as a leader in environmental stewardship," said WHC President Robert Johnson. "WHC congratulates Waste Management for its commitment to wildlife habitat enhancement, community outreach, and conservation education."
While the grassroots efforts of employee volunteers form the basis of Waste Management's wildlife programs, these programs involve a variety of community partners. Environmental experts, scouts, elementary and high schools, community volunteers and even other companies have joined the local Waste Management teams to improve wildlife habitat and provide outdoor educational opportunities.
This year's certifications also helped Waste Management meet and exceed two of its company-wide sustainability goals well before the target year of 2020. In 2007, Waste Management pledged to preserve and restore 25,000 acres of wildlife habitat across North America. The company achieved this goal in 2010 and now protects more than 26,000 acres. Waste Management also committed to have WHC certified programs at 100 or more of its facilities. With the addition of this year's certifications, the company has surpassed this goal.
"At Waste Management our conservation goals are aggressive but achievable. Look at what we've accomplished in just four years," said Waste Management President and CEO David Steiner. "The success of our WHC programs has driven us to work harder on developing long-term sustainability and conservation programs that provide a role for everyone in the community to pursue a common goal – making the planet a better place for future generations to enjoy."
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.
To read more about each program, please visit http://www.wm.com/wm/community/whc/index.asp
ABOUT WILDLIFE HABITAT COUNCIL CERTIFICATIONS
Since 1990, WHC has certified 657 Wildlife at Work programs, which help to preserve land as wildlife habitat by ensuring the availability of food, water, cover and space suitable to animals' needs. It has also certified 138 CLL programs, which promote the use of certified company lands for hands-on environmental education by school and community groups. The certification process recognizes outstanding wildlife habitat management and conservation education efforts at corporate sites, and offers third-party validation of the benefits of such programs. Certification requirements are strict and require that sites apply for periodic renewal.
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 45 states, the District of Columbia and twelve 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 one of the largest residential recyclers and also 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