Covanta's Material Issues
Waste resource utilization refers to the responsible management of the many products and materials that become waste streams around the world. The issue encompasses a focus on finding the most sustainable next step for each waste in order to lessen, to the extent possible, impacts on the environment and society.
Related GRI topics: Procurement Practices 2016 and Materials 2016
Air pollutants (non-GHG air emissions) can pose risks to people and may cause other damages to the environment. This issue also covers management and regulation of air emissions, including improved air quality through technological innovation, advanced equipment and robust process management.
Related GRI topic: Emissions 2016
Community relations refers to our communications and activities with local community organizations and individuals. Included are impacts on the economy, taxes, job creation, noise and odor, air pollutants and community engagement, as well as support of local initiatives through philanthropy and monetary and service donations.
Related GRI topics: Indirect Economic Impacts 2016, Local Communities 2016 and Customer Health and Safety 2016
Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) include all issues related to man-made activities that can either increase or avoid GHGs, which consequently can generate related climate risks or opportunities.
Related GRI topic: Emissions 2016
Financial performance includes the financial health of the company and strategic planning to provide long-term value creation for the company’s stakeholders.
Related topics: Economic Performance 2016 and Market Presence 2016
Customer relations with both municipalities and corporate customers encompasses customer satisfaction, day-to-day customer support, service pricing and business and operational excellence.
Related GRI topic: Customer Privacy 2016
A materiality analysis brings to the surface those issues that matter most to our internal and external stakeholders and to our company’s long-term business success.
We conduct materiality analyses to better inform the depth and breadth of our disclosure and strategic planning. Our analyses meet the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Principles for Defining Report Content.
Our first analysis was completed in 2009, and our third materiality analysis in 2015. Given the robust nature of our process, we are confident that the results of the 2015 analysis remain relevant to this reporting cycle. As part of the 2015 analysis, we:
- Analyzed a comprehensive array of stakeholder source documents, representing input from our key stakeholder groups;
- Convened a diverse and representative stakeholder panel to utilize their expertise and hear their insights;
- Gathered internal feedback from Covanta managers and employees on priority topics to understand perceptions of potential impacts across our value chain;
- Used all input to develop and review an extensive list of environmental, social, governance and economic topics relevant to our business operations;
- Mapped each topic onto a matrix to identify the highest-scoring issues for both our stakeholders and company; and
- Shared the materiality analysis results with our stakeholder panel, reviewed their feedback and confirmed our final material issues internally (see diagram).
For a complete description of the materiality process and issues, please refer to our 2014-2015 Sustainability Report.