Diversity and Inclusion Commitment
At Covanta, our vision is to create a culture of acceptance and individuality where all employees feel valued, respected and empowered to achieve their full potential. To ensure that we remain an industry leader and an employer of choice, Covanta aims to create an environment that values all employee contributions and provides equal opportunities for professional development.
Leading with Diversity and Inclusion
Because we know that making continued progress on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) will require full support from the top of the organization, in 2017 we launched the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council, which comprises executive leaders from across Covanta’s functional areas. The Council has responsibility for DEI initiatives and meets quarterly to discuss advancement-related strategies and ensure alignment with key business objectives. Specifically, the Council’s purpose is to:
- Promote an inclusive environment in which all employees feel respected.
- Increase DEI awareness and education.
- Facilitate improved communication among and between employees and external partners.
- Assist with achieving excellence in operations and client service.
- Promote innovation and creativity to enhance growth and the achievement of business objectives.
We aim to reflect the ethnic diversity of the communities in which we operate in our workforce. We also focus on attracting qualified female candidates to our organization. We track our progress internally against DEI objectives, including recruitment targets and mentoring program participation. At the management level (director and higher), a diverse slate of candidates is sought for every job opening. This is leading to definitive changes in our hiring process and the composition of our executive ranks.
Building DEI Awareness
By supporting expanded awareness of DEI issues throughout the organization, we are steadily embedding a DEI mindset into the fabric of the company. For example, we offer training designed to enhance employees’ cultural competencies and awareness across various DEI topics. Presented in a workshop format, the training enables our employees to build a respectful DEI culture that recognizes the importance and unique contributions of every employee to Covanta’s success. The sessions include small group conversations in which employees provide valuable feedback to plant managers and share ideas on how to improve employee engagement around DEI objectives.
We shared feedback from these sessions with our DEI Leadership Council and other senior leaders to inform corporate strategic planning in the future. Plans are now underway to continue to expand our learning and refine our ways of working based on these insights.
Employee Resource Groups
In November 2018, Covanta’s first three Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) were launched, each comprising employees with shared characteristics or life experiences. There are now five established ERGs:
- Women of Covanta: RISE
- Early Career Connections
- Black Professionals
These five ERGs gather and engage people around the shared mission to create a more inclusive work environment for everyone. Any employee who shares the mission and goals of the group is invited to join. The ERGs frequently interact with senior leadership and the DEI Leadership Council to share their perspectives and act as liaisons with various diverse organizations.
In addition to providing a platform for sharing and connecting, the goal of the ERGs is to support recruitment activities, reinforce employee onboarding, foster community outreach partnerships and provide professional development opportunities. ERGs are influential in improving workplace culture and are encouraged to raise issues or obstacles that may impact certain employee groups.
Supporting Our Veterans
Covanta has historically employed many veterans, as we seek professionals that possess not only exceptional technical knowledge but also exemplary qualities such as teamwork, dedication and integrity.
In 2018, we expanded our veterans outreach efforts by participating in a variety of recruiting events geared specifically to veterans, including hosting career fairs at our facilities. In addition, we rely on an internal group of corporate and field-based employees who are veterans and can assist hiring managers in translating military titles and responsibilities into related business roles. These “talent ambassadors” have helped Covanta develop veterans’ programs for recruiting, onboarding, recognition and charitable contributions.