Way to go, Waste Management!

Waste Management invests in emerging organic waste management technology company, Harvest Power.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

So, it strikes me that we haven't heard nearly enough from the "traditional" providers of waste management services as far as where they stand with respect to a smarter planet. This is probably more due to negligence on my part than lack of interest on their part, at least if Waste Management is a good example.

The company has just made an investment in an innovative organic waste management technology, company, Harvest Power, that I wrote about earlier this month in my entry about biomimicry (or the practice of mimicking nature in the design of a product or process). Harvest Power uses leaves, grass, brush and food waste to produce renewable energy in the form of biogas. The arrangement also comes with increased investments by Harvest Power's original funders, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Munich Venture Partners.

In making its investment (the amount of which was not disclosed), Waste Management managing director Tim Cesarek made the following observation:

"We want to extract more value from the materials we manage than anyone else in our industry through new and emerging processing and conversion technologies."

There is roughly 180 million tons of organic waste generated each year in North America, so there are plenty of raw materials, shall we say, to fuel this value. Hmm, sounds like this is another company like Nike hoping to marry sustainability activities to innovation.

Here are three of Waste Managements sustainability goals: Doubling renewable energy production, tripling the amount of recyclables processed by 2020 and investing in emerging technologies for managing waste.

This investment falls into all three areas.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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