WM, Houston, has announced plans to invest $825 million in its renewable energy footprint from 2022 to 2025 by expanding its renewable natural gas (RNG) infrastructure. The company says it plans to build 17 facilities across North America by 2026.
"We are committed to sustainability through our actions and investments and are proud to transform yesterday's waste to fuel our future with renewable energy," said Tara Hemmer, chief sustainability officer for WM. "As an end-to-end vertically integrated environmental services provider, WM is uniquely positioned to expand our RNG footprint within our business.”
The company says the investment is anticipated to increase RNG production by 600 percent to help fuel its entire RNG fleet and communities across the country. The company says it will be able to provide enough renewable energy to supply the equivalent of 1 million homes.
Today, WM has 16 plants across North America through a mix of WM plants and third-party developers. By 2026, the company plans to expand its RNG network in several states including Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania in the U.S. The company is also investing in plants in Quebec and Ontario in Canada. WM expects RNG plants in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Springdale, Arkansas, to come online in 2022.
The increase in RNG production WM expects from the new investments will lead to the displacement of approximately 1.3 million metric tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2026, the equivalent to 3 billion miles driven by an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle.
“RNG is pipeline-quality natural gas and offers a cost-effective, drop-in, low-carbon replacement for conventional natural gas derived from fossil resources,” WM said in a statement to Waste Today. “Therefore, the addressable market is technically equal to total natural gas demand, and RNG can be transported via existing natural gas infrastructure.”
WM says it will continue to invest in areas across the business when it comes to sustainability, with renewable energy being one of them. The company also continues to invest in areas like recycling, with a $275 million planned investment in materials recovery facilities for recycling infrastructure for 2022 alone.