Another record year for Waste Management
Attendance, sustainability at forefront of week-long event
Phoenix – It was the fifth year of the company’s title sponsorship of the Waste Management Phoenix
Open (WMPO), and just like all of the events before, it proved to be the loudest, most attended and
greenest show along the PGA TOUR. With hundreds of thousands of fans, volunteers, recycling
ambassadors and the world’s best golfers filling the course, the 2014 WMPO was a landmark
occasion that involved:
- Zero trash cans
- 6,000 recycling and compost bins
- 60 managers
- 400 temporary employees
- 1,300 Port-o-Lets
- 18 collection trucks
- 563,008 spectators (a weeklong attendance record)
“We truly have integrated our brand into the tournament and have proven Waste Management to be a
sustainability leader,” said Lisa Gordon, director of branding and advertising for Waste Management.
Just like 2013, this year’s event is aiming for a 100 percent diversion rate. While it will take several
months to completely disassemble tournament items, return the golf course back to everyday
operations and calculate the event’s total recycling impact, Waste Management has a plan for getting
the most out of every pound of material.
Before, during and the after the WMPO, recyclable items are processed at the Surprise MRF in Arizona.
Compostable items go to a Garick facility just south of Phoenix, where they’re converted into products
for growers and farmers, while all other items go to the company’s SpecFuel plant in San Antonio, where
they’ll be converted into a coal supplement.
This year’s event also served as a venue for Waste Management to collaborate with current and
prospective customers. Throughout tournament week, the company hosted some of its most important
clientele, including major universities, restaurant franchises, energy companies and construction professionals.
Many of them also participated in the company’s social media campaign, called #greenestshow. Through this
branding effort, different organizations (like Oakley and the Arizona Diamondbacks) posted about the WMPO
through Facebook, Twitter and other outlets, while spectators used the campaign to share their experiences.
Statistics on number of posts are still being calculated, but overall the first-year effort was a success.
“Dozens of customers attended, giving us an opportunity to cement those relationships even further,” said
Dave Aardsma, chief sales and marketing officer.
“More than anything, this tournament is an opportunity to showcase the breadth of our services and solidify
us as an environmental solutions provider.”
One of the other ways Waste Management was able to connect with customers, and advocate its services
even further, was through its third annual Executive Sustainability Forum, where hundreds of participants
exchanged and discussed environmental practices.
Keynote speakers for the event included Bill McDonough, a nationally respected sustainability leader, WM
President and CEO David Steiner, and Andrew Winston, an expert on sustainable business and best-selling
author. The entire event can be viewed online by going to greenbiz.com.
“The Sustainability Forum provided useful information on where our industry is headed,” said Gordon.
“We offered attendants several activities, including panel discussions, keynotes and presentations.”
To learn more about WMPO through articles, video and photos, visit the event’s website at wmphoenixopen.com.