Inspiring perspectives

Inspiring Perspectives: Kristine Richmond with WM on using data for action

March 27, 2024
Inspiring perspectives

Inspiring Perspectives: Kristine Richmond with WM on using data for action

Kristine Richmond, Senior Director of ESG & Sustainability Impact at WM, is a firm believer in the power of focused data collection and reporting in order to free up time to drive real sustainability action. With a robust background in corporate sustainability, Kristine knows what it takes to build and maintain strong programs and bring an entire organization on board to help drive commitments forward.

In our first Inspiring Perspectives episode, Kristine shares advice on navigating the transition from a focus on data collection to a focus on meaningful impact.

Build a business case  

Kristine has 15+ years of experience in sustainability. In her role at WM, she works with senior leaders and business executives to embed sustainability throughout their organization. Kristine’s biggest piece of advice for building a case for each initiative is to lead with numbers. Kristine said, “It's the old adage, ‘what gets measured gets managed,’ so we're always trying to put more numbers behind [our work].”

Draw insights from the data

“We don't need more data, really. We really need to make sure that those data are translating to action.” She stressed it’s important to continue to have evolution and improvements around accounting, both on the environmental and social side, but that it's equally important to ensure those improvements lead to action. It’s about focusing not only on the collection of data itself, but also on taking the time to draw insights from the data and using it to shape strategy and decision-making.

Make it simple
Kristine’s advice for creating change: make sustainability as approachable and as relevant as possible. WM’s Sustainability is focused on “always working for a sustainable tomorrow” with three clear Ambitions: Material is repurposed, Energy is renewable, and Communities are thriving. “Those nine simple words make it approachable,” she says. “You don't need to know what GHG is, you don't need to know what SBTI or TRIR to get what we stand for.”

Be transparent and hold yourself accountable

WM has a long history of transparency and reporting. WM has added a quarterly sustainability scorecard, which provides updates on key measures connected to their 2030 goals, and is provided to their board and shared publicly. This not only increases accountability, it also helps keep progress on sustainability top of mind.

Keep an eye on the future

“I'll be frank, you hear “no” a lot, as I'm sure everyone does in the business world,” says Kristine Timing is everything. I've tuned my ear so that when I hear no, I don't really hear no. I hear no, not right now. Even if I'm not getting buy-in today, I really do trust that the circle will turn and it'll come back around at another time.”

To find out more about Kristine, her work at WM, and how to turn sustainability into action, listen to our latest podcast episode.

Inspiring Perspectives: Kristine Richmond with WM on using data for action
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