The E+E 100 are the VPs, directors, managers and engineers who are making significant strides in driving our industry. See the complete list here or download the report for more detailed information about these leaders. And stay tuned for the Call for Submissions coming in the fall, when you can nominate your favorite sustainability or energy management professional!
Now, meet Meg Moynihan, director of strategic marketing with Stericycle Environmental Solutions. Stericycle provides environmental and regulated waste management solutions, including the award-winning pharmaceutical consumer takeback suite of Seal&Send Medication MailBack Envelopes and Medication Collection Kiosks. In her role at the company, Moynihan focuses on product development, change management, and new business scoping.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in the last year or two?
The drug take-back program has been the fastest growing new business line for Environmental Solutions in the last five years. The biggest challenge we face is trying to manage communication and scaling across all the different stakeholders external to the company.
Within the retail environment, market forces are driving them to be cost-conscious. Coming to a national retail chain or a regional retail chain and saying, “This is something you can do for your community but it’s going to be a new cost line on your P&L” can be a challenging argument to make.
Customers have so many questions: Is somebody going to break into this thing? What’s my liability? How are you going to help me manage this? We have to be more than a service provider because people fill in unknowns with fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
How have you addressed that challenge?
Procurement is a huge part. We’ve put several of our critical manufacturing components out to RFP in the last six months. And cost modeling helps us provide solutions affordably to clients.
Additionally, we work closely with regulatory agencies to guide future regulations. One example is the type of disposal mandated. I can imagine why regulators with the best intentions would want material to go to a hazardous waste incinerator — which tend to be the most highly regulated — but there’s a limited number of those facilities in the US and some are not permitted to take this waste stream. You hamstring the ability of industry to manage that material in a cost-effective manner.
It’s a balance between managing the downstream environmental impact and being able to offer this in a way that’s affordable. A lot of our efforts in the last year have been designed to help us find that sweet spot, guide regulatory agencies there, and bring the rest of the industry along.
What advice would you give other professionals as they try to accomplish their sustainability or energy management goals?
The most effective strategy is collaboration. If we’re launching a new product or program, sustainability-related or not, the first thing we do is build a cross-functional team internally, and then bring that same principle outside the organization. We don’t want to operate in a vacuum.
Nobody can do this by themselves. Sustainability requires us to think about how we can work together, both within our organization and with others, to meet these goals.