TxN20 Honorees: Waste Management & City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability + Industry Highlights

We are excited to bring you the Texan by Nature 20 (TxN 20) for its third year! The TxN 20 is an effort to recognize the best work in conservation coming from businesses operating and based in Texas. It’s an opportunity to showcase innovation, commitment, and best practices from a variety of industries.

To select the 2021 TxN 20, the TxN Team evaluated submissions as well as conducted independent research across 2,000+ of Texas’ publicly traded and private companies within 12 industry sectors. All companies were evaluated on a 17-point scoring system to narrow down the list of the top 60 companies in Texas. A selection committee of top industry leaders was formed to evaluate the top 60 companies and select the final honorees for the TxN 20.

Our city’s sustainability offices and waste, water, and energy providers support over 29 million Texans with the resources they need to call Texas home. Cities and municipal service providers across Texas in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston among many others have sustainability and conservation a part of their decision making processes. From establishing climate action plans to making Lights Out Texas proclamations, to protecting and enhancing our water resources and making our cities great places to live, the municipal services industry has Texas’ natural resources top of mind while serving Texans where they live, work, worship, and play.

Learn more about the 2021 TxN 20 honorees from the municipal services industry and see a list of industry highlights. 

2021 Honoree: City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability

The City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability has earned the TxN 20 Honoree title for the second year. The Office of Sustainability is working to make San Antonio a great place to live, work, and play while enhancing the environment, quality-of-life, and economic vitality. In 2018, they established Electric Vehicles San Antonio (EVSA), a comprehensive program to accelerate transportation electrification in San Antonio. The program includes research, policy, planning, public engagement, infrastructure and encouragement. The City of San Antonio’s EV charging public-private partnership, launched in 2021, is providing publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure on city property to encourage and support emission-free transportation.

2021 Honoree: Waste Management

Headquartered in Houston, Waste Management provides comprehensive waste solutions to a varied customer base and operates the largest network of landfills in the industry, managing the disposal of almost 100 million tons of waste every year. In addition to creating renewable natural gas by converting landfill gas, WM’s organic recycling program, CORe® converts food waste into an organic slurry that generates green energy at four locations in North America. CORe® allows WM to collect leftover food and organics from restaurants, schools, food processing plants, and grocery stores and then filter out contaminants such as plastic, packaging materials, and bones. 

Read the full honoree Q&A write-ups and read the 2021 press release

Industry Highlights

In addition to this year’s TxN 20 honorees, learn more about best practices in conservation and sustainability coming from companies across the municipal services industry.

  • Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s (PEC) conservation programs work to protect monarchs, pollinators, and native habitats. These efforts include building a certified monarch butterfly way station at their headquarters in Johnson City. PEC also started reseeding easements that benefit the environment and increase pollinator habitat. 
  • Tarrant Regional Water District’s conservation efforts help save an average of 100 million gallons per day. In addition to their water conservation efforts, the district works to preserve wildlife and pollinator habitats through projects such as Eagle Mountain Park, Airfield Falls Trailhead & Conservation Park, and the George W. Shannon Wetlands.
  • Texas Disposal System’ Eco Academy educates K-12 students about the importance of waste diversion through recycling and composting at schools. TDS Eco Academy provides educational materials to staff and administrators in an effort to create tomorrow’s sustainability leaders while minimizing waste in central Texas schools.
  • North Texas Municipal Water District’s programs divert and retreat more than 14 billion gallons of wastewater every year through their operation of the largest indirect wastewater effluent recovery program in Texas. More than 40 million gallons of effluent are pumped from the Wilson Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant to Lavon Lake, to provide additional water for the region.
  • El Paso Water supplies 97 percent of all municipal water in El Paso County, and they promote water conservation by utilizing high-efficiency infrastructure that contributes to saving 2.6 billion gallons of water annually.
  • San Antonio Water System (SAWS) participates in a water recycling program composed of a 130 mile pipeline that saves 35,000 acre-feet per year, or about 29 million gallons per day. Beyond water conservation, SAWS also utilizes biogas to reduce carbon emissions. In 2020, SAWS reduced carbon emissions by 19,739 tons, which is the equivalent of removing 31,261 cars from the road or planting 38,736 trees.
  • In 2021, Texan by Nature collaboratively led a statewide effort called Lights Out Texas, that encouraged all Texans to turn off all lights at night in the Spring and Fall to protect migratory birds. The following are cities and counties that made commitments towards this initiative in Spring 2021:
    • City of Arlington
    • City of Austin
    • City of Cedar Hill
    • City of Dallas
    • City of Dripping Springs
    • City of Fort Worth
    • City of Galveston
    • City of Houston
    • Travis County