Thank you for your interest in sustainability efforts at Waste Connections.
We view efforts to minimize our impact on the environment and drive continuous improvement in employee safety, welfare, engagement and inclusion as integral to our business, driving long-term value creation for all of our stakeholders. As part of our commitment to provide increased transparency on our sustainability efforts, we introduced fifteen-year, aspirational sustainability targets in 2020, along with a commitment of $500 million towards their achievement.
Our 2020 results show progress towards all of our long-term, aspirational sustainability targets, as well as an 8% reduction in operational greenhouse gas emissions. We also increased our offsets generated from our services provided, led by a 7% increase in landfill gas collected and converted to renewable energy and a 5% increase in recycling tons processed. These efforts further improved our net negative carbon footprint. Put simply, through our services offered in 2020, we were able to avoid 18.2 million metric tons of CO2e, a figure that exceeded our emissions generated from operations by over 3.2 times. Going forward, we are well positioned to achieve our aspirational climate-related targets through a growing pipeline of projects under development, including renewable natural gas plants, leachate treatment plants and state-of-the-art greenfield recycling facilities.
We are proud of the accomplishments of our 19,000 employees and pleased to report that in 2020, we saw a reduction in employee turnover and safety-related incident rates, already below the industry average, plus a further increase in employee engagement. The importance of putting employees first, our safety-focused, servant leadership-based culture guided our decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and continues to do so. Our ongoing employee support since the onset of COVID-19 brings our investment to over $40 million, largely focused on the health and welfare of frontline employees and their families.
As you consider our 2021 updates on sustainability, we hope that you will recognize the value of our track record for creating a culture of accountability, environmental stewardship, and safety, along with the inclusiveness of a servant leadership-driven organization.
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