TRUE certification focuses on helping buildings, businesses and communities strengthen their commitment to resource management
September 9, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the world’s leading sustainability and health certification and credentialing body, announced it has surpassed 200 TRUE certified projects. TRUE (or Total Resource Use and Efficiency) is administered by GBCI and is the first zero waste certification program dedicated to measuring, improving and recognizing zero waste performance by encouraging the adoption of sustainable waste management and reduction practices that contribute to positive environmental, health and economic outcomes.
“Integrating zero waste strategies presents one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways to protect the environment, promote human health and mitigate climate change,” said Sean McMahon, Vice President of Product Management, GBCI. “The companies pursuing TRUE certification are demonstrating leadership by shifting to circular thinking and prioritizing processes, operations and actions to reduce waste and limit upstream resource extraction and use – ultimately delivering numerous benefits for communities worldwide.”
Facilities achieve TRUE certification by meeting an average of 90% or greater overall waste diversion from landfill, incineration (waste-to-energy) and the environment over a period of 12 months, as well as implementing minimum program requirements within the TRUE Rating System. With more than 86 million square feet certified across 16 countries, TRUE projects have been able to divert a total of 3,075,301 tons of waste from landfill since 2017 — a number that increases daily. TRUE certification also helps these projects collectively average an estimated savings of more than $47.5 million per year.
Global organizations are deploying TRUE as their zero waste management system to meet their sustainability and corporate social responsibility goals, achieve carbon emission and waste reduction targets, standardize implementation practices in their operations and streamline their educational efforts to onboard their staff. This includes Colgate Palmolive, a global household and consumer product manufacturer. With 22 TRUE certified manufacturing facilities across the world covering 12 countries and five continents, Colgate currently has the largest portfolio of TRUE certified projects, and in their 2021 Sustainability & Social Impact Strategy committed to certifying 100% of their global operations to TRUE as part of their efforts to create a healthier, more sustainable future for all.
TRUE certification also lends itself to buildings outside of manufacturing covering agriculture, distribution and warehousing, hospitality, office, retail and events. One such project is green building consulting firm Petinelli, which achieved TRUE Platinum certification and a 97.1% waste diversion rate for their Curitiba, Brazil headquarters. The company operates as a living laboratory – a sustainability and energy efficiency showroom that anticipates global green building concepts and provides an opportunity to test ideas, to be creative and to imagine the future. One of the chief lessons the team at Petinelli learned during the certification process was that it is only possible to have a real sense of the amount of waste generated, reused and recycled if the process is measured. Each month, the company conducts a waste analysis which is shared with all employees to demonstrate transparency, credibility and learning opportunities. Through the strategies they have implemented, the company was able to compost 893kg of waste instead of sending it to landfills during a 12-month performance period year.
In March 20201, Brookfield Properties’ Ecoworld campus in Bengaluru, India recently became the first commercial office complex to achieve TRUE in India and Southeast Asia. The TRUE Gold campus achieved a 95% waste diversion rate over a 12-month period, and recycles over 1,200 tons of waste every year through use of an IoT-based waste management system. Strategies employed at Ecoworld that contributed to its certification include implementing a reduce-reuse-recycle approach, diverting solid and wet waste which would have otherwise gone to the landfill, continuous monitoring of waste generation in real time through IOT applications, practicing zero waste purchasing and implementing employee trainings and workshops around waste management to drive awareness.
In the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, the 150 California Street office building achieved TRUE certification and a waste diversion rate of 93.5% through the collaboration of ownership, staff, vendors and tenants as they pursued building-wide sustainability goals. "TRUE certification was important for 150 California Street because it not only highlights our efforts for zero waste and sustainability, but it also provides guidelines on how to achieve our goals. Through the process of completing the TRUE certification, we learned more innovative ways to keep our building in line with maintaining our continuous efforts with the zero waste program," said Cayla Sha, Assistant Real Estate Manager.
As the world collectively turns its attention to ESG and circular economy principles, these TRUE certified buildings, restaurants, manufacturing facilities and more are proving that zero waste is within reach. To learn more about how companies are utilizing TRUE to support zero waste goals, visit true.gbci.org.