Feature image: LEED and TRUE Platinum Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Courtesy of AMB Sports + Entertainment.
It’s Net Zero Buildings Week, and we’re highlighting and celebrating the benefits of reaching net zero: zero water, energy, carbon and, most important for TRUE, zero waste. Led by the New Buildings Institute, along with other industry partners, Net Zero Buildings Week is designed to showcase and promote the benefits of net zero buildings for a more sustainable future.
TRUE is a zero waste certification program that guides facilities, portfolios, events and construction sites to design waste out of their system. The rating system is designed to divert all solid waste from landfill, incineration and the environment. Facilities achieve certification by meeting an average of 90% or greater overall waste diversion over a period of 12 months, as well as by implementing minimum program requirements within the TRUE rating system.
Today, more than 300 facilities and events have achieved TRUE certification. Covering 28 countries, TRUE projects have diverted an estimated 5,620,744 tons of waste from the world’s waste streams. With each new project that pursues zero waste, we get one step closer to a global circular economy that prioritizes using materials for their highest and best use.
While many projects pursue TRUE because of its low barrier to entry, quick return on investment and immediate environmental benefits, TRUE also pairs easily with LEED certification for green buildings. In fact, a facility that achieves both LEED certification and TRUE Platinum certification qualifies for LEED Zero certification for zero waste.
Global organizations like USGBC Platinum member Colgate Palmolive, a global household and consumer product manufacturer, have a long history of pursuing LEED and zero waste. With 33 TRUE-certified manufacturing facilities around the world, covering 19 countries and five continents, Colgate currently has the largest portfolio of TRUE projects. Its 2022 Sustainability and Social Impact Strategy commits to certifying 100% of the company's global operations to TRUE as part of its efforts to create a healthier, more sustainable future for all.
Zero waste isn’t just for manufacturing facilities, though. In Atlanta, Georgia, the LEED Gold State Farm Arena and LEED Platinum Mercedes-Benz Stadium have both achieved TRUE Platinum certification. Hosting events for tens of thousands of sports fans and concertgoers every month, these enormous venues are proving that sustainability leadership is possible at any scale.
“As a community asset, we know how important it is for us to practice what we preach when it comes to being a good corporate citizen,” said Sofi Armenakian, director of sustainability and operations for the Hawks and State Farm Arena. “We know fans, artists and staff want to come to a venue that’s making a difference in the world and practicing sustainability at a high level.”
As the world collectively turns its attention to ESG and circular economy principles, TRUE-certified manufacturing facilities, stadiums, events and more are proving that zero waste is within reach.