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About TRUE

Sustainable resource management

TRUE is the first zero waste certification program dedicated to measuring, improving and recognizing zero waste performance by encouraging the adoption of sustainable materials management and reduction practices which contribute to positive environmental, health and economic outcomes.

On average, Americans produce over 1,500 pounds of waste per person every year. Only one-third of these materials are recycled and the rest goes to landfills, incineration and the environment, including our parks, streams and oceans. An estimated 400,000 to 1 million deaths annually are attributable to diseases caused by mismanaged waste in low to middle income countries. Waste affects every part of our communities and effective waste management strategies are critical to ensuring both public and environmental health. Mismanaged waste causes degradation to our environment, releases toxins into our bodies, damages oceans, creates greenhouse gases and costs businesses and municipalities billions to manage. And it places undue burden on underprivileged communities.

The transition to a truly circular economy will require us to challenge everything we’ve been taught about waste and begin viewing our materials or trash as a resource or an opportunity rather than something to simply discard. TRUE:

  • Is designed to help guide this transition by supporting businesses and communities in re-thinking old assumptions and re-designing processes to ensure that all resources are valued for their highest and best use.
  • Promotes a whole systems approach aimed at changing how materials flow through society, resulting in no waste. It focuses on upstream efforts including redesign, reduce and reuse and is not limited to downstream efforts.
  • Operates with the goal to divert all solid waste from the 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 implementing minimum program requirements within the TRUE Rating System.

Zero waste is our mission

The TRUE certification program helps facilities quantify their performance and find additional ways to improve their progress toward zero waste.

At TRUE, our mission is clear: helping buildings, businesses and communities strengthen their commitment to resource management and eliminate mismanaged waste. We look forward to supporting your own organizational goals in pursuit of this work.

Staff

stephanie barger
Stephanie Barger
Director, Market Transformation & Development
Susie Westrup
Susie Westrup
Director, Client Solutions
Celeste McMickle
Celeste McMickle
Director, Client Solutions
Holly Griffith
Holly Griffith
Certification Program Manager
Celia Ristow
Celia Ristow
Certification Manager
Mikaela Jewell
Mikaela Jewell
GBCI Program Associate
Sean McMahon
Sean McMahon
Vice President, Product Management
Vijaya Yellamraju
Vijaya Yellamraju
Vice President, Certification

TRUE Advisory Council

The TRUE Advisory Council provides industry leadership and experience.

  • Chair: Sue Beets-Atkinson; Global VP, Sustainability, SBM Management LP
  • Nadereh Afsharmanesh; VP of Sustainability and Education, ECOS
  • Denise Braun; CEO, All About Waste
  • Helene Carpentier; Head of Circular Economy and Zero Waste, CBRE
  • Anna Dengler; Senior Sustainability Advisor, Great Forest
  • Jordan Fengel; Sustainability Manager, US and Canada, Tetra Pak
  • Casey Mahalick; Senior Technical Associate–Environmental Sustainability, Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Stefan Moedritzer; Waste and Circularity Program Manager, Google
  • Ayodeji Oluwalana; Waste Reduction and Recycling Program Manager, Penn State University
  • Marialyce Pederson; Consultant, Secretary of NRC Board of Directors, National Recycling Coalition
  • Rachel Weisslitz; Associate Director of Environmental Sustainability, Merck and Co., Inc.