Feature image credit: littleny, Adobe Stock.
The Center for Sustainable Materials Management (CSMM), housed at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is excited to announce the projects selected to pursue TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) certification and precertification for zero waste in collaboration with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).
The CSMM vision is to make New York state a driving force of the future by galvanizing and leading all sectors of the state to apply the principles of sustainable materials management, propelling the state to become the least resource-consumptive and most circular in the U.S.
“The Center is thrilled to kick off our zero waste program with GBCI to support six dynamic New York organizations. By implementing zero waste strategies, these facilities will increase efficiency and reduce overall community environmental impact. We are excited to share the lessons learned through these partnerships to increase public education and engage more New York employees and residents in workplace sustainability,” said Kate Walker, CSMM’s executive director.
The TRUE rating system offers a comprehensive framework to help facilities, portfolios, events and even construction sites design waste out of their systems and commit to a streamlined, circular model. TRUE certification for zero waste measures a facility, event or construction project’s diversion rate with a requirement of a minimum of 90% diversion from landfill, incineration and the environment.
“As markets continue to urbanize and industrialize, cities and businesses are faced with an increasing amount of waste that puts strain on resources and communities,” said Celeste McMickle, GBCI’s director of client relations with TRUE. “By pursuing TRUE certification, these six projects are not only diverting 90% of their waste, they are also helping turn waste into savings and potentially new income streams.”
CSMM and GBCI have selected four New York state organizations to support in achieving TRUE certification and two organizations in achieving TRUE precertification. CSMM will provide technical and financial assistance to the project partners. One TRUE Advisor certificate registration, which educates individuals on the rating system’s implementation, is included for each facility.
Project partners were selected based on the strength of their zero waste goals, need for innovative solutions and potential to impact sustainable materials management across their industry. Small businesses and organizations located in potential environmental justice areas were also prioritized.
Our project partners pursuing TRUE precertification are Goodwill of the Finger Lakes and the UBS Arena. Our partners pursuing TRUE certification are Chanel (5th Avenue location), Maison Jar, Re:Dish and Staach. Learn more about our project partners:
- Goodwill of the Finger Lakes is a caring, local, person-centered nonprofit organization that does a lot of good across the greater Rochester community and the Finger Lakes region. Goodwill upholds its mission of “Elevating people, community, and planet for a good today, and a better tomorrow” by creating employment opportunities for people with barriers to independence while generating revenue to support community programs and services.
- UBS Arena, the state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue that opened in November 2021, serves as the home for the NHL’s New York Islanders. The arena takes pride in their growing sustainability initiatives, all while providing fans with an unparalleled entertainment experience. UBS Arena is a LEED-certified venue and is a founding member of the Green Operations and Advanced Leadership (GOAL) program.
- Chanel, one of the most widely recognized luxury brands in the world, leads its U.S. operations out of New York City. Dedicated to exceptional creation, the company invests significantly in R&D, sustainable development and innovation. Chanel is focused on delivering positive impact—both within and beyond the House—through key impact areas including nature and climate, circularity, thriving people and communities, and the autonomy of women.
- Maison Jar is a small, low-waste, woman-owned neighborhood grocery and refillery serving the Greenpoint community in Brooklyn. It focuses on not only providing a low-waste experience for customers, but also on striving to reduce waste between the store and its vendors.
- Re:Dish, a woman-owned New York based company, provides reuse as a service to clients, supplying the warewashing infrastructure and software that makes reuse possible at scale. Re:Dish helps companies, schools, hospitals, senior living communities, production sets, arenas—all places where large numbers of people are dining—move away from single-use disposable packaging and toward an operations process that prioritizes reuse. Re:Dish's flexible reuse washing model allows it to address a variety of client needs, from reducing disposable packaging waste generated by cafeterias and other large food service settings to supporting the washing infrastructure and tracking for other reusable services.
- Staach, a small, Rochester-based sustainable furniture company, prides itself on breaking away from the “fast furniture” trend by designing high-quality pieces that are built to last.