What we do

Rethink the resource life cycle

TRUE is a whole systems approach aimed at changing how materials flow through society, resulting in no waste. TRUE encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused.

TRUE promotes processes that consider the entire lifecycle of products used within a facility. With TRUE, your facility can demonstrate to the world what you’re doing to minimize your waste output.


A better approach to resource use and facility operations

TRUE does not require big financial investments. TRUE implementation can be as simple as transforming trash bins into recycling bins and fostering a zero waste culture.

Support public health & ecosystems

With TRUE, you support systems that encourage material reuse and recycling. TRUE is your tool to help eliminate pollution — in our air, water and land — which threaten public health and ecosystems.

Cut your ecological footprint

By participating in TRUE Zero Waste certification, facilities commit to reducing materials, using recycled and more benign materials, longer product lives, reparability and ease of disassembly at end of life.

Advance a green economy

TRUE promotes positive forces for environmental and economic sustainability in the built environment by protecting the environment, reducing costs and producing jobs throughout our economy.

TRUE Zero Waste certification for facilities

Save on operational costs with TRUE

TRUE certified spaces are environmentally responsible, more resource efficient and help turn waste into savings and additional income streams. By closing the loop, they cut greenhouse gases, manage risk, reduce litter and pollution, reinvest resources locally, create jobs and add more value for their company and community.


Certification is available for any physical facility and their operations, including buildings owned by: businesses, property managers, schools, government agencies and nonprofits.

How TRUE works

A TRUE project's goal is to divert all solid waste from the landfill, incineration (waste-to-energy) and the environment. Facilities achieve certification by meeting seven minimum program requirements and attaining at least 31 points on the TRUE Zero Waste scorecard.
Certification requirements
  • Company or project seeking certification has a zero waste policy in place
  • Project has achieved an average of 90 percent or greater overall diversion from landfill, incineration (waste-to-energy) and the environment for solid, non-hazardous wastes for the most recent 12 months. Diverted materials are reduced, reused, recycled, composted and/or recovered for productive use in nature or the economy
  • Project meets all federal, state/provincial, and local solid waste and recycling laws and regulations. Project complies with all air, water and land discharge permits required for collection, handling or processing of materials.
  • Project has data documenting a base year of waste diversion, and measurements since the base year that adjust for changes in size, type and nature of business
  • Project submits 12 months of waste diversion data to GBCI annually to keep the certification current
  • Project does not exceed a 10 percent contamination level for any materials that leave the site
  • Company submits a case study of zero waste initiatives to be published on this website

Guide to Certification

The TRUE Zero Waste certification program is an Assessor-based program that rates how well facilities perform in minimizing their non-hazardous, solid wastes and maximizing their efficiency in the use of resources. View the Guide to Certification to learn more.

Getting started

To register your project for TRUE Zero Waste certification, complete the registration form and email it to us at [email protected].

Contact us to get started with certification
Explore our TRUE project directory

TRUE Advisor for professionals

Be recognized as a zero waste professional

TRUE Advisors are professionals who are trained on the TRUE Zero Waste Rating System. TRUE Advisors understand the requirements of the rating system, help projects achieve TRUE certification and are committed to advancing zero waste values and policies. As a TRUE Advisor, you’ll be the resident expert at your company in supporting and implementing zero waste programs and leading facilities through the certification process.

Learn more about the TRUE Advisor certificate program


Zero waste is our mission

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


stephanie barger
Stephanie Barger
Director, Market Transformation & Development

TRUE Advisory Council

The TRUE Advisory Council provides industry leadership and experience.

richard anthony
Richard Anthony
Richard Anthony Associates
Nadereh Afsharmanesh
Nadereh Afsharmanesh
Earth Friendly Products
sue beets-atkinson
Sue Beets-Atkinson
SBM Management
Brian Balukonis
Brian Balukonis
retired, Raytheon Company
mike carey
Mike Carey
Orange Coast College
cheri chastain
Cheri Chastain
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Mark P Hitchcock
Mark P Hitchcock
Toyota Motor North America
scott d. lutocka
Scott D. Lutocka
Piazza Produce Inc.