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

TRUE DESIGNS FOR 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.

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.

TRUE certification for zero waste

TRUE is the first zero waste certification program dedicated to measuring, improving and recognizing zero waste performance.

Precertification

Precertification is the first step any project can take toward TRUE certification. It recognizes projects that have implemented the fundamental actions and policies needed to pursue zero waste and have demonstrated a commitment to achieving TRUE.

Recertification

Recertification recognizes projects that engage in a continuous improvement process and demonstrate leadership after achieving TRUE certification by maintaining or improving their zero waste efforts.

TRUE Safety First Pilot Credit

The TRUE Safety First Pilot Credit was developed in response to COVID-19 and promotes the health and safety of personnel associated with solid materials management at TRUE facilities.

TRUE Advisor Credit

In our current environment, it is also important that learning continues and is recognized. The TRUE Advisor credit recognizes projects that have TRUE Advisors on their teams.

TRUE for Events

Events are notoriously wasteful activities, utilizing a lot of single-use materials. But with some planning and guidance, events can significantly improve their environmental impact while showcasing your commitment to sustainability with attendees in real time.

Who is using TRUE?

Currently, there are more than 250 registered and certified projects, totaling more than 107 million square feet of space across 18 countries participating in TRUE.

Global organizations are deploying TRUE as their zero materials management system to standardize implementation practices in their operations and streamline their educational efforts to onboard their staff. This includes Colgate-Palmolive, which has certified 17 manufacturing facilities in nine countries on four continents to TRUE and has committed to certifying 100% of their global operations to TRUE.

Projects that certified to TRUE during the years 2018-2020 had an average diversion rate of 97% and a combined estimated 1.4 million tons of waste diverted.

TRUE Leadership in the field

TRUE Advisors understand the requirements of the rating system, help projects achieve TRUE certification and are committed to advancing zero waste values and policies. They are the resident experts at their company in supporting and implementing zero waste programs and leading facilities through the certification process.

In our current environment, it is also important that learning continues and is recognized. Many are looking to gain new skills and add credentials. GBCI’s TRUE Advisor certificate program provides a comprehensive curriculum for the individual who wants to learn about zero waste, and support businesses in implementing zero waste initiatives and TRUE certification.

To further support and encourage this, GBCI has introduced a TRUE Advisor credit to recognize projects that have TRUE Advisors on their teams.

With TRUE, companies are saving money and creating jobs

Zero waste efforts and the transition to a circular economy is also one of the fastest, most effective ways for businesses to not only protect the environment and promote human health but also to save money and create jobs.

There are many economic advantages embedded in the strategies of TRUE that help businesses reduce operational costs and generate revenue.

One of the main benefits of TRUE certification is expedited return on investment. The reality is that if your company is throwing materials into a trash bin, then there are inefficiencies in your business and you are throwing money away—along with valuable resources.

The best part is zero waste strategies recommended in TRUE require limited investments and have extremely fast payback periods as short as 30 days. This is because TRUE focuses on internal policies and procedures more than the installation of new infrastructure or technology.

The TRUE Rating System offers 15 different categories each focused on maximizing the life cycle of every product to promote a fully circular economy. Projects around the world are implementing these credits with impressive results – and savings.

Help advance TRUE

Solving this challenge together will take hard work, but the benefits to human health, our natural ecosystems and the global economy are worth the effort. Get involved and join the TRUE movement.

Act and build capacity

If you haven’t already, take the TRUE Advisor exam and earn your professional certificate.

Learn on the job

Engage in your facility to understand how waste is managed and help improve it. If you’re just getting started, the simplest way to do this is by conducting or supporting a waste audit to understand where your waste is coming from in the first place.

Make a positive impact through your facility

Encourage your facility to register, pursue and certify a project with TRUE.

Stay informed

Sign up for the TRUE newsletter and watch some of our upcoming live events or educational courses. 

Spread the word about TRUE on social media

This one is easy — follow TRUE on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, talk about the program and share what the TRUE certification for zero waste means to you.

Share your story

By sharing our stories, we help each other see things through different perspectives and learn new ways of doing making a difference along the way. Living Standard is USGBC’s storytelling and action-oriented campaign to advance a more sustainable, healthier future. Share your story with us, and we might feature you on our website, emails, or social media channels.