Director, Market Transformation & Development
TRUE Certification for Zero Waste
As director of market transformation & development for TRUE certification, Stephanie Barger is responsible for the growth and development of the TRUE program. Barger helped launch TRUE, which is owned and administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) in 2017. GBCI is the premier organization independently recognizing excellence in green business industry performance and practice globally and administers all LEED green building certifications. TRUE was acquired by GBCI in 2016 and was previously known as U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, which Barger formed in January 2012.
Barger has been dedicated to meeting the growing need for educational resources, peer-to-peer networking and third-party certification for businesses across the nation related to waste reduction and zero waste. She brings over 25 years of experience in environmental stewardship, employee training, management consulting and business development. Prior to forming the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, Barger spent 15 years leading Earth Resource Foundation (ERF), a dynamic high school environmental leadership program. ERF’s campaigns included curbing plastic pollution through zero waste, promoting native plant restoration, advocating for smoke-free beaches and improving watershed management. In 2009, ERF was awarded a Federal Stimulus Grant (the California Green Jobs Program in Orange County) to provide training for at-risk youth in zero waste and career development.
Previously, Barger was a certified trainer with California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA), one of the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit recycling organizations. She taught a class on zero waste businesses. She helped write and administer a Department of Labor grant that expanded the CRRA training program to over 500 unemployed and under-employed individuals. The grant also developed a recycling, resource management and zero waste certificate and associates degree program at three community colleges in Southern California.
Barger has worked with several California counties and cities on waste policies, including the City of Newport Beach’s polystyrene ban at all restaurants; the City of Burbank’s zero waste plan for the restaurant and grocery store sectors; the County of Orange’s pollution prevention initiative through zero waste and many businesses including Whole Foods Market, St. Joseph’s Heritage Health Care, Reel Chefs Catering and Kean Coffee.
She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from San Diego State University. In her spare time, Barger raises guide dog puppies for the blind and advocates for humane treatment of all creatures great and small. She lives in Penryn, California.