TRUE certification for zero waste
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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. TRUE also certifies events to improve their sustainability. Explore the TRUE project directory and view TRUE pricing.
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Certification is available for any physical facility and their operations, including buildings owned by: businesses, property managers, schools, government agencies and nonprofits. For event eligibility, see the Guide to Event Certification below. For construction eligibility, please reference our TRUE for Construction Projects Pilot page.
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 Application form available on the Resources page. View TRUE Pricing.
- 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 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 and TRUE Rating System on the Resources page to learn more.
TRUE precertification is an optional, incremental pathway to TRUE certification that prioritizes the core actions essential to getting a successful start toward zero waste. Learn more about the precertification process by reviewing the TRUE Precertification Guidance which outlines details about the process.
TRUE certified projects may recertify by providing annual performance data demonstrating that the project continues to meet zero waste requirements. Projects may also recertify and pursue additional points to upgrade their previous certification level gaining increased recognition. Review the TRUE Certification Maintenance and Recertification Guidance for more details on the recertification and certification requirements.
TRUE Portfolio Program
The TRUE Portfolio Program offers an alternate, streamlined documentation submittal and verification process that leverages the similarities between multiple buildings to recognize their zero waste accomplishments. For more information, review the TRUE Portfolio Guide which outlines details about eligibility, the documentation submittal and review process, and more.
Guide to Events Certification
In addition to facilities, events are also eligible to receive certification. Eligible events include public or private organized gatherings of people at a predetermined time and place (such as conferences, festivals, entertainment or sporting events, etc.) TRUE for Events certification has been adapted from the original certification program to help events reach their zero waste goals. View the Technical Guide for Events on the Resources page to learn more.
Guide to Construction Pilot Certification
Construction projects are also eligible to receive certification through a recently released pilot guidance which has been adapted from the TRUE Rating System to help construction projects achieve their zero waste goals. Construction projects may achieve precertification or certification, and eligible construction may include any completed new construction or major renovation projects. View the TRUE for Construction Projects Pilot resources page to learn more.