News Brief

Zero Waste? Is It TRUE?

The TRUE rating system helps businesses and facilities eliminate waste through education and performance tracking.

Sierra Nevada’s brewery in Chico, California, has achieved a Platinum TRUE certification. Among other things, the facility uses a HotRot composting system to convert all food waste into a nutrient rich amendment for onsite agriculture, and makes biodiesel with used fryer oil from the restaurant.

Photo: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
The rebranded TRUE (“Total Resource Use and Efficiency”) Zero Waste rating system (administered previously by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council) was recently launched by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) as a way to promote a holistic approach to waste reduction.

The TRUE Zero Waste rating system is meant to encourage and facilitate the green business practice of waste reduction. A company that uses its resources more efficiently and generates less waste is not only reducing its environmental impacts, but also saving money.

The certification is available for any facility, whether it’s a manufacturing plant, an office, school, or public building like a museum or library. Companies that have certified facilities under the program include Tesla, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and Cintas.

By helping organizations understand the flow of material through their processes and operations, TRUE is a tool for identifying opportunities for reduced material use, reuse, and recycling.

The program emphasizes education and performance tracking, and goes beyond waste diversion to include upstream policies and practices as strategies for eliminating waste and redesigning product life cycles.

To earn certification, a facility must divert an average of at least 90% of waste over a 12-month period. This is measured against data collected over an initial, base year of operation, and waste diversion data must be submitted annually to maintain the certification.

In addition to sharing diversion data with GBCI, projects must also provide a case study of zero-waste initiatives to be published on the TRUE website.

As part of the initial certification process, an assessor will conduct an onsite review of the facility to verify all requirements have been met.

There are currently at least 88 TRUE-certified facilities worldwide.

For more information:


Published October 6, 2017

Wilson, J. (2017, October 6). Zero Waste? Is It TRUE?. Retrieved from

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