Lots of organizations, from city governments and universities to sporting venues and events to manufacturers and retailers, are pledging to drastically reduce or even eliminate any waste going to landfill.
- City governments: According to a survey of government officials, 14 percent of governments have a zero waste plan, including San Francisco; Seattle; and Austin, Texas.
- Universities: The American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an association of college presidents addressing climate change issues, identifies waste reduction as an important part of any effort to reduce global warming pollution. Several universities are prioritizing zero waste initiatives, including Arizona State University, American University and the entire University of North Carolina system.
- Sporting events: The Green Sports Alliance promotes sustainability initiatives among sports teams, venues and leagues. Several of its members have aggressive waste reduction initiatives, including the Philadelphia Eagles, Ohio State football and the Waste Management Phoenix Open PGA golf tournament.
- Manufacturers: Lots of manufacturers, including Dell, Kimberly Clark, Honda, Procter & Gamble, Ford and others, have zero waste goals.
- Retailers: Walmart, Crate & Barrel, REI and other retailers have pledged to drastically reduce or even eliminate any waste going to landfill.
Companies like GAF, Bridgestone, Mayer Bros. and the Waste Management Phoenix Open are getting claims validated to prove the accuracy of their claims and to gain a competitive advantage among consumers, business partners and investors who value waste diversion and the efficiencies it requires.
Interestingly, other companies are choosing not to have their claims publicly validated, but are opting to go through the same process and having their programs audited. Companies are finding value in the audit itself beyond the well-recognized public relations benefits.
Some of the additional value of a waste diversion audit, as reported to UL Environment auditors, includes:
Reinvigorating recycling and waste diversion program
Ensuring consistent internal measurement
Creating a level playing field
Avoiding making exaggerated claims
Earning Wall Street respect
"What gets measured and audited gets done even better.”