Waste Management, Inc. (WM) today announced it is helping customers validate their zero waste initiatives by employing an offering by UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories).
“While there are vague and often conflicting definitions of Zero Waste circulating in the industry, it is a designation many businesses, communities and schools across North America strive to achieve,” said Tom Carpenter, a director in WM’s Sustainability Services division. “We know that the UL Environment claim validation is something our customers covet.”
UL Environment’s landfill waste diversion claim validation recognizes entities that have achieved certain waste diversion milestones. Waste Management is offering its customers a streamlined route to pursuing validation by leveraging its diversion strategies and data management systems. While pursuit of zero waste is an on-going process of improvement, Carpenter said that many organizations ask for intermediate benchmarks to validate their progress.
Specifically, WM is helping customers implement strategies to increase waste diversion rates, manage diversion programs on an on-going basis, and obtain the data required by UL Environment for the validation process. The tiered claim validation structure provides three distinct claims for which customers can receive validation:
- The zero waste to landfill claim is validated by UL Environment when an organization can prove that it consistently achieves a landfill waste diversion rate of 100 percent;
- Virtually zero waste to landfill validation is for an organization that has achieved a landfill diversion rate of 98 percent or greater; and
- The landfill diversion rate validation is for an organization that has achieved a landfill diversion rate of greater than or equal to 80 percent.
Once the waste diversion data is validated by UL Environment, organizations can include the UL Environment claim validation mark on marketing materials. Carpenter said that organizations could also benefit from the designation by promoting their leadership in environmental stewardship and acquiring this data for use in supplier scorecards or other sustainability-related publications and filings.
He said that because the waste diversion claims are transparent and clearly defined, organizations will be able to demonstrate their exact level of environmental leadership to the marketplace. This type of leadership can translate into improved market share and competitiveness and can help position organizations as thought leaders.
“In today’s marketplace, businesses have an extraordinary opportunity to advance sustainability in new and exciting ways. We applaud Waste Management for playing a leadership role in landfill waste diversion,” said Sara Greenstein, president of UL Environment. “We are confident that Waste Management’s initiative to leverage UL Environment’s claim validation will provide a platform for WM’s customers to show their commitment to reducing waste, increasing diversion, and spurring positive transformation toward environmental stewardship.”
Waste Management Sustainability Services is a nationwide network of environmental professionals combining environmental expertise and project management to help clients advance along the path toward sustainability. The consulting group has already helped hundreds of clients in the United States and Canada realize their environmental goals by recommending business practices that reduce waste, save energy and provide a “next life” for resources they no longer need.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are the largest residential recycler and also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill-gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more visit www.thinkgreen.com.
Jennifer Andrews, 619-890-4698