U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC)
U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) is an outgrowth of the work done by the Earth Resource Foundation (ERF), GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN), and the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) to identify and support Zero Waste Businesses. Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.
USZWBC has adopted the only peer-reviewed, internationally accepted definition of Zero Waste, as developed by the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA):
This is the goal for which we strive.
Measures of success in meeting this goal are outlined in the ZWIA Zero Waste Business Principles and the Global Principles for Zero Waste Communities. Businesses and communities that achieve over 90% diversion of waste from landfills, incinerators and the environment are considered to be successful in achieving Zero Waste.
USZWBC is being organized to protect this vision of the proper use of resources, to establish best practices and enhance the value of the term Zero Waste in the marketplace to those who value sustainability, environment and the triple bottom line. “Zero Waste to Landfill” is not accepted as a goal, as it usually means burning a substantial portion of discarded materials. USZWBC is building on over a decade of experience nationally and internationally in differentiating those businesses that excel at meeting the high standards of Zero Waste and will champion the highest and best use of resources.
The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council mission is to educate, inform and document the performance of Zero Waste Businesses using scientific methods to help businesses and communities become more healthy and sustainable.OUR VISION
The U. S. Zero Waste Business Council will create a solid foundation that advances the integrity and credibility of Zero Waste. Zero Waste Businesses save money, are more efficient, manage risk, reduce litter and pollution, cut greenhouse gases, reinvest resources locally, and create jobs and more value for their business and the community.
Since the late 1990s, GRRN has organized presentations by Zero Waste Businesses at national conferences and highlighted on its website examples of Zero Waste Businesses. GRRN developed Zero Waste Business Principles that were subsequently adopted by ZWIA worldwide.
Since 2005, ERF organized the only conferences in the U.S. that focused solely on Zero Waste Businesses. Over the past 3 years, ERF has researched model certification programs and business models to evaluate how best to develop a third party certification system for Zero Waste Businesses in the U.S.
In 2011, ZWIA organized a Certification Committee to evaluate how to develop certification programs for Zero Waste Communities, Businesses, Facilities, Events, Service Providers, Training Programs and Professionals. In February 2012, ZWIA adopted a Zero Waste Business Recognition Program to establish international standards for recognizing those businesses that divert 90% of their discarded materials from landfills and incinerators. In February 2012, GRRN was approved as the National Affiliate for the ZWIA Zero Waste Business Recognition Program in the U.S. GRRN will be working closely with USZWBC to implement that program.
USZWBC began in October 2011 and received approval as a California Public Benefit Corporation in January of 2012. USZWBC received its IRS 501 (c) 3 nonprofit status in 2014.
USZWBC is seeking Members to assist USZWBC to become the Zero Waste standard for businesses. USZWBC is working to build an exceptional team of Board Members, Business Members, and Zero Waste experts.