As environmental awareness is on the rise, companies have begun to change their practices to more eco-friendly ones. In 2013, the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council launched the first-ever zero waste business certification program. According to Waste 360, “businesses participating in the zero waste certification program should have to goal of diverting all end-use material from the landfill, incineration and the environment, while achieving a minimum of 90-percent diversion based on the standards set by the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA).” With the new certification along with consumer’s loyalty shifting towards more eco-friendly brands, companies across the United States have revamped their sustainability efforts. Here are some of the companies that received the certification and are considered zero waste-to-landfill.
General Motors recently reached a record high number of zero waste facilities, with a total number of 152. The company concentrates of turning waste into energy as well as creating new products from recycled materials.
Since 2015, Toyota’s Northern American facilities have reduced, reused or recycled 96 percent of their waste. As they have already achieved many of their sustainability goals, the company has begun thinking outside the box to become even more eco-friendly. The company has begun composting their cafeteria waste and recycling materials from even their billboards to create marketing products such as tote bags.
Apple has taking big strides in becoming a 100% sustainable company. The company has made initiatives to used recycled material for their popular products such as the iPhone. In 2016, 14 of Apple’s final assembly plants in China were awarded the status of zero waste.
In late 2016, one of Microsoft’s largest campuses, in Richmond, Washington, was awarded the Gold Level of Zero Waste certification. According to Waste 360, “the campus, which includes 33 cafes, 32 espresso cafes and more than 500 kitchenettes, currently diverts 99.5 percent of material from landfill.”
Mars Inc. produces various items such as candy and pet food. Even though it creates 10 million tons of products annually, it has still found a way to be zero waste at 126 of their manufacturing sites. Mars Inc. has made some of the biggest strides in sustainability. It has been reported that in 2007, the company sent 154,000 tons of waste to landfills.