TRUE(Total Resource Use and Efficiency) is a certification administered by the GBCI(Green Business Certification INC.)It strives to change the way materials are used in society, optimizing all kinds of processes within a company or building in such a way that the use of landfills is spared, their goal, as its name clearly states, is to achieve zero waste. What makes this certification different from others is their rigorous and detailed plan that includes several different kinds of audits (ex. Waste audit, recycling audit). In their program, waste is separated into 12 different categories in order to achieve a more specific and precise reutilization and reuse of materials. You can dig into their detailed strategies and processes by taking a dip into their TRUE Rating System.

We mapped TRUE Zero Waste to:

  • Reducing Carbon Emissions
  • Reducing Waste
  • Protecting Ecosystems/Low Impact

TRUE Zero Waste certifies:

  • Companies & Buildings
  • Suppliers & Manufacturers

Cost to get certified:

You can get access to information on their different costs and fees by clicking here.

Do they perform audits on companies:

Yes. After submitting the paperwork requested by the GBCI, which should include data and analysis showing the companies’ achievements on sustainability in accordance to the TRUE Rating System, submitting it to a review held by the GBCI is the second step, and, after that, if cleared for certification, an on-site assessment is scheduled for companies to host the GBCI in a guided tour of the facilities and interviewing of their employees.

Standards listed on their website

Yes. Their TRUE Rating System guide has everything there is to know about the certification, from standards to procedures and beyond.


The GBCI and their LEED certification, which acts in fact as a complimentary certification to the TRUE Zero Waste certification, have both been involved in controversies in the past, but because these aren’t recent we decided not to include them. They’ve come a long way since those accusations, improving significantly in many areas, so to go back to those cases would only mean undermining their respectable progress.