Submitted by SCS Global Services
By Vikas Ahuja, Director of ECS Sales and Marketing, SCS Global Services
It’s hard to believe, but the term “zero waste” has been around for more than 40 years. It was first used by a chemist, Paul Palmer, who noticed an abundance of clean chemicals being discarded by high-tech businesses in a newly developing area of northern California which we’ve all come to know as Silicon Valley. He saw a need for identifying new uses for the chemicals and a new concept of zero waste was born.
Fast forward to today and you can’t escape the global catastrophe of waste that has bloomed…in our oceans, in our landfills, and all over as millions of tons of trash are discarded daily. Globally, 1.3 billion tons of landfill waste are created each year, not to mention 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste that end up in our oceans. Americans are among the worst in waste generation, with the average American responsible for 4.4 pounds of trash per day totaling about 728,000 tons of daily garbage—and that doesn’t even include industrial waste. According to the US EPA, municipalities generated nearly 293 million tons of solid waste in 2018, with only 94 million tons being recycled or composted.
Increasingly, municipalities, organizations such as universities, and local NGOs are providing programs to reduce and divert waste with a goal of zero waste. And as the corporate world has embraced the concept of the circular economy, numerous corporate zero waste programs and certifications have become available within the global business community. However, many of these programs have created roadblocks that have prohibited large numbers of facilities from participating.
With the launch of our new Zero Waste Certification Program, SCS has made it possible for more companies and in particular, individual facilities within larger corporate structures, to participate in a zero waste program and be recognized for the waste diversion, re-use and recycling that they are already doing.
Here are five ways this new program helps companies to demonstrate and certify their waste achievements and benchmark their corporate zero waste goals.
It's time to reimagine zero waste at the corporate level and open the door for more companies to certify and demonstrate the waste diversion they have already achieved. The SCS Zero Waste Certification Program allows companies to be recognized for the work they are already doing, and the diversion they have already achieved, rather than shutting them out because they have not reached a 90% or 99% threshold. Any waste diversion, re-use or reduction is a net positive for the planet and society. Now companies can be recognized and inspired to do even more than they’re already doing.
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SCS is a leading third-party provider of certification, auditing and testing services, and standards, founded in 1984. Our goal is to recognize the highest levels of performance in food safety and quality, environmental protection and social responsibility in the private and public sectors, and to stimulate continuous improvement in sustainable development.
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