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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Center for Sustainable Materials Management Partners with GBCI to Advance Zero-Waste Strategies in New York State 1/19/2022


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), the most distinguished institution in the nation that focuses on the study of the environment, is proud to announce a key step toward zero-waste strategies in New York State. Green Business Certification Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding between their TRUE Certification program and the ESF-based New York State Center for Sustainable Materials Management (CSMM) in pursuit of a state-wide circular economy.

"Together, these two organizations will expand our reach in New York to inspire, lead, and connect a diverse group of people and organizations," said Kate Walker, CSMM Executive Director. "Our work will assist communities and businesses to adapt sustainable materials management and reduction practices and propel the state to become the least resource consumptive and most circular in the country."

GBCI and CSMM will partner to identify opportunities to increase public awareness of zero-waste and waste-reduction strategies. To further this goal, they will explore pathways to:

' increase educational opportunities to the public and within the CSMM staff related to the TRUE Advisor certificate program, which trains professionals on the TRUE rating system and zero waste implementation;

' increase market adoption of TRUE certification for zero waste throughout New York state, and;

' promote zero waste programs more efficiently using shared resources, tools, and information.

Waste affects every part of our communities, and effective waste management strategies are critical tools in ensuring both public and environmental health. The TRUE program provides a powerful market tool that helps facilities and businesses implement zero-waste strategies, targets and plans.

"Collectively, we must go beyond our current wasteful practices and think critically about how to redesign processes so that less waste is produced in the first place," explained Sean McMahon, Vice President of Product Management, GBCI. "Implementing zero-waste practices requires rethinking, retraining, new tools, and strong leadership to change current waste systems. With CSMM's leadership in this endeavor, they can prepare New York's communities for a more sustainable future. We are excited to bring the TRUE program to New York's markets to help us move toward a more sustainable future for all and improve the quality of life for people across the state."

CSMM was established in 2020 through a New York State Environmental Protection Fund grant administered by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The organization is committed to supporting New York State in an effort to achieve advanced waste management practices according to the highest standards adopted globally, through both education and technical solutions, to minimize waste production by facilities, companies and individuals. In pursuit of this mission, the Center places SUNY and its partners in a leadership role on materials and waste reduction, reuse, and recycling in New York and the United States at large.

Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) is the world's leading sustainability and health certification and credentialing body. Established in 2008, GBCI exclusively administers nearly 10 project certifications and 15 professional credentials and certificates within the framework of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating systems, including the TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) certification for zero waste and TRUE Advisor certificate program. Implemented by GBCI, TRUE helps businesses and facilities measure, improve and recognize zero waste performance by encouraging the adoption of sustainable waste management and reduction practices, which contribute to positive environmental, health and economic outcomes.


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, N.Y., and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.