3 takeaways from the National Zero Waste Business Conference

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Earlier this month, JLL’s strategic waste solutions team attended the 5th Annual National Zero Waste Business Conference in Austin TX, where industry leaders and experts came together to discuss the future of Zero Waste. Below, JLL’s Ana Wyssmann calls out three key takeaways from the conference. 

Each year, the National Zero Waste Business Conference brings together business leaders and waste management experts to share best practices and learn about the latest developments in waste reduction. This year’s conference drew business leaders from a broad range of industries. The public sector was also well-represented, with delegates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and major municipalities (including Los Angeles, CA; Austin, TX; and New York City, NY).

Zero wasteIt’s clear that strategic waste management is top-of-mind for industry leaders and forward-looking organizations – and staying abreast of the latest and greatest can be challenging. As you think about your organization’s journey to Zero Waste, it’s useful to keep the following takeaways from this year’s conference in mind:

  • The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) are working to align their certification programs – making Zero Waste Certification even more valuable for your organization. As part of this alignment, businesses that achieve Zero Waste Certification through the USZWBC will be able to earn LEED credits from the USGBC, across categories including Materials, Resources, and Innovation.
  • Industry leaders agree: drawing connections between your organization’s waste programs, human health values, and brand culture is crucial to success.  Leading organizations, including Whole Foods Market, General Motors, WeSpire, and Etsy, shared educational strategies and best known methods that others can utilize to build a more effective waste program. There’s a common thread across many of these best practices: promoting your organization’s waste program as an extension of your firm’s guiding values is essential to the long-term success of your waste program.
  • Achieving Zero Waste can be an important step on your organization’s journey to become Lean Six Sigma-certified. The implications are clear: zero waste improves efficiency in business – making the business case for zero waste even stronger.

Interested in learning more about the latest in zero waste? Check out the following: IBM’s vision for the circular economy, best practices in waste management from Sierra Nevada, Kimberly Clark’s Guide to Workplace CompostingLean Path’s online food waste prevention resources, the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council’s website, and the United States Materials Marketplace.

For more on the USZWBC’s partnerships with the USGBC and Lean Six-Sigma, visit www.uszwbc.org.

WyssmannHeadshotAna Wyssmann is JLL’s Solid Waste and Recycling Program Manager. Ana is responsible for developing sustainable waste management strategies and implementing standardized programs for facility operations ranging from 100 square feet to 12 million square feet in the U.S. and globally. Her expertise is in portfolio recycling and waste reduction, and her programs have achieved and exceeded 90% waste diversion. Ana is a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council.  

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