How to achieve TRUE certification

Published on: 
30 Oct 2017
Emily DeCremer

TRUE certification rates how well projects perform in minimizing their nonhazardous solid wastes and maximizing their efficiency in the use of resources. TRUE sets a high bar by going beyond diversion numbers and focusing on the upstream policies and practices that make true zero waste possible, in the built environment and beyond. With TRUE, your project can achieve its zero waste goals while cutting your carbon footprint and supporting public health.

TRUE-certified spaces support sustainability because projects that achieve certification send virtually no waste materials to landfills, incineration (waste-to-energy) or the environment. Pursuing certification helps projects and organizations use fewer new raw materials, become more resource-efficient and improve their production processes and environmental prevention strategies.

Implementing zero waste strategies also helps organizations improve their triple bottom line and helps them turn waste into savings and additional income streams, as the reduction of waste also reduces costs. By closing the loop, these organizations are able to cut greenhouse gases, manage risk, reduce litter and pollution, reinvest resources locally, create jobs and add more value for their organization and community.

Projects achieve TRUE certification by meeting seven minimum program requirements and attaining at least 31 out of 81 credit points in the TRUE Rating System. The number of credit points that a project earns determines the certification level it receives (Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum).

Learn more about certification requirements.

The TRUE certification program is an Assessor-based program. The Assessor is an impartial third party who delivers services under the direct supervision of GBCI and is expected to review and assess compliance with the rating system requirements. To get certified, follow these simple steps.

Steps to certification

  1. Register your project with GBCI by providing basic project information and submitting payment for the registration and/or certification fee. Projects do not need to meet all the requirements, or be ready to be certified, to register.
  2. Implement strategies, perform analyses, prepare documentation and narratives demonstrating your achievements of the requirements and selected credits.
  3. Submit your completed application and documentation to GBCI when ready, along with payment for certification.
  4. Receive preliminary comments on your submitted application.
  5. Discuss any questions or concerns you may have about your report with your assessor via phone call (optional).
  6. Submit final review documentation that includes updated and/or missing documentation
  7. Accept the final review report and receive your certification, at which time you can begin to promote your achievement.
  8. Celebrate and market your achievements.

The TRUE certification process covers approximately 50 business days or 10 weeks. Expedited timelines are available for an additional fee.

Ready to get started?

Download and review our free Guide to TRUE Certification and the TRUE Rating System by visiting our resources page. Determine if all requirements can be achieved and which credits may be earned by current activities or by implementing new policies and practices.

To register your project, complete the registration form. Once you’ve submitted the registration form, you will receive the necessary information and guidance to complete the registration process. When the registration process is complete, GBCI will provide access to additional certification resources and forms to complete the submission and review process.

Register a project