SCS is a global company in third-party environmental and sustainability certiﬁcation, auditing, testing, and standards development. It shortly launched the Zero Waste Standard, which is flexible to allow companies to demonstrate incremental improvements, and to stimulate participation based on regional supply chain differences.
As companies look to improve their ESG ratings and strengthen their corporate messages and investment profiles, this third-party certification will provide assurance year-after-year for corporations and their individual facility sites.
The SCS Zero Waste Standard stands apart from other zero waste standards in several key ways, the company stated in a press relasee:
- Facilities participate and are recognized for waste diversion of 50% or greater. The actual diversion percentage achieved at each facility over a twelve-month period is certified and this percentage is reflected on the certificate. Facilities achieving 99% diversion are certified as “Zero Waste.”
- The Standard provides a cost-effective option for multi-site certification where all participating sites are assessed, involving a representative sampling of sites for on-site audits each year.
- It allows for diversion of hazardous waste to count towards overall diversion.
- It recognizes waste-to-energy if a facility diverts no more than 25% of its waste using waste-to-energy production.
“This is a different kind of Zero Waste standard,” said Stanley Mathuram, SCS Executive Vice President. “It aims to meet companies where they are in their waste reduction journey at their individual facilities by acknowledging the waste diversion they’ve already achieved, as well as continuing to drive waste management toward the zero goal post.”
Since SCS Zero Waste certification takes place at the facility level, corporations can include the findings for that specific facility in their overall sustainability goals and reporting, even if other facilities have not yet achieved the same levels of waste diversion. This approach encourages corporations to benchmark best practices at one facility and expand those practices across their corporate facility footprint.
“SCS has always identified gaps where existing standards do not fully address real-life business needs,” said Inna Kitaychik, Operations Manager for the SCS Zero Waste Program. “We saw a need for businesses to have more flexibility in documenting their waste minimization and diversion efforts to showcase their commitment to sustainability and the environment. We developed this standard to enable companies to be more transparent with the progress of their sustainability goals and give them the confidence of accurately reporting and communicating their waste diversion data.”
Third-party certification to this standard provides credible assurance for companies tracking the progress of their waste minimization and diversion accomplishments through internal recordkeeping, thereby supporting external communications to inform the public of their commitment to their sustainability and ESG goals.
Waste generation and disposal have long been recognized as a major environmental problem. Globally, as resource availability becomes more constrained, more efficient use of materials is increasingly important to ensure that resources continue to be available to future generations. Companies recognize the need for substantial reduction in waste generation and diversion of wastes to useable new materials and products as part of their responsibility under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12, Responsible Consumption and Production.