First, the "pay and forget" era is over; the consumer must take responsibility for the by-products generated from their activities and ensure materials are reused, repurposed or recycled. The Elemental Impact (Ei) Recycling Integrity page dives deeper into the holographic approach necessary to ensure integrity is maintained throughout the entire material management process.
|food waste composting|
Third, the "I" focus is replaced with the "WE" focus. The impact of our actions extends to the entire community and beyond; collective action accomplishes more profound results than singular effort. By working together, synergies are unlocked, unnecessary boundaries, including competitive barriers, disintegrate, and creative energies catapult possibilities into grounded realities.
Zero waste initiatives offer tangible opportunities to incorporate the consciousness shifts into standard operating practices. Once a company accepts the first two shifts, action is ready to begin with the third shift.
Thus, the WE Consciousness was introduced as a core Ei value.
... and this summer the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) stepped into Zero Waste WE Consciousness with a monumental announcement. As the home to LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Certification, the USGBC is the recognized global standard for sustainable building design, construction, operations and maintenance.
On July 1, 2016, the USGBC issued a LEED Interpretation allowing documentation for a facility certified by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) to stand in for several LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) prerequisites and credits. The USGBC's aim is to reduce the burden for buildings pursuing both certifications.
Now, if a building earned USZWBC Zero Waste Facility Certification and the scope of the project (i.e., the project boundary) is the same as a project pursuing LEED O+M certification, the USZWBC certification can be used to document the following LEED credits, provided the corresponding USZWBC credit is earned. A scorecard for the USZWBC Zero Waste Facility Certification must be provided to demonstrate specific credit achievement.
According to USZWBC Founder & Executive Director Stephanie Barger:
|Stephanie with Bob Gedert|
of Austin Resource Recovery
“This LEED Interpretation meets one of our major goals in creating the Zero Waste Facility Certification, which is to leverage existing certification guidelines to enhance not duplicate business practices. Our organization can provide the expertise to drive policies and practices in creating a zero waste economy so all companies can benefit from better markets, services and performance measures.”Inherent within the USGBC LEED Interpretation is an underlying statement of WE Consciousness, the importance of industry leaders working in unison toward common goals.
Thank you to the USZWBC for your pioneering spirit in crafting the Zero Waste Facility Certification, a well documented and substantiated program. Thank you to the USGBC for your team spirit, exemplary industry leadership, and working within the WE Consciousness.
As the creative energies within the WE Consciousness unleash, the industry is staged to catapult beyond perceived boundaries into a new world of possibilities - EXCITING!!!!