The GrassRoots Recycling Network adopted
the following Principles on January 13, 2004 to guide and evaluate
current and future Zero Waste policies and programs established
by businesses. These Zero Waste Business Principles establish
the commitment of companies to achieve Zero Waste and further
establish criteria by which workers, investors, customers,
suppliers, policymakers and the public in general can assess
the resource efficiency of companies.
- Commitment to the triple bottom
line - We ensure that social, environmental and
economic performance standards are met together. We maintain
clear accounting and reporting systems and operate with the
highest ethical standards for our investors and our customers.
We produce annual environmental or sustainability reports
that document how we implement these policies. We inform
workers, customers and the community about environmental
impacts of our production, products or services.
- Use Precautionary Principle – We
apply the precautionary principle before introducing
new products and processes, to avoid products and practices
that are wasteful or toxic.
- Zero Waste to landfill or incineration – We
divert more than 90% of the solid wastes we generate
from Landfill and Incineration from all of our facilities.
No more than 10% of our discards are landfilled . No mixed
wastes are incinerated or processed in facilities that operate
above ambient biological temperatures (more than 200oF.)
to recover energy or materials.
- Responsibility: Takeback products & packaging
- We take financial and/or physical responsibility
for all the products and packaging we produce and/or
market under our brand(s), and require our suppliers
to do so as well. We support and work with existing
reuse, recycling and composting operators to productively
use our products and packaging, or arrange for new
systems to bring those back to our manufacturing
facilities. We include the reuse, recycling or composting
of our products as a design criteria for all new
- Buy reused, recycled & composted
- We use recycled content and compost products
in all aspects of our operations, including production
facilities, offices and in the construction of new
facilities. We use LEED-certified architects to design
new and remodeled facilities as Green Buildings.
We buy reused products where they are available,
and make our excess inventory of equipment and products
available for reuse by others. We label our products
and packaging with the amount of post-consumer recycled
content and for papers, we label if chlorine-free
and forest-friendly materials are used.
- Prevent pollution and reduce waste – We
redesign our supply, production and distribution systems
to reduce the use of natural resources and eliminate
waste. We prevent pollution and the waste of materials by
continual assessment of our systems and revising procedures,
policies and payment policies. To the extent our products
contain materials with known or suspected adverse human health
impacts, we notify consumers of their content and how to
safely manage the products at the end of their useful life.
- Highest and best use – We
continuously evaluate our markets and direct our discarded
products and packaging to recover the highest value
of their embodied energy and materials according to the following
hierarchy: reuse of the product for its original purpose;
reuse of the product for an alternate purpose; reuse
of its parts; reuse of the materials; recycling of inorganic
materials in closed loop systems; recycling of inorganic
materials in single-use applications; composting of organic
materials to sustain soils and avoid use of chemical fertilizers;
and composting or mulching of organic materials to reduce
erosion and litter and retain moisture.
- Use economic incentives for customers,
workers and suppliers – We encourage our
customers, workers and suppliers to eliminate waste
and maximize the reuse, recycling and composting
of discarded materials through economic incentives
and a holistic systems analysis. We lease our products
to customers and provide bonuses or other rewards
to workers, suppliers and other stakeholders that
eliminate waste. We use financial incentives to encourage
our suppliers to adhere to Zero Waste principles.
We evaluate our discards to determine how to develop
other productive business opportunities from these
- Products or services sold are
not wasteful or toxic – We evaluate our
products and services regularly to determine if they
are wasteful or toxic and develop alternatives to
eliminate those products which we find are wasteful
or toxic. We evaluate all our products and offer
them as services whenever possible. We design products
to be easily disassembled to encourage reuse and
repair. We design our products to be durable, to
last as long as the technology is in practice.
- Use non-toxic production, reuse
and recycling processes – We eliminate
the use of hazardous materials in our production,
reuse and recycling processes, particularly persistent
bioaccumulative toxics. We eliminate the environmental,
health and safety risks to our employees and the
communities in which we operate. Any materials exported
to other countries with lower environmental standards
are managed according to the current standards in
the United States .