Sustainability101 Blog

Category : All

Construction & Demolition Waste:
Opportunity for Big Impact on Zero Waste and Corporate Sustainability Goals

Construction, demolition and renovation projects are resuming around the country, and so is the flow of construction and demolition (C&D) waste. With many commercial office spaces still under capacity and regular business operations restricted, C&D waste may currently be a businesses’ largest waste output, and thus the biggest opportunity available to impact zero waste efforts and other corporate … Continue reading Construction & Demolition Waste:
Opportunity for Big Impact on Zero Waste and Corporate Sustainability Goals

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Post-Lockdown Waste Has Changed. Business Need Waste Audits To Provide Insight

“Every business that is reopening should conduct a waste audit to determine how their waste has changed, not only in the type of materials being collected, but also how they are being discarded. Workers have been away for some time and may have forgotten how a building’s waste diversion program works.”  Facility Management Journal (FMJ) magazine recently … Continue reading Post-Lockdown Waste Has Changed. Business Need Waste Audits To Provide Insight

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Waste Audits: Everything A Facility Manager Needs To Know, With Hard Data and Case Studies

Download the FMJ report here. In its latest issue, FMJ magazine worked with Great Forest to offer a deep dive into waste audits. The report, Getting to the Bottom of Waste,  uses data and case studies pulled from hundreds of Great Forest waste audit investigations conducted around the world each year. It summarizes everything a facility manager or sustainability officer needs … Continue reading Waste Audits: Everything A Facility Manager Needs To Know, With Hard Data and Case Studies

This entry was posted in All and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Regulations Alert:
New York State Plastic Bag Ban Begins Enforcement

New York State’s Bag Waste Reduction Law, which took effect on March 1, is now being enforced.  Violations will be met with civil penalties imposed under New York State law. Any  retailer that is required to collect New York State sales tax will no longer be able to provide plastic carryout bags. In New York City, all … Continue reading Regulations Alert:
New York State Plastic Bag Ban Begins Enforcement

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Recycling During Coronavirus. Why Your Toilet Paper (and Other Essentials) Might Depend On it

While recycling has slowed down during this COVID-19 health crisis, it is actually more integral than ever as many supply chains across the country depend on recycled materials. Toilet paper manufacturers, for example, rely on a supply of recycled office paper. This EPA video explains why you need to continue recycling during this health crisis: With many … Continue reading Recycling During Coronavirus. Why Your Toilet Paper (and Other Essentials) Might Depend On it

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Reopening Offices? You Need To Think About Safe PPE Disposal

As businesses reopen or prepare to reopen offices, buildings, and retail outlets, they need to also prepare to address the influx of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) waste and plan for safe PPE disposal. By now, many of you would have seen photos of discarded PPE tossed on streets across the country, and you probably have seen some scattered in … Continue reading Reopening Offices? You Need To Think About Safe PPE Disposal

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

How To Celebrate Earth Day During A Global Crisis

In 1970, 20 million people took to the streets for the very first Earth Day. This year, billions are marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day from home. Make it an Earth Day to remember. Here’s how you, your business or organization can engage staff, colleagues, and tenants to show support for each other and the … Continue reading How To Celebrate Earth Day During A Global Crisis

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

WATCH Now: Earth “Action” Day Webinar. Learn How To Take Climate Action At Home

THANK YOU for joining us for our Earth Action Day webinar on April 24, 2020, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and to learn how to take climate action at home, even as we quarantine to beat COVID-19. Our Earth “Action” Day webinar includes zero waste-inspired steps to climate action, insights and tips … Continue reading WATCH Now: Earth “Action” Day Webinar. Learn How To Take Climate Action At Home

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Managing Waste During Coronavirus – Challenges and Opportunities

CHALLENGES Businesses everywhere are adjusting to the ongoing crisis. The challenge to managing waste during coronavirus is to maintain gains made in waste reduction, diversion and sustainability, while taking advantage of opportunities. If this is done right, businesses will prevent a backward slide and will be ready to go once things begin to return to normal. Keeping the … Continue reading Managing Waste During Coronavirus – Challenges and Opportunities

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

We’ll Get Through This Together – A Message From Great Forest About Covid-19

As we all grapple with the new reality brought on by the covid-19 pandemic, we pledge to be here to help you adjust to the new challenges we all face — as individuals, communities, and businesses. We will get through this together. Great Forest will continue to field inquiries and provide educational resources as usual. … Continue reading We’ll Get Through This Together – A Message From Great Forest About Covid-19

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Plastic Bag Bans, Facts and More

Plastic Bag Bans Starting March 1, 2020, New York State’s ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect. To date, eight states have such a ban. New York joins California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon and Vermont. In addition to state level bans, cities such as Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Seattle, WA; Boulder, CO; Portland, … Continue reading Plastic Bag Bans, Facts and More

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

What Are your Corporate Values? Can They Save The World?

As we enter a new year and decade, it may be time to ask if your corporate values align with people and the planet. The following is an open letter from Great Forest CEO Ross Guberman that first appeared in LinkedIn The landscape for doing business is changing and corporate culture is just beginning to … Continue reading What Are your Corporate Values? Can They Save The World?

This entry was posted in All and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Zero Waste Event Planning Guide: 10-Step Checklist

Need help planning a zero waste event? This guide will put you on the right path in just 10 simple steps. Use this checklist to help you plan large or small events, including office parties, conferences, meetings, galas, or even festivals. It is especially useful to reduce waste during the holiday season, when Americans generate 25% more … Continue reading Zero Waste Event Planning Guide: 10-Step Checklist

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Food Waste Audits Help Restaurants Fight Waste and Hunger

This article originally appeared in QSR magazine, Nov. 2019. With the holiday season fast approaching, businesses, especially restaurants, will likely begin experiencing more food waste. Did you know the largest component of most commercial waste streams is organics? A large chunk of that is wasted food. A nationwide survey of over 100 commercial waste audits conducted by … Continue reading Food Waste Audits Help Restaurants Fight Waste and Hunger

This entry was posted in All and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Waste Audit Reveals What’s In Your Waste Stream – 77% of “Trash” Is NOT Trash At All

This article originally appeared in the NYSAR3 Fall 2019 Newsletter. Have you looked in your trash lately? Understanding what is in your waste stream is key to helping you reduce, reuse and recycle effectively. A waste audit may reveal some surprises. In a survey of 100 waste audits conducted nationwide, Great Forest found that 77% of … Continue reading Waste Audit Reveals What’s In Your Waste Stream – 77% of “Trash” Is NOT Trash At All

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Case Study: What A Food Waste Audit At A National Restaurant Chain Revealed

Photo: Dan Gold, Unsplash Client: A fast casual national chain with locations across the country. Summary: Great Forest conducted food waste audits at 3 locations of a national restaurant chain, revealing that the chain could rescue an average of 26.7% of its daily food waste. The audit helped the restaurant brand determine how much of their … Continue reading Case Study: What A Food Waste Audit At A National Restaurant Chain Revealed

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Avoid Recycling Horrors Every Halloween

When the trick and treating is all done, what you have left are mountains of candy wrappers, decorations, costumes, and food. Around 600 million pounds of candy are bought for Halloween, and about 12,500 tons of Halloween costumes are sent to landfills every year, according to Real Simple magazine. Here’s a quick guide to what you can do … Continue reading Avoid Recycling Horrors Every Halloween

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Q&A: Your Waste and Recycling Scorecard. How to Read It, and Use It

Have you received your Waste and Recycling Scorecard? Wondering how to read it, and use it to help you achieve your goals? Here are some answers: What is the Waste and Recycling Scorecard? Your Great Forest Waste and Recycling Scorecard gives you crucial insight into where your business currently stands in regards to waste management. While … Continue reading Q&A: Your Waste and Recycling Scorecard. How to Read It, and Use It

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Listen: “Data is everything right now” – Great Forest on Waste 360 Podcast

This year’s Waste Expo included a terrific discussion on the importance of data, featuring Great Forest’s director of national accounts Joe Romuno and three other industry colleagues (shout out to Chris Ronson, Re-TRAC; Steve Steven, Rehrig Pacific; and Emily Covan, Recyclist.) If you missed it, listen to Joe now on “New Data – Who Dis? What Data Collection Can Do for You” … Continue reading Listen: “Data is everything right now” – Great Forest on Waste 360 Podcast

This entry was posted in All and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Zero Waste Campus: How Schools Can Reduce Waste and Costs

It’s back to school season. The start (or end) of another academic year is the perfect time for schools, colleges and universities to think about setting up a zero waste campus. According to Dump and Run, Inc., the average college student produces 640 pounds of solid waste each year, including 500 disposable cups and 320 … Continue reading Zero Waste Campus: How Schools Can Reduce Waste and Costs

This entry was posted in All and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Going Zero Waste – How Small Steps Add Up At The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

Going zero waste does not mean that you have to stop producing waste immediately. Many businesses achieve their zero waste goals by adopting a series of small steps that steadily reduce waste. Here’s an example. “The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco is working towards creating a culture of caring about waste. A zero waste mindset is … Continue reading Going Zero Waste – How Small Steps Add Up At The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

This entry was posted in All and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

How To Lower Energy Costs In Record Summer Heat

The record heat this summer (and for many summers to come) mean higher energy costs for most businesses. Here is what you can do to control and lower your energy costs, while still beating the heat. Shield the sun: Shield your office from direct sunlight by closing blinds/shades in windows facing the sun. This can … Continue reading How To Lower Energy Costs In Record Summer Heat

This entry was posted in All, How To Guides. Bookmark the permalink.

Zero Waste: What is it? What Does It Mean?

A lack of clarity about what zero waste really means may be keeping some businesses from reaping the benefits of going zero waste. So let’s dispel the misconceptions. What Is Zero Waste?  Exact definitions may vary, but to put it simply… zero waste means working towards producing less waste in the first place through prioritizing waste … Continue reading Zero Waste: What is it? What Does It Mean?

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Climate Mobilization Act: How NYC Buildings Can Avoid Fines, Comply With New Standards

By now most of you will have heard of the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA), signed in May 2019 in NYC, also known as Intro 1253 or Local Law 97 of 2019. While NYC is one of the first cities in the world to put emissions limits on large buildings over 25,000 square feet, it likely won’t be … Continue reading Climate Mobilization Act: How NYC Buildings Can Avoid Fines, Comply With New Standards

This entry was posted in All and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Food Waste: Facts and Solutions
Businesses Get High Returns For Addressing Organics

Around the world, businesses are increasingly being pressured by rising waste costs, public opinion, or by law to take action on food waste. Rather than seeing it as a problem, businesses should seize the opportunity to invest in food waste reduction efforts because the returns can be high. On average, businesses save $7 for every … Continue reading Food Waste: Facts and Solutions
Businesses Get High Returns For Addressing Organics

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Listen: Waste360s Nothing Wasted Podcast Talks To Great Forest’s Sarah Womer About Pedaling Her Way to Composting/Recycling Success

From Waste 360: May 6, 2019 |  Sarah Womer, Founder of Zero to Go & Sustainability Consultant at Great Forest Sarah saw a recycling problem in her hometown, which propelled her to take action, turning her biggest passion into a grassroots recycling business “Zero to Go”. Waste360 chats with Sarah about how she navigated through the … Continue reading Listen: Waste360s Nothing Wasted Podcast Talks To Great Forest’s Sarah Womer About Pedaling Her Way to Composting/Recycling Success

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

VIDEO: Introduction to zero waste, understanding your waste stream

Want a primer on zero waste and understanding your waste stream? Watch these two videos below with your kids. Both are great introductions to the topic. We’d like to thank Planet Bonehead for these fun lessons in sustainability, which are distributed to schools across the country. Understanding zero waste and the waste stream What if we … Continue reading VIDEO: Introduction to zero waste, understanding your waste stream

This entry was posted in All, Videos and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Earth Hour: What Can Businesses Do?

Earth Hour 2019 is on 30 March 2019, 8:30 pm. Earth Hour, which began as a lights out event in 2007, has grown to become an international movement encouraging individuals and businesses alike to raise the conversation and spark action about ways to protect the planet, with events planned in hundreds of countries.  Over the years, many … Continue reading Earth Hour: What Can Businesses Do?

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

The Glass Recycling Problem: What’s Behind It, and What to do

Glass is infinitely recyclable without loss in quality. Recycling glass has many proven environmental benefits–it reduces emissions, saves energy, and reduces consumption of raw materials. And as a common household item, recycling the material maintains much public support. In fact, 93% of residents and consumers expect to be able to recycle glass, reports the Glass Recycling Coalition. So … Continue reading The Glass Recycling Problem: What’s Behind It, and What to do

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Waste Costs Expected To Keep Rising: Take Control in 2019

Waste costs have been rising and seem slated to continue its ascend.  Depending on where your business is located,  the forecast over a five-year period is an increase of between 4.8% to 10.7% in MSW tipping fees. Take a look at the table below from nrra.net to see the increases you may face.  What is causing prices to … Continue reading Waste Costs Expected To Keep Rising: Take Control in 2019

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Waste Audits San Francisco Mandate – Great Forest CEO Calls on Businesses to Take Control

In response to rising waste costs and the passing of the waste audits San Francisco mandate in December 2018 (requiring the city’s largest waste generators to conduct waste audits every three years), Great Forest CEO Ross Guberman tells leading industry news source Waste Dive that businesses should take control. Why wait until you are fined or … Continue reading Waste Audits San Francisco Mandate – Great Forest CEO Calls on Businesses to Take Control

This entry was posted in All and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

How To Recycle Your Christmas Tree – Have You Heard About BioChar?

More than 27.4 million real Christmas trees were sold in the U.S. in 2017, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. What happens to them after the holidays is up to us! Remember, trees that end up in the garbage will take years to decompose because of the lack of oxygen in landfills. So recycle that … Continue reading How To Recycle Your Christmas Tree – Have You Heard About BioChar?

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

The 3 Big Sustainability Issues Facing Every Business – What To Do

A version of this article was published in Environmental Leader. The conversations are getting louder — people and businesses are getting more concerned about waste, in particular food waste and plastic pollution, and also about recycling. Costs are rising. We’ve all heard the UN report that the world has just 12 years left to take action … Continue reading The 3 Big Sustainability Issues Facing Every Business – What To Do

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Regulations Alert: NYC Foam Ban Takes Effect Jan. 1, 2019

Effective January 1, 2019 businesses, nonprofits and agencies can no longer sell or use any expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam items, such as single-service items like cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers, and trays or loose fill packaging, aka “packing peanuts”.  See exceptions to the rule and more information at nyc.gov/foamban. Small businesses not part of a chain with less than … Continue reading Regulations Alert: NYC Foam Ban Takes Effect Jan. 1, 2019

This entry was posted in All and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Q&A: Carbon Footprint Accounting and Reporting – Benefits For Small and Medium Businesses

Is it time for your business to take carbon footprint accounting and reporting seriously? Many small and medium-sized businesses have yet to calculate their impacts and risks.  If you know your businesses’ carbon footprint, chances are you work for a Fortune 500 or S&P 500 company. The biggest companies on the planet take planning seriously.  They … Continue reading Q&A: Carbon Footprint Accounting and Reporting – Benefits For Small and Medium Businesses

This entry was posted in All and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

NYC Regulations Reminder: Commercial Organics Rules

Are you in compliance? New York City businesses are required by law to separate their organic waste. Hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry are most likely to be affected. In NYC, we’ve reported that inspections are up and that violations are being issued for non-compliance. Some fines have been as high as $750 for each … Continue reading NYC Regulations Reminder: Commercial Organics Rules

This entry was posted in All, Regulations/News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

We’re Certified TRUE Zero Waste Experts!

In April 2018, it was announced that over 100 projects had been certified under the TRUE Zero Waste rating system by the GBCI, the same credentialing body that administers LEED. These projects reported up to $6.5 million in savings and more than 446,000 tons of waste diverted! Want to join these leaders? Talk to us. … Continue reading We’re Certified TRUE Zero Waste Experts!

This entry was posted in All and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Attn: Dallas, TX – New Recycling Rules Will Impact More Than 90% Of Apartment Complexes

Dallas’ new Multifamily Recycling Ordinance mandates recycling for apartment complexes  with 8 or more units by Jan. 2020. Over 90% of the city’s apartment complexes have at least 50 units. This means that the majority of Dallas  apartment building owners and manager will be impacted by this new rule, so take note. Start preparing now to … Continue reading Attn: Dallas, TX – New Recycling Rules Will Impact More Than 90% Of Apartment Complexes

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Attn: Portland, OR – New Commercial Organics Mandate

On July 26, 2018, the Metro Council, the regional governing body for Portland, voted to put a new commercial organics ordinance in place. Establishments that generate 1,000 pounds or more of organics per week must comply by March 2020 Generators of 500 pounds or more would be phased in by March 2021 Those with 250 … Continue reading Attn: Portland, OR – New Commercial Organics Mandate

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

How The China Ban Is Affecting Your Waste and Recycling Costs, What To Do

China Ban Summary:  A brief history: The China ban began in 2013 as the “Green Fence” policy, which stopped the flow of low quality recyclables at the Chinese border. This was followed in 2016 by their “National Sword” campaign, which continued the crackdown. In 2017, China announced a ban on 24 types of solid waste.  And … Continue reading How The China Ban Is Affecting Your Waste and Recycling Costs, What To Do

This entry was posted in All, Recycling, Composting, Waste and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Regulations Alert:
LL84 (2009), LL133 (2016), LL87 (2009), LL33 (2018)

NYC Benchmarking updates: LL84 (2009) deadline approaching Earlier this year, we reported that due to a glitch in data provided by utilities, New York City pushed back the deadline for LL84 (2009) benchmarking data filing for 2017 from May 1 to December 31, 2018. That deadline for compliance is now approaching.  Large buildings over 50,000 square feet … Continue reading Regulations Alert:
LL84 (2009), LL133 (2016), LL87 (2009), LL33 (2018)

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Order Of Australia Medal Awarded For Service To The Environment

Congratulations to Great Forest President Richard Fuller on being awarded the prestigious  Order of Australia Medal for his service to conservation and the environment. It is a well-deserved recognition for his work with Pure Earth, the nonprofit he founded, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, and The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. Richard … Continue reading Order Of Australia Medal Awarded For Service To The Environment

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Energy Alert:
ENERGY STAR Scores Are Changing

July 2018 ENERGY STAR will be re-calculating almost all commercial building scores this summer, which will impact your properties’ standing.  All the changes in source data will result in lower scores generally across the US. ALL scores will adjust as of August 26th when updates to 1-100 ENERGY STAR scores launch. After August 26, buildings will have to … Continue reading Energy Alert:
ENERGY STAR Scores Are Changing

This entry was posted in All, Regulations/News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Hotel Compliance Inspections: Most Common Violations Revealed

Hotel inspections are up in New York City. Violations are being issued for non-compliance. That is what we are hearing and seeing, following the expansion of regulations covering recycling and organics in the city. In some cases, such as with “persistent violators,” ballooning fines have been levied, as in the case of the hotel that was fined $750 for each … Continue reading Hotel Compliance Inspections: Most Common Violations Revealed

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

$750 For Each Misplaced Strawberry? How NYC Hotels Can Avoid Ballooning Violations

Late last year, we received an email from one of our hotel clients that began: “FYI. The DSNY were here today.” Since the expansion of regulations covering commercial recycling and organics, the DSNY has been stepping up checks on hotels and other businesses to ensure compliance. Violations are being issued. We even heard of one hotel … Continue reading $750 For Each Misplaced Strawberry? How NYC Hotels Can Avoid Ballooning Violations

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

How Businesses Can Say No To Plastic Straws, And Get Ahead of Bans Coming Their Way

“Businesses that respond appropriately can lead the way before they are forced to comply with bans and regulations. This is not only good for the environment, it is also good for business.” As reported in the New York Times, the U.S. uses millions of plastic straws every day!  After a few minutes of use, most end … Continue reading How Businesses Can Say No To Plastic Straws, And Get Ahead of Bans Coming Their Way

This entry was posted in All, How To Guides and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
Great Forest