Sustainability101 Blog

Category : All

Food Waste Toolkit: Download our Guide for Businesses

To help businesses address food waste, Great Forest partnered with Replate to put together a food waste toolkit to help companies understand the impact of treating food as waste, and learn how to implement solutions that work. The toolkit includes data on cost savings, simple strategies, and case studies that show how businesses have succeeded … Continue reading Food Waste Toolkit: Download our Guide for Businesses

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Great Forest Founder Named in “Future Perfect 50” List

Great Forest founder Richard Fuller has been included in Vox’s Future Perfect 50 list for his work with our sister nonprofit Pure Earth. The list recognizes “the scientists, thinkers, scholars, writers, and activists building a more perfect future.” What all the names on the Future Perfect 50 list have in common is a willingness to … Continue reading Great Forest Founder Named in “Future Perfect 50” List

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

What 160,000 AI-Powered Smart Sensors Are Telling Businesses About Their Waste ­

­ P­hoto: Compology Did you know, the average front load dumpster is 53% full when collected? What’s more, 13% of scheduled pickups do not happen! We know this from the 160,000 waste metering and monitoring sensors installed in dumpsters nationwide by our partner Compology, a nationwide leader in remote waste sensor technology. Complogy’s wireless, remote … Continue reading What 160,000 AI-Powered Smart Sensors Are Telling Businesses About Their Waste ­

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Compliance For Sustainability Success

“Follow the Blueprint: Compliance for Sustainability Success”  originally appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of IFMA’s FMJ  Staying ahead of new and continually updated regulations is key to maintaining compliance and avoiding potentially costly fines. But did you know, compliance is also a valuable tool that can guide businesses toward greater sustainability and less waste? … Continue reading Compliance For Sustainability Success

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Watch: How will California’s SB 1383 impact the food system?

How will California’s SB 1383 impact the food system? Thanks to Replate for organizing this panel featuring industry peers and experts from Great Forest, CalRecycle, UC Davis, and the San Francisco International Airport. The discussion centered around food generators, including guidelines to follow, required documentation, and resources available to support food donations. Put this on … Continue reading Watch: How will California’s SB 1383 impact the food system?

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Top 3 Waste Trends That Will Affect Businesses in 2022

What are the key waste trends for 2022 that will impact your business? We’ve rounded up the top three trends to note, and included recommendations on what you should do. Managing waste sustainably is one of the most effective strategies to move your business towards greater efficiency, cost-savings, and sustainability. 1) Your Waste Streams Are … Continue reading Top 3 Waste Trends That Will Affect Businesses in 2022

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Largest Global Waste Characterization Study Of Commercial Building Waste: 62% of Trash is NOT Trash

Largest Waste Characterization Study  In 2022, Great Forest completed the largest and most comprehensive waste characterization study to date focused on commercial buildings. That study has now been peer-reviewed and  published in The Journal of Solid Waste Technology and Management. The wide-ranging study utilizes data collected through waste audits conducted by Great Forest in 2019 … Continue reading Largest Global Waste Characterization Study Of Commercial Building Waste: 62% of Trash is NOT Trash

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Reduce Recycling Contamination in 6 Steps: Maintain The Value Of Your Recyclables

“…contamination rates have in many ways become the most important metric in the recycling sector.” — Waste Dive Recycling contamination happens when non-recyclable materials end up in your recycling stream. For example when food is left in recyclable containers that are placed in the recycling bin,  or if items like plastic bags, wire hangers, and … Continue reading Reduce Recycling Contamination in 6 Steps: Maintain The Value Of Your Recyclables

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Time For A Plastic Audit?

This article was originally published by Great Forest on LinkedIn. “Just one word… Plastics. There’s a great future in plastics.” Those famous lines from the 1967 movie The Graduate were pretty accurate. Today, plastic is everywhere. Their usefulness is undeniable. But it may be time for every business (and home) to do a plastic audit … Continue reading Time For A Plastic Audit?

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

TRUE Certified Case Study: How Great Forest Achieved Zero Waste

TRUE CERTIFIED ZERO WASTE CASE STUDY Project: Great Forest, Inc. Certification Level: Gold Diversion Rate: 91.3% Type of Facility: 5-story Brownstone Facility operations: Office floors   In March 2021, Great Forest became TRUE certified to the Gold level for Zero Waste, with a diversion rate of 91.3%. This was verified by the GBCI (Green Business … Continue reading TRUE Certified Case Study: How Great Forest Achieved Zero Waste

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

How Businesses Can Address ESG, Respond To “Code Red” Climate Change Report

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) is becoming a priority for businesses that want to identify risks and growth opportunities in the face of increasingly dire climate change news. The UN’s series of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports often make headlines around the world when they are released, but the comprehensive details in each … Continue reading How Businesses Can Address ESG, Respond To “Code Red” Climate Change Report

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

How To Restart Right: 12 Reopening Tips For Businesses

Businesses across the country are starting to see their offices return to capacity as workers return full-time or on a hybrid schedule. Restarting right not only means making sure everything is in order, in working condition, and functioning at maximum efficiency for reopening, but it also means having processes and procedures in place that ensure … Continue reading How To Restart Right: 12 Reopening Tips For Businesses

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Waste Industry Facing Hiring Challenges – What This Means For Businesses

Just as occupancy is rising in office buildings, the waste industry, like the restaurant industry, is dealing with hiring challenges.  As a result, we are seeing services being delayed across the country as haulers struggle to expand routes and provide on-time service. Industry watches say to expect potential rate increases as haulers may have to offer … Continue reading Waste Industry Facing Hiring Challenges – What This Means For Businesses

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Great Forest is TRUE Certified to the Gold Level For Zero Waste

We are proud to announce that Great Forest. Inc. has been TRUE certified to the Gold level for our Zero Waste efforts, with a diversion rate of 91.3%! (Read the Great Forest Zero Waste Case Study) This GBCI (Green Business Certification Inc.) certification signifies Great Forest’s continued commitment to, and leadership in, the sustainable waste … Continue reading Great Forest is TRUE Certified to the Gold Level For Zero Waste

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

Great Forest Is An EPA Waste Wise Partner

Great Forest has joined the EPA’s WasteWise program as an active participant. WasteWise encourages organizations and businesses to achieve sustainability in their practices and reduce waste. It is part of EPA’s sustainable materials management efforts. As a participant, Great Forest annually submits our company’s waste baseline, annual commitment/goal, and the most recent set of annual … Continue reading Great Forest Is An EPA Waste Wise Partner

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Great Forest Responds To EPA’s 50% National Recycling Goal

In November 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a national goal of increasing the U.S. recycling rate to 50% by 2030. As part of this process, Great Forest submitted comments to the EPA on recycling rate measurement methodology, drawing on our extensive work over 30 years of waste data collection and analysis. “Overall, we … Continue reading Great Forest Responds To EPA’s 50% National Recycling Goal

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Watch The Earth Day Webinar; Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation

THANK YOU to the 100+ people who spent part of their Earth Day with us at our webinar and Q&A. We learned so much together about how COVID-19 has impacted your waste management programs and policies, and what your successes and challenges have been. Let’s keep the conversation going: If you were a registered participant, … Continue reading Watch The Earth Day Webinar; Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Things You Can Learn From Your Annual Waste Report

By now, many Great Forest clients would have received their annual waste report with data and details about their sustainable waste management performance over the past year. Here are 3 things every business should look out for in their reports, and what to do. #1 Understand How COVID Impacted Your Waste Data Due to COVID-19 … Continue reading 3 Things You Can Learn From Your Annual Waste Report

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Your 2021 Checklist + Regulatory Compliance Guide

What does the future hold? If you have a plan, you can conquer whatever comes your way. Here’s a checklist to help you achieve all your 2021 sustainable waste management goals. #1 Study Your Data Look at your data from last year. Did you hit your waste reduction goals? How did 2020 and its many COVID-related challenges … Continue reading Your 2021 Checklist + Regulatory Compliance Guide

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Calculate Your GHG From Waste; Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Click here to calculate your GHG from waste now Did you know: Landfill and waste services are leading contributors to GHG emissions?  Waste is the next BIG frontier in fighting carbon emissions, but many property managers and building owners are missing this significant opportunity to reduce their building’s carbon footprint by focusing solely on energy use, and ignoring waste-related GHG (greenhouse gas) … Continue reading Calculate Your GHG From Waste; Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Video Helps Train “Invisible” Cleaning Staff

Once a building empties out for the night, cleaning staff move in to begin their work transporting waste to central collection points. Many people do not see cleaning staff at work but what they do is essential. Because cleaning staff are often “invisible,” they are sometimes forgotten. To ensure your waste program runs effectively, education is key, not only … Continue reading Video Helps Train “Invisible” Cleaning Staff

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

How to Succeed In Recycling (In 3 Steps)

How to  succeed in recycling? It’s not rocket science. Instead, it is a tried and tested proven strategy. Businesses can reduce waste, improve their diversion, and ensure their waste program functions effectively by following these 3 steps. Try it. #1 Reduce Contamination, Maintain Value When non-recyclable materials like liquids are placed in recycling bins, entire … Continue reading How to Succeed In Recycling (In 3 Steps)

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

Waste Audits Are Back, With Added COVID Protections

Great Forest has returned to performing comprehensive waste audits by planning carefully and safely. Our first waste audit since March, and the first of the COVID-19 era, was conducted in July at the Folsom Corporate Center in Northern California, supporting LEED certification coordinated by Envision Realty Services. The results of the audit will be used to generate … Continue reading Waste Audits Are Back, With Added COVID Protections

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

What The Pandemic Has Not Changed For Waste Management

Even though much of the way we do business has changed since the onset of COVID-19, our zero waste and sustainability goals have not changed. No matter what business you’re in, here’s what you should continue to focus on, and why: 1) RECYCLING The pandemic has made it clear that recycling is here to stay. … Continue reading What The Pandemic Has Not Changed For Waste Management

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

C&D 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 C&D waste (construction and demolition 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 … Continue reading C&D 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. Businesses 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. Businesses Need Waste Audits To Provide Insight

This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

Waste Data: Everything A Facility Manager Needs To Know About Waste Audits

Download the FMJ article 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 to … Continue reading Waste Data: Everything A Facility Manager Needs To Know About Waste Audits

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

Regulations Alert:
New York State Plastic Bag Ban Begins Enforcement

After delays, New York State’s Bag Waste Reduction Law 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 businesses covered by … 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.

10 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day (During a Pandemic)

Updated March 2022 In 1970, 20 million people took to the streets for the very first Earth Day. Today, over 50 years later, the earth still needs our support, perhaps even more than ever.  We have less time to deal with climate change, we’re still striving to conserve resources by reducing waste and being more … Continue reading 10 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day (During a Pandemic)

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 landscape for doing business is changing and corporate culture is just beginning to catch up. In August 2019, nearly 200 chief executives of the Business Roundtable, representing some of the … 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. Every event can be produced with less waste. 1) Venue/Vendors Make sure your venue … Continue reading Zero Waste Event Planning Guide: 10-Step Checklist

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

Food Waste Audit: How Restaurants Can Fight Food 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 Audit: How Restaurants Can Fight Food 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

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 pounds of paper. This is magnified … 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.
Great Forest