Even the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the organization responsible for the LEED green building program, must keep an eye on their own LEED performance. As waste consultants for the USGBC, Great Forest helps the organization monitor their sustainability efforts through quarterly waste audits. Waste is one of five categories used to determine a building’s LEED performance score. As they explain in this article about the how and why of waste audits at the USGBC:
“The LEED performance score helps us manage and maintain the sustainability goals we’ve set for our space… This kind of analysis provides us with opportunities to lower our environmental impact and realize financial savings. Following the quarterly audits, Great Forest provides us with a detailed waste stream analysis as well as suggestions for improvement.
Recommendations can be simple. For example, based on results of the most recent waste audit, one of the changes Great Forest suggested was that the USGBC consider installing a box to collect the vast amount of plastic bags used. When filled, the box could then be returned to a nearby grocery store or other plastic bag drop-off location.
It may be time to take the USGBC’s lead on conducting regular waste audits. Your trash is talking. You just need to listen.