GAF Achieves Landfill Waste Diversion Claim

UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), has announced roofing manufacturer GAF is the first company to achieve UL’s Landfill Waste Diversion claim validation.

Launched in June 2012, UL Environment’s Zero Waste to Landfill, Virtually Zero Waste to Landfill, and Landfill Waste Diversion claim validations recognize companies that handle waste in innovative and environmentally responsible ways.

“We congratulate GAF on being the first to validate their tremendous waste-reduction efforts at one of their largest manufacturing facilities. Their initiative, participation in the claim-validation development process, and pursuit of the designation is exemplary and we hope this will galvanize other manufacturers to follow suit,” says Sara Greenstein, president of UL Environment. “We see more businesses undertaking waste-reduction initiatives and the growing need for meaningful, third-party validation of landfill waste diversion claims. UL’s trusted Environmental Claim Validation mark helps manufacturers to promote this accomplishment clearly and confidently to their customers.”

UL Environment’s landfill waste-diversion criteria include a variety of methods that companies may use to minimize the amount of waste they send to landfills, from energy creation through waste incineration to reuse, recycling and composting. Companies that achieve a landfill diversion rate of 100 percent qualify for the Zero Waste to Landfill validation. Companies that achieve a diversion rate of 98 percent or greater qualify for the Virtually Zero Waste to Landfill validation. Those that achieve a diversion rate of 80 percent or greater qualify for the Landfill Waste Diversion validation.

“GAF has been committed to reducing manufacturing waste to zero for several years now, and we were actually internally certifying zero-waste plants,” says Martin Grohman, director of sustainability at GAF. “However, third-party validation of environmental claims is increasingly important. There was no existing standard we could certify to. GAF has a long-standing relationship with UL, and when I presented this challenge to them, they took it on. All the way from the development of the standard to the desktop audit and the site visit, it has been a collaborative and constructive process. I’m especially proud of the efforts of our manufacturing team and their ongoing achievements on the journey to zero waste.”

The Mt. Vernon, Ind., plant, which spans 55,000 square feet and employs 40 people, achieved the certification. The specific claim is worded: GAF’s EverGuard TPO manufacturing facility, located in Mt. Vernon, IN, has achieved a landfill diversion rate of 90%.

To earn a Zero Waste to Landfill claim validation mark, a Virtually Zero Waste to Landfill claim validation mark or a Landfill Waste Diversion claim validation mark, companies must undergo an extensive, two-part, UL-led audit, which includes document evaluation and onsite visits. Each claim validation mark clearly indicates the facility’s specific rate of landfill diversion. Facilities whose landfill waste diversion claims have been validated by UL Environment are audited annually and featured in UL Environment’s Sustainable Products Database.

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