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The concept of zero waste has created quite a buzz in the business world. With society continuously growing more and more eco-conscious, businesses across all industries have begun to reconsider how their recycling and waste management practices can be adjusted to achieve highly coveted zero-waste status.
Zero-waste status, which can be certified by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, means that a company's product design and daily practices, from manufacturing to shipping, are strategically devised, with the goal of eliminating all waste and instead conserving and recycling resources. To officially earn this classification, a company doesn't have to literally produce zero waste, but rather divert a minimum of 90 percent of waste away from landfills.
Here are five companies that have achieved zero-waste status:
This Japanese car manufacturing giant has created a landmark precedent in the automotive world. Subaru is the first automobile manufacturer to earn zero-landfill status. All waste from Subaru is diverted from landfills instead of being reused or recycled.
In 2002, Subaru announced its intentions to earn the zero-waste status, and within 18 months the company was able to completely overhaul its practices and procedures to achieve this status year after year. Most recently, Subaru announced a partnership with the U.S. National Park Service, in which the auto manufacturer will help national parks throughout the U.S. achieve zero-landfill status.
TireBuyer.com sells an assortment of top-name brand tires like Goodyear, Michelin and Firestone. The company also has a firm commitment to sustainable practices, as any used tires tires and their packaging contents are properly recycled.
Tire disposal became a hot-button issue across the U.S. in the 1980s. But, since then, federal and state regulations have been passed to manage the issue of scrap tire disposal to ensure all material waste can be ground down and repurposed for new use.
Procter & Gamble
The consumer products giant is fully committed to doing its part to help Mother Earth. With 66 top-selling brands under its umbrella, like Gillette, Tampax, Pantene, Tide, Dawn, Bounty and Crest, more than 45 Procter & Gamble factories have a zero-landfill status. P&G has announced the entire company plans to be zero landfill by 2020.
Additionally, P&G plans to revamp its product packaging strategy by 2020, so that all its products will be made from recycled or renewable resources. The company also has plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its overall energy consumption during manufacturing, as well as create power plants with more renewable forms of energy.
Bigelow Tea is one of the most sustainable brands in the tea industry. Through its SustainabiliTea program, the company diverts 94 percent of its waste away from landfills and instead recycles and reuses what it can. Bigelow Tea also works exclusively with sustainable farmers in Sri Lanka, India and China in an effort to support ethical tea gardens and ensure the quality of its product.
DuPont Building Innovations
DuPont Building Innovations manufactures an assortment of top-quality building materials, including Tyvek building wrap, Corian countertops and Zodiaq quartz countertops. In 2009, the company announced a plan to transform its waste handling procedures to become zero waste within three years. By 2012, DuPont Building Solutions was able to dramatically reduce its waste from 81 million pounds annually to zero.
Allison Wilkinson is a WAHM, an explorer, an amateur chef and a fitness buff. You can find her Instagramming photos of her (adorable) son or researching everything from the latest parenting theories to healthy hacks for desserts.