CalSTRS Earns TRUE Gold Level Zero Waste Certification
Green Business Certification, Inc. impressed with headquarters building waste diversion process

News release Michelle Mussuto
Jack Ehnes

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2017) – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s Environmental Sustainability Program successfully diverted over 95 percent of the headquarters building’s office waste from landfills and incinerators, preventing deleterious effects on the environment. The program’s success was recognized with a Gold Level Zero Waste Certification from Green Business Certification Inc. earlier this year.

“Recycling and waste diversion is one of eight initiatives we have in our Environmental Sustainability Program. CalSTRS believes it is imperative to address environmental challenges at all levels of our business—not just because it’s the right thing to do for the planet—but also to mitigate the risk to the fund’s long-term profitability,” said Chief Executive Officer Jack Ehnes.

TRUE is a rating system administered by Green Business Certification Inc. and serves as a complement to the LEED green building rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council. TRUE focuses on helping businesses, industrial sectors and schools quantify their performance and find additional ways to move toward zero waste.

“CalSTRS believes it is imperative to address environmental challenges at all levels of our business.”

Jack Ehnes
CalSTRS Chief Executive Officer

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“When we view our actions from a sustainable perspective, we make better decisions for the long term. Receiving the Zero Waste certification is the result of an organizational culture that encourages and supports green business practices. CalSTRS’ employees engagement in environmentally focused practices is exemplary and clearly notable given this certification,“ said Chief of Administrative Services Lisa Blatnick.

To reach 95 percent waste diversion—and the Gold Level Zero Waste Certification—CalSTRS used the following tactics:

  • Organic waste sent to an anaerobic digester.
  • Office and durable product reuse program.
  • New employee training on waste diversion.
  • Sustainable procurement policy to identify environmentally preferred products.
  • Grassroots employee-led group—the Green Rangers—provide on-going education.

About CalSTRS

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $215.3 billion as of September 30, 2017, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS serves California’s more than 914,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,700 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.

See how CalSTRS demonstrates its strong commitment to long-term corporate sustainability principles in its annual Global Reporting Initiative sustainability report: Global Stewardship at Work

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