- How do I get my facility TRUE certified?
- What is the cost to get certified?
- How long does the certification review take?
- Can we submit for an expedited review?
- Can my project seek TRUE certification if it only occupies part of a building or property?
- Can I certify multiple facilities?
- Can a facility outside the United States get certified?
- Is there a list of TRUE certified facilities?
- Do I need to be a USGBC member to certify my facility?
- Can I submit a registration form if my facility does not meet all the requirements?
- Why should my facility get precertified?
- How long is precertification valid for?
- My project is TRUE certified. How do I maintain the certification, and are there fees for that?
- What happens if my site is no longer meeting the TRUE minimum program requirements (MPRs) after certification?
- Can I recertify to get a higher certification level?
- Can I keep the certification if site operations have moved to a new location?
- Will GBCI be coming to my site to do an audit?
- Will I be able to speak to the person reviewing my application?
- What are Addenda?
- How do I know what new guidance to follow?
- How often are addenda published?
- Where are the addenda published?
- Does my project have to follow the addenda?
- What do I do if I have a suggestion or question on published guidance?
How do I get my facility TRUE certified?
The first step is to register your facility (or “project”) by submitting a complete registration form, payment of the registration fee, and a signed certification agreement. Upon submission of a completed registration form, you will receive more details on the next steps for the registration and certification process. The project must meet all the TRUE minimum program requirements and achieve at least 31 points to receive TRUE certification. Please see the TRUE Rating System to view the activities and performance thresholds that are included, and view the TRUE Guide to Certification to learn about the entire certification process and timelines from start to finish. Certification is also available for events.
What is the cost to get certified?
The fees for registration, events, precertification, and recertification are flat fees. The fees for certification are calculated per square foot of building space. Precertified projects receive a $1,000 discount on TRUE certification. You can view pricing for all TRUE certification pathways by visiting our fees webpage or contact us at email@example.com to speak with a program representative.
How long does the certification review take?
The typical review takes 10 weeks. There are several phases in the review process. The preliminary and final documentation review phases take 15 business days (3 weeks) each, with approximately one month in between those phases for you to respond to the preliminary review comments. The precertification and recertification timeline follows the standard certification timeline and process. See the TRUE Guide to Certification.
Can we submit for an expedited review?
Expedited reviews are available for an additional fee on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to request an expedited review, please write us 10 business days in advance of when you would like to submit for the review, providing the expected date of submission and confirming that the project team agrees to the additional fees. This will allow us to determine whether there's a review team available with the capacity to accommodate your project on an expedited timeline.
Can my project seek TRUE certification if it only occupies part of a building or property?
Yes. A project is typically defined by the legal property boundary, which may or may not include multiple buildings. However, for projects within a greater facility not seeking certification, or campuses that do not have internal property lines, the project may define an alternative boundary that is wholly contained within the legally owned site. This could be one tenant space, one building on a campus, or even a subset of floors within a building. The remaining areas outside of the project boundary are not required to be certified. Please refer to page 4 of the TRUE Rating System for other important details and criteria on defining your project.
Can I certify multiple facilities?
Yes. If your company/organization has multiple facilities to be certified or a campus that is requesting certification please be sure to include that in the registration form, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. TRUE offers a streamlined approach to review and certify multiple facilities, and a member of our team will reach out to you after submittal of a registration form to discuss.
Can a facility outside the United States get certified?
Yes, GBCI can certify facilities outside of the U.S. and has already TRUE certified facilities in over a dozen different countries. While the TRUE rating system can be applied worldwide, some references are specific to the United States; therefore, projects in other countries are responsible for referencing and documenting comparable local resources. Alternative compliance paths may be available for some credits. Please contact us at email@example.com with any questions about specific credit or minimum program requirements. A select number of featured TRUE certified facilities outside of the U.S can be found on the project profiles webpage.
Is there a list of TRUE certified facilities?
Do I need to be a USGBC member to certify my facility?
No. However, if the organization/company joins as a USGBC member at the Silver level or higher it will receive a 20% discount on the registration and certification fees. Membership provides many other benefits including discounts on training, access to USGBC courses, and more.
Can I submit a registration form if my facility does not meet all the requirements?
Yes, a facility does not need to be ready to certify in order to register.
Why should my facility get precertified?
TRUE precertification is available to all projects regardless of the level of diversion performance that has been achieved. Precertification provides a framework to help your project get started on your zero waste journey and implement the fundamental actions needed for a robust zero waste program. Your project can get recognized for your efforts toward zero-waste and utilize an incremental pathway toward TRUE certification. Precertification also demonstrates your commitment to achieving zero waste and signals your intent to pursue TRUE certification. Learn more about the precertification process by reviewing the TRUE Precertification Guidance which outlines details about the requirements.
How long is precertification valid for?
Precertification is valid for three years. If the precertification expires before the facility has applied for certification, the project may still pursue certification but all documentation must be resubmitted.
My project is TRUE certified. How do I maintain the certification, and are there fees for that?
Projects registered before September 1, 2020, do not have a set term of validity. No maintenance fees are due and no recertification is required, as long as the project maintains certification by complying with the annual maintenance requirements.
Certifications for projects registered on or after September 1, 2020, expire after three years. These projects, and projects that have not maintained validity by submitting annual data, must recertify to reinstate certification. Projects will need to pay the associated recertification fee and submit updated information to confirm the project is still in compliance with TRUE requirements.
Review pages 3 and 4 of the TRUE Certification Maintenance and Recertification Guidance for more details on the recertification requirements
What happens if my site is no longer meeting the TRUE minimum program requirements (MPRs) after certification?
Projects that can no longer meet one or more TRUE MPRs should contact GBCI at firstname.lastname@example.org describing the situation and which MPR(s) are affected. GBCI is dedicated to supporting projects with challenges, while also helping them retain the recognition they received from TRUE, and solutions may be available.
Can I recertify to get a higher certification level?
Yes, projects may recertify and pursue additional points to upgrade their previous certification level. Review page 4 of the TRUE Certification Maintenance and Recertification Guidance for more details on the recertification upgrade requirements. If annual data has not been regularly submitted, you may still recertify and that will be considered the required recertification needed to get the project back in good standing.
Can I keep the certification if site operations have moved to a new location?
Yes, projects that have relocated to another property can recertify by demonstrating that the new facility operates in the same way as the previous location. Review page 5 of the TRUE Certification Maintenance and Recertification Guidance for more details on the recertification upgrade requirements.
Will GBCI be coming to my site to do an audit?
No, an audit or on-site assessment is no longer part of the TRUE review process. The review process will be documentation only. If requested, a phone call or virtual meeting can be set up between your team and the assessor to connect more directly and answer your questions. For more information on our review process, please refer to our Guide to TRUE Certification.
Will I be able to speak to the person reviewing my application?
Yes! At any point, you may request to set up a phone call or virtual meeting with the person reviewing your application and documentation. We recommend setting up a call after receiving your preliminary review report to discuss the assessor’s clarification requests and answer any other questions you may have before submitting your final documentation.
What are addenda?
Addenda are official updates that will incorporate changes and improvements to the TRUE Rating System and other published guidance documents to help clarify, correct, interpret, or provide alternative language.
Addenda should be referred to in conjunction with the TRUE Rating System, and other published guidance documents.
How do I know what new guidance I need to follow?
Projects that are registered after the date the addenda are published must comply with the requirements in the Addenda. Projects that were registered before the date that the addenda are published are not required to comply with addenda published after their registration date. While it is strongly recommended that project teams also follow Addenda published after their registration date, projects are only required to meet the rating system requirements in place at the time of their registration.
In case of a conflict between the Addenda and other guidance documents, the Addenda will supersede the guidance documents.
How often are addenda published?
Addenda are published on a quarterly basis. If there are insufficient addenda updates in a quarter, they will be rolled into the following quarter’s update.
Where are the addenda published?
Does my project have to follow the addenda?
Project teams must follow addenda published prior to their project’s registration date. It’s strongly recommended that project teams also follow Addenda published after their registration date.
What do I do if I have a suggestion or question on published guidance?
Please feel free to let us know of any comments by contacting us at email@example.com.