Congratulations to UC Berkeley’s Chou Hall for Certification as the Greenest Academic Building in the US!

On behalf of the entire Bigbelly team, we are excited to congratulate UC Berkeley and the Chou Hall Zero Waste Initiatives Team for receiving TRUE Zero Waste certification at the highest platinum level.  This achievement grants the title of the “greenest academic building” in the United States to UC Berkeley’s Chou Hall.


We are grateful to have the opportunity to partner with UC Berkeley and the Zero Waste team that championed this project and are eager to witness this title make a impact by raising the bar at universities around the country. While implementing a custom-configured Bigbelly smart waste and recycling solution for Chou Hall was one element of their grand plan, this pioneering campus community is committed to changing their habits and the trajectory of waste on campus. 

Read on for accolades on this groundbreaking achievement. Kudos to the entire Cal Zero Waste team!

“Chou Hall, home to the Haas School of Business, has received a LEED Platinum rating and TRUE Zero Waste certification.”

The facility housing the business school at the University of California, Berkeley, is laying claim to the title of the greenest academic building in the nation. The Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley says Chou Hall has received not only a LEED Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Build Council, but also TRUE Zero Waste certification from Green Business Certification Inc. The TRUE Platinum Zero Waste certification is a result of efforts to divert more 90 percent of Chou’s landfill waste.

– Source: American School & University


“Chou Hall is the nation’s greenest academic building”

Chou Hall at the Haas School of Business is officially the country’s greenest academic building, having earned TRUE Zero Waste certification at the highest possible level along with a LEED Platinum certification for its energy-efficient design and operation. The TRUE Platinum Zero Waste certification came after more than a year of dedicated waste sorting, composting and other efforts to divert over 90 percent of Chou’s landfill waste. The official notice came from Green Business Certification Inc. (GBSI) following an on-site audit by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“The whole team is beyond excited to lead the way with the country’s greenest academic building,” said Danner Doud-Martin, the staff lead of the Haas Zero Waste Initiative and associate director of the International Business Development (IBD) Program at Haas. “It’s been such a journey — more than two years of trying to get all of our stakeholders on board with behavioral changes. It’s been a significant challenge, but we are so proud of all that we’ve accomplished.”

– Source: University of California Berkeley Newsroom



“A mark of leadership; a shift toward reusing & reducing”

The Chou Hall Zero Waste Initiative is a joint effort led by a multidisciplinary team of graduate and undergraduate students working closely with Cal Zero Waste, Haas faculty and staff, facilities management, and building vendors to ensure that building operations are designed for successful waste diversion.

“Zero waste is a culture change for organizations and we’re thrilled to see that Berkeley Haas students, faculty, and staff have wholeheartedly committed to it,” said Stephanie Barger, director of TRUE at the U.S. Green Business Council. “TRUE certification is a mark of leadership and ongoing commitment to advancing a zero-waste economy.” About 25 percent of the more than 100 TRUE-certified facilities have achieved TRUE Platinum, Barger said. Chou Hall is the only academic building to achieve the honor. […]

“Going for all three certifications at the highest level is incredibly ambitious,” Chandler said. “With WELL certification we hope to achieve a trifecta. We are so proud of the work that everyone has done to make Chou Hall the greenest academic building in the country, and we hope that our work will inspire and guide all of the UC campuses and other institutions across the country.” […]

The zero waste certification process began as soon as Connie & Kevin Chou Hall opened to students in August 2017. “We initiated the TRUE Zero Waste certification for Chou Hall as our beacon to demonstrate that zero waste is definitely achievable for the entire campus,” said Lin King, manager of Cal Zero Waste, which manages waste for all of campus and is aligned with the University of California’s commitment to move toward zero waste by 2020.

– Source: Haas Business School Newsroom 


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