Shorenstein Properties: Improved Waste Diversion with Training and Audits
Shorenstein Properties has expanded its sustainability goals to include waste diversion and reduction. As part of the Department of Energy’s Waste Reduction Pilot, Shorenstein is working towards a goal of increasing waste diversion 20% by 2025 over a 2016 baseline. Waste diversion is the process of diverting waste from landfills through recycling, composting, reuse or donation, or other means. Shorenstein’s focus on training and tenant engagement is key to its waste and recycling program success. Annual waste audits are encouraged to measure individual property performance and identify areas for improvement. The waste program consists of three main components: policy, training and outreach, and auditing.
Shorenstein implemented a waste management policy across its portfolio to reduce waste and increase diversion, a key step in waste management success. The policy has provisions on the following topics:
- LEED Waste Management Procedures: Property Manager is required to implement the LEED Purchasing and Waste Policy at the property
- Waste Hauling Contracting and Contractor Requirements
- Janitorial Staff Training and Procedures
- Tenants: Property Manager will provide proper bins and labels and maintain recycling education and guidelines on the property website
- Waste Diversion Reporting: Property Manager will use ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager to report monthly waste tonnage
- Annual Waste Audits
- Electronic Waste (e-waste)
- Durable Goods Waste (non-electronic)
- Construction and Demolition Waste
2. Training and Outreach
Shorenstein developed a “Recycling @ Shorenstein: Online Education” portal that provides information and resources to property managers. It is designed to encourage Shorenstein employees and tenants across the portfolio to participate in and promote waste diversion through recycling. The portal contains a video training that is required for all employees and tenants and is available as a reference document at any time. In addition to the video, property managers and tenants may also request an in-person training. Sustainability staff at Shorenstein follow up with a presentation that allows for increased engagement and buy-in. The presentation can be tailored to specific tenants (law firms, retail, etc.) which increases the effectiveness of the presentation and leads to a more successful outreach program.
3. Waste Audits
Shorenstein also provides a “Sustainability Annual Waste Audit Quick Reference Guide” to help inform teams on best practices and guidelines for waste audits. A waste audit is a survey of a facility’s regular waste stream, usually done by collecting a sample and analyzing the contents, to discover what gets discarded on-site and if it is properly sorted. The one-pager provides a high-level look at the steps needed to complete a waste audit and a link to a more in-depth guide to inform property managers and waste auditors of the process. Shorenstein has stated waste audits need to be completed annually for LEED-certified and Arc-integrated properties and encourages waste audits for all other properties. The waste audits are used to inform the property manager, janitorial vendor, and tenants of opportunities to improve waste diversion. As part of the process, the auditor creates a report containing diversion rates across various streams (metals, mixed paper, cardboard, glass, etc.) and provides recommendations to improve diversion and reduce bin contamination.
With a diversion rate over 50% and improving, even with a growing portfolio, Shorenstein has shown that success with waste diversion comes down to collaboration between parties and waste audits to inform educational programming and purchasing decisions.