Titan Florida earns first zero waste nod from LEED administrator

Better known as Pennsuco, the Titan America cement plant in Medley, Fla., is the first operation of its kind to attain the highest level of certification under the Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE) rating system for zero waste. Administered alongside the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system by the U.S. Green Building Council-aligned Green Business Certification Inc., TRUE helps facilities around the world define and achieve zero waste goals while becoming more resource efficient.

2013 PENNSUCO PHOTO: Trevor Rosecrans Photography, Boynton Beach, Fla.
The U.S. Green Building Council spotlighted its recently launched LEED Zero series during the mid-November Greenbuild Virtual 2020 program. Titan Pennsuco is among 14 certified projects across Waste and companion Carbon, Energy, and Water categories.

“Titan Florida recognizes that by pursuing zero waste they are helping build a sustainable future for all,” says USGBC and GBCI President Mahesh Ramanujam. “Waste impacts all facets of a business. Changing the way we use resources delivers public health benefits, reduces our environmental impact, and advances a greener economy.”

Facilities achieve TRUE certification by meeting program requirements and accruing credits. Each site is then audited and must submit annual waste diversion data that demonstrates continuous compliance to achieve Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum certification. Titan Pennsuco attained the latter by accruing additional credits for implementing programs like repurposing used office supplies; grass mulching and composting; and, xeriscaping, the process of landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation. As part of a waste reporting credit, the Pennsuco complex became an active participant in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Waste Wise Program, where diversion data is submitted annually and goals are set for the following year. All told, the operation diverted approximately 97 percent of its waste from the landfill and incineration in 2019.

“It’s not just about receiving an award; being zero waste is about considering how we can minimize our impacts so future generations have the opportunity to live in a sustainable environment,” says Titan Florida Allyson Tombesi, who led the TRUE certification effort.

“The program was created with a goal to encourage our employees to lead a zero waste lifestyle at both the plant and at home. Through program participation, we hope to inspire our employees and industry to take action that benefits the future of our planet.”

“Clearly, Titan has a corporate commitment to zero waste,” adds Director of Environment & Land William Kissel. “Earlier this year, Titan’s sister plant in the U.S., Roanoke Cement Company, earned similar certification as Pennsuco, becoming the world’s second cement plant to earn TRUE Gold Zero Waste certification. Now, Pennsuco sets the bar higher by achieving TRUE Platinum certification. Titan America continues to be recognized as an industry leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship.”