Chou Hall Zero Waste Initiative and Green Team at Berkeley Haas
Chou Hall has been deemed the greenest academic building in the nation, and is the first certified zero waste academic building in the world. By creating a space in which landfill is neither created nor disposed of, the Berkeley Haas community is reducing its carbon footprint and causing building users to think deeper about the life cycle of their waste. Chou Hall is the first drop in an ecosystem-wide ripple, that will become a wave, and eventually a tide of change. The building serves as a model for environmental sustainability at UC Berkeley and represents a critical step toward the University of California’s Zero Waste by 2020 and Carbon Neutrality by 2025 goals.
Years in the making, our official report has been published as of July 2020. The report offers a blueprint of the learnings, recommendations, redesigns, and ongoing iterations it took to create substantial innovative change at Chou Hall. Now as the greenest academic building in the nation, and the very first zero waste certified academic building in the world, Chou Hall stands as a beacon of hope for the zero waste movement on our campus and beyond. We hope that you will take a look at the report to be reminded that patience, determination, flexibility, and collaboration lead to amazing results, despite the setbacks and lessons learned along the way. We thank every person who has contributed to this project, and encourage you to send the report to anyone who may find it of use—we hope this report will give you proprietary technical pieces of advice, as well as overall inspiration and insight into the resiliency that is necessary to make structural change like has been done at Chou Hall. Click here to access the report.
Join the Task Force
Interested in supply chain management or behavior change? Have ideas on innovative zero waste solutions? Enjoy tackling difficult, but important issues with the ability to have a scalable impact? We need Haas leaders to drive sustainability change. We elect VPs of Sustainability for each Haas cohort, and you could be one of them! Email us: ZeroWaste.ChouHall@berkeley.edu
TRUE Zero Waste Certification
- Chou Hall is the first business school in the world to receive the TRUE Zero Waste certification at the highest level, Platinum
- Click here for the definition of Zero Waste by the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA)
- For the TRUE Zero Waste certification, the diversion rate (the amount of material going to compost and recycling versus landfill) must be 90% or more for 12 consecutive month
What You Should Know, Specifically for Chou Hall
- There are no landfill bins in any of the public spaces in Chou Hall except for small receptacles in women’s restrooms for feminine hygiene products.
- Everything generated in Chou Hall (including Cafe Think to-go ware) is compostable or recyclable.
- Building users are asked to adopt a “Pack-In, Pack-Out” mentality, and take with them any landfill brought into the building. Large solar powered waste compactors called Big Belly units are located near building entrances.
- There are compost, recycling and mixed paper bins on each floor. There are no receptacles in the classrooms or group study rooms. Here is a sorting guide for compost, bottles/ cans/ metals recycling, and mixed paper recycling.
- Below is a sorting guide for items from Cafe Think.
- Event caterers and hosts must adhere to Zero Waste Guidelines and Events Checklist.
- Bring your reusable water bottle and coffee mug. Receive $0.25 off drink purchases at Cafe Think with your reusable.
- The different types and properties of compostables are confusing. Here is a guide
- BearBuy: order school and office supplies, equipment, and catering items (make sure to filter by Product Tag for the green tree and/or green recycle arrows) CampusSurplus: UC Berkeley’s auction site for surplus goods on campus
- ReUse: UC Berkeley’s own student-run thrift store
- Daily Californian: Chou Hall set to become first zero-waste business school building
- On Track: to be the first “zero waste” business school building in the U.S.
- Chou Hall Opens: green, healthy, and zero waste
- Poets and Quants: on track to become the greenest academic building ever
- Newest Addition to Berkeley Haas: pioneering and leading the way for zero waste
- Monthly Newsletter Archive
- The Chou Hall Zero Waste Initiative received a Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) 2018 Sustainability Award
Green Team Mission
The Haas Green Team focuses on sustainability initiatives in partnership with Berkeley Haas leadership and the greater UC Berkeley community. Our members volunteer their time towards a two-fold mission: 1) to assist Berkeley Haas in becoming a model of sustainable operations, and 2) to inspire its staff, students, and faculty to incorporate green practices into their offices, homes, and communities.
The Haas School of Business Green Team was formed in 2012 and is made up of staff members from all Haas departments and MBA students. Courtney Chandler, Chief Operating Officer, and Gerardo Campos, Facilities Manager, serve as the Green Team’s sponsors. Danner Doud-Martin, Assistant Director of Operations at IBD, is the current Green Team leader. Danner is also the Staff Lead for the Chou Hall Zero Waste Initiative.
We are always looking for passionate new members to join the team. If you are interested, please reach out to any of the team’s members or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campus Green Resources
- Berkeley Haas Events
- Campus Initiatives
- Waste and Energy
- Student Groups
- Berkeley and Bay Area