New landfill-free guideline published by NSF International supports use of a new verification mark, helping companies in food and other industries gain recognition for their waste reduction initiatives

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – NSF International Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International, has published NSF International Guideline 445: Landfill-Free Verification, a new framework that enables verified companies to demonstrate their waste reduction efforts with the use of a verification mark.

Waste management is a critical issue that drives significant cost and operational complexity for many industries including commercial food production in particular. An analysis of food waste from food manufacturers indicated that 95 percent of the 7.1 billion pounds of food waste generated was diverted from landfills. However, retailers are only able to divert 42 percent and restaurants only 15 percent. Leading organizations are addressing the challenge through zero-waste-to-landfill or landfill-free programs.

The new NSF International Guideline 445 provides a framework for establishing and evaluating an organization’s waste management process. Companies and facilities verified by NSF International to the new guideline may bear the new NSF International “Landfill-Free Facility” mark to demonstrate waste reduction efforts to customers, employees, stakeholders and the general public.

To qualify for landfill-free status, a company must implement a five-year continuous improvement plan that will be reviewed and approved by NSF International on an annual basis in addition to the following requirements:

  • Document all waste management procedures and track all waste streams, as well as demonstrate that less than 1 percent (by weight) of process waste goes to landfills
  • Implement training programs for employees and contractors to ensure the company’s waste management procedures are enforced
  • Account for electronic waste – for example, businesses can implement a program for electronic waste management through a recycler certified to e-Stewards and/or R2 standards

“NSF International’s 70-year history of protecting public health and the environment is reflected in the new Landfill-Free Guideline 445 and the accompanying verification mark, which enables organizations to demonstrate that their landfill-free claims have been verified by a reputable, independent third party,” said Amber Dzikowicz, Business Unit Manager for the Sustainability Program at NSF International.

“NSF International verification proves to everyone that we opened our doors to validate our waste reduction efforts,” said Michele Boney, Director of Environmental Health and Safety at West Liberty Foods, the first company to become landfill-free verified. “Today, we divert 7.5 million pounds of waste annually from the local landfill and our efforts, with the help of NSF International, have earned praise from our industry, media and most importantly, our customers.”

For more information about NSF International sustainability programs, call +1.734.476.2543, email or visit

Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with NSF International Sustainability Business Unit Manager Amber Dzikowicz, contact or call +1 734 214 6242.

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent global organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the building materials, food, water, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment ( Founded in 1944, NSF International is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 155 countries, NSF International is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.

NSF International Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies create more sustainable products, operations, systems and supply chains.