Chou Hall on track to be first ‘zero waste’ business school building in the U.S.

August 31, 2018
Green Team leader Danner Dodd-Martin (right) and Michelle La sort trash.

Green Team leader Danner Doud-Martin (right) and Michelle La sort trash. (UC Berkeley photos by Jim Block)

Haas Green Team leader Danner Doud-Martin and the Zero Waste Initiative volunteers were separating trash on a loading dock behind Chou Hall when former Berkeley Haas Dean Rich Lyons made a surprise appearance.

“Happy to help,” said Lyons, as he donned the required protective white suit and rubber gloves, grabbed a pair of tongs, and joined the team.  “This is important.”

The volunteers, including Lyons and many Haas staff members, rotated in and out during Tuesday’s Zero Waste audit, which is part of the school’s overall Chou Hall Zero Waste initiative. The program is a UC Berkeley-wide effort of graduate and undergrad students from Haas and the College of Natural Resources, along with the Cal Zero Waste office, the staff-led Haas Green Team and several faculty champions.

Chou Hall is currently on track to become the first TRUE Zero Waste-certified business school building in the U.S. and the first certified University of California building. The project’s scope is wide, including requisite reusable mugs and water bottles, which can be replenished at filling stations, to the use of compost and recycling bins located on each floor. The goal is to divert at least 90 percent of Chou Hall’s waste and achieve TRUE Zero waste certification by the end of 2018, becoming the first business school in the country to do so.