Elevating the Future: NEXTDC's TRUE Journey to Zero Waste Excellence

Feb 7, 2024


Enhancing your journey to zero waste with TRUE certification

Zero waste, a pivotal approach for minimising environmental impact, revolves around reducing waste through resource conservation, product redesign, and material reuse and recycling. This philosophy gains momentum as organisations worldwide seek sustainable practices.

What is TRUE Zero Waste Certification? 

True waste logo

In this journey, TRUE Certification, developed by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), emerges as a leading program, recognising organisations for their excellence in waste reduction and resource conservation. Certifications, like TRUE, provide a structured framework, guiding businesses towards effective waste reduction practices.

Uniqueness of TRUE Certification

What sets TRUE Certification apart is its specific focus on waste reduction and resource conservation, distinguishing it from other certifications like ISO 14001 or LEED. It aligns organisations with a targeted mission of minimizing waste impact on the environment.

The TRUE Program's Objective

At its core, the TRUE program aims to divert all solid waste from landfills, incineration, and the environment while enhancing resource efficiency. It sets a challenging yet crucial goal for organisations committed to environmental responsibility.

How TRUE Defines “Zero Waste”

As outlined by their rating system, the GBCI interprets "zero waste" in alignment with the definition established by the Zero Waste International Alliance.

Zero waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.

Certification Minimum Requirements

To achieve Zero Waste certification, facilities must first meet seven minimum program requirements:

  1. The company or project pursuing certification has established a comprehensive Zero Waste policy.
  2. The project has accomplished an average overall diversion rate of 90% or higher from landfill, incineration (WTE), and the environment for solid, non-hazardous wastes over the past 12 months. Materials diverted include those reduced, reused, recycled, composted, and/or recovered for productive utilization in nature or the economy.
  3. The project adheres to all federal, state/provincial, and local solid waste and recycling laws and regulations. Additionally, the project is in compliance with all requisite air, water, and land discharge permits for the collection, handling, or processing of materials.
  4. The project maintains data that establishes a base year for waste diversion and includes measurements since the base year that account for changes in size, type, and the nature of the business.
  5. The project ensures that no more than 10% contamination level is present in any materials leaving the site.
  6. The project submits 12 months of waste diversion data to GBCI annually to uphold the certification's currency.
  7. The company provides a case study detailing its zero waste initiatives as part of the certification process.

Zero Waste Certification Tiers

In addition to the previously outlined seven fundamental prerequisites, enterprises are required to accumulate a minimum of 31 points (out of a total of 81) spanning 16 categories on the TRUE scorecard to attain certification.

Within GBCI, certification tiers range from "Certified" to the prestigious "Platinum." Organisations meeting the stipulated requirements undergo an assessment, with a higher point tally indicating superior adherence to criteria and commendable performance.

The four TRUE certification levels are:


Why Choose TRUE?

Embracing TRUE certification offers a gateway for organizations to streamline operations, cut inefficiencies, and discover cost savings and revenue streams through waste repurposing. Beyond environmental benefits, TRUE integrates best practices that drive economic progress and empower facilities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, manage risks, reinvest resources, stimulate job creation, and enhance overall business value.

NEXTDC's Commitment to Sustainability

In FY24, NEXTDC achieved TRUE Certification for its S1 Sydney facility, reinforcing its dedication to environmental responsibility. The TRUE Zero Waste certification process will guide NEXTDC on a path to zero waste, implementing practices that will yield numerous environmental benefits, driving positive change in caring for our environment.

In this context, NEXTDC plays a pivotal role. Operating to the highest standards of energy efficiency, water preservation, and waste management, NEXTDC is committed to building a reliable, secure, and highly energy-efficient infrastructure platform.

For NEXTDC, a commitment to sustainability is nothing new. We have been recognised for our industry-leading, independently certified sustainable data centres since our inception in 2010. We’re always looking for new ways to lead sustainability innovation, performance and accountability in the data centre industry. We actively invest in environmental sustainability, and document achieved outcomes though our Environment, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Performance Reporting on an annual basis.

In summary, here are the seven strategic programs in which NEXTDC is championing sustainability:

1. 5-star NABERS Energy for Data Centres rating

  • NEXTDC were proud to be the first Australian data centre provider to achieve a 5-star rating for M1 (Melbourne) in 2019. Since then, we have also achieved the 5-star rating for S1 (Sydney).
  • Read more about NABERS ratings and why they are critical for federal government bodies here.

2. Australia’s only TRUE certified data centre

  • The TRUE certification is the leading, independent global program dedicated to measuring, improving and recognising zero waste performance. Our S1 Sydney Data Centre recently became the first (and currently, only) TRUE certified data centre in Australia.

3. Rigorous waste diversion programs:

  • In addition to the TRUE certification we’ve achieved at S1 Sydney, we’re also focused on waste diversion across all our facilities. In particular, we have dedicated programs for the secure and ethical handling of electronic waste and paper waste.

4. Renewable energy initiatives:

  • You can’t call yourself a truly sustainable data centre unless you prioritise the sourcing and generation of renewable energy, including rooftop solar installations. In addition to existing solar panels at our M1 facility, we recently switched on new solar arrays at S1 and M3. Additionally, rooftop installations at our Sunshine Coast and Perth data centres will soon be switched on.

5. 100% carbon neutral in our corporate operations:

  • Demonstrating our own commitment to achieving net zero status across our full value chain by 2030, our corporate operations have maintained 100% carbon neutral accreditation under the Climate Active scheme for the past few years. 
  • The Climate Active scheme is administered by the Australian Federal Government and focuses on reducing carbon emissions where possible and offsetting them where it’s not. We have a long-term strategic partnership with Qantas Future Planet to help offset our carbon emissions.

6.NEXTneutral carbon offsetting scheme:

  • NEXTneutral is our carbon neutral colocation solution, designed to make achieving carbon neutrality easy for our customers by pre-calculating the carbon emissions produced in a standard data centre rack and procuring the necessary carbon offsets on their behalf.
  • Since its launch in 2021, more and more NEXTDC customers have been opting in to NEXTneutral with the touch of a button through our ONEDC centralised management tool. Last year we were proud to report a 40% increase in customers utilising NEXTneutral to help meet their sustainability targets.

7. Renewable energy initiatives:

  • You can’t call yourself a truly sustainable data centre unless you prioritise the sourcing and generation of renewable energy, including rooftop solar installations. In addition to existing solar panels at our M1 facility, we recently switched on new solar arrays at S1 and M3. Additionally, rooftop installations at our Sunshine Coast and Perth data centres will soon be switched on.

Why Choose NEXTDC for Your Data Centre Needs?

Dynamic Partner Ecosystem:  

Leverage Australia's most extensive partner ecosystem with a community of 750+ partners to enable more connections with carriers, cloud providers, and IT service providers. 

Hybrid Cloud Experience: 

Empowering customers to leverage cloud first strategies and optimise multi-cloud deployments to scale mission critical IT infrastructure. 

AI, High-Performance Computing and Edge Design:  

NEXTDC is at the forefront of supporting Edge computing and High-Performance Compute (HPC) requirements, providing customised solutions to accelerate your AI journey.  

100% Uptime:  

The only data centre operator in the southern hemisphere with Tier IV Gold certification for Operational Sustainability, NEXTDC guarantees zero downtime for reliability and performance. 

Data Centre Interconnectivity:  

Secure, private, and direct access to Australia’s most connected range of global cloud providers, integrated with a nationwide network of data centre facilities. 

World Class Design and Operations: 

Internationally recognised for designing, constructing, and operating Australia’s market leading Tier IV facilities, certified by globally renowned Uptime Institute. 

Sustainability Driven:  

Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, NEXTDC prioritizes renewable energy sources, achieving leading standards such as 5-star NABERS energy efficiency ratings and TRUE certification. 

DTA Certification for Government Agencies:  

NEXTDC is certified by Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), to ensure compliant and sovereign critical infrastructure choice for government at all levels. 

Industry Recognition:  

NEXTDC, a listed company on the ASX 100, stands out with industry peer awards as the region's most innovative and customer focused data centre provider. 

Carbon Neutral Operations:  

NEXTDC's corporate operations are certified carbon neutral under the Australian Government’s Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard. 

Efficiency and Cost Management:  

Engineered for outstanding energy efficiency, NEXTDC data centres deliver industry-leading benchmarks for minimising operational cost and total cost of ownership. 

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