Follett Press Releases

Follett Receives Gold Zero Waste Facility Certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council

Aurora Distribution Center diverts 97.5 percent of waste with robust recycle and reuse programs

WESTCHESTER, IL, Oct 27, 2015 – As the higher education community gathers for the 2015 AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) Conference, Follett is proud to announce a major sustainability milestone for its Aurora Distribution Center (ADC) in Aurora, Ill. The facility, which supports its higher education business, has been awarded the Gold Zero Waste facility certification by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC).  Striving to achieve the 100 percent diversion standards set by the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA), Follett’s ADC team has been deferring approximately 97.5 percent of its waste. 

Diversion refers to redirecting end-use materials from landfill, incineration and the environment. USZWBC audited the Zero Waste diversion processes at Follett’s ADC and found that the facility is recycling, reusing and repurposing at an exceptional rate.

“Follett’s recognition for Excellence in Zero Waste shows our customers and our team members that minimizing our footprint is a top priority for Follett – just as it is for many of today’s students in the schools we serve,” said Don Germano, president of Follett Higher Education Group.

“In 2015, we launched our college and university technical committee. It’s great to see Follett is a vendor leading the way to Zero Waste,” said Stephanie Barger, founder and executive director of the USZWBC.

This recognition follows several other notable sustainability achievements at Follett’s ADC, including:

  • An exemplary score in the Construction Waste Management category of LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Certification in 2012

  • Energy Star Certification in 2013

  • The milestone achievement of five million pounds of deferred waste in March 2015

To learn more about Follett and its social responsibility initiatives, visit

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About Follett Corporation |

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to pre-K and K-12 schools, districts, and college campuses, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach and students to learn. Every day, Follett serves over half of the students in the United States, and works with 70,000 schools as a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content. Follett is higher education's largest campus retailer and a hub for school spirit and community, operating more than 1,200 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores across the continent. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.6 billion privately held company.

About the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC)

Launched in January of 2012 and headquartered in Corona Del Mar, Calif. the USZWBC's mission is to educate, inform and document the performance of Zero Waste Businesses using scientific methods to help businesses and communities become more healthy and sustainable. USZWBC offers the only national Zero Waste Standards focused on upstream policies and processes, Zero Waste training through webinars and workshops and is the leader in creating a solid foundation that advances the integrity and credibility of Zero Waste.

About Zero Waste

According to 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. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.