Case Study: Cintas Toronto Distribution Centre

Case study on a TRUE Zero Waste certified project, prepared for the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) / GBCI Canada.

A comprehensive, employee-led strategy leads to one of Canada’s first TRUE certifications

Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Certification level: Gold
Per cent of overall diversion achieved: 93.59 per cent
Certification date: October 2017

When Richard (“Doc”) and Amelia Farmer founded business supplies provider Cintas in 1929, the Great Depression was just beginning and they were out of work. Doc Farmer came up with a plan to collect, launder and reuse soiled shop rags from local factories, a simple green idea that started a rich heritage of environmentally sustainable practices still continuing nearly a century later.

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The Cintas Toronto Distribution Centre (DC), which became Canada’s second TRUE certification in October 2017, traces its roots to that humble beginning. The 60,000 sq.ft. Mississauga facility achieved its zero waste goals through innovative vendor partnerships, the dedication of its Green Team, and complete engagement among its 56 employees, or “partners” as they are referred to within Cintas. A combination of large changes to overall processes and individual partner actions contributed to the distribution centre’s success, lending itself as an excellent example of how a zero waste strategy can be implemented in any type of organization.

The result of this work was a TRUE Gold certification, which acknowledged the distribution centre’s work in diverting 93.59 percent of waste from landfill. It is one of five Cintas facilities so far to achieve TRUE Gold certification in North America, with more planned in the near future.

The following case study provides a closer look into the strategies, challenges and specific actions involved in Cintas’s Toronto DC’s achievement.

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