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Facilities managers in institutional and commercial facilities have spent a great deal of time in recent years trying to minimize the impact of their facilities and operations on the environment. Now managers might have a way to assess the sustainability of service providers they do business with.
Crowe LLP, an accounting, consulting and technology firm, and the sustainability consulting firms ISOS Group and Brightworks Sustainability, will participate in a pilot program from NSF International for organizations seeking certification. The Nasdaq Stock Market and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District are also participating in the pilot.
The program is the American National Standard for sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices in the professional services sector, NSF/ANSI 391.1: General Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Professional Services.
The standard established criteria for evaluating professional services providers’ ESG and supply chain impacts. Similar to the LEED green building rating system, the professional services standard uses a point system. Certification to the standard will help firms demonstrate their commitment to sustainable and ethical business practices.
“The signs of climate change are all around us now,” said Michael Salemi, head of innovation at NSF International. “In response to this urgent crisis, governments, investors and institutional buyers are placing additional pressure on the business community to take meaningful action on the environmental and social impacts of their businesses. Certification to NSF/ANSI 391.1 will help professional services firms differentiate themselves from competitors by documenting and verifying their sustainable business practices. It may also help firms meet pending state and federal procurement guidelines.”
Salemi said several government agencies and large institutional buyers of professional services are watching the pilot program closely to better understand the way the certification program might support their own ESG goals.
Dan Hounsell is senior editor, facility group.