NSF International has put together the first North American sustainability protocol, known as NSF P391: General Sustainability Criteria for Service and Service Providers.

Sustainability CertificationThis new protocol will uphold standards never before seen for larger organizations and industries found throughout the U.S. in attempts to allow “organizations assess their internal practices, drive efficiencies, and attain a preferred status in their markets by achieving more sustainable operational practices”.

Through life cycle assessments the protocol evaluates a provider in 3 ways: environmental impact (energy use and greenhouse gas emission), labor impact (health and safety, employment practices), and the social responsibility impact (community assessment), leading to 4 levels of sustainability that can be met: Conformant, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Once certified the organization will be able to use the NSF marking in advertising to potential buyers, none bigger than the federal government and agencies.

Any service type can apply for this protocol, and once this starts to take effect, the benefits will already be trickling down to the consumer in more ways than ever before. This is an exciting time and will be interesting to see how much change is brought to the major product categories.

Visit the NSF press release site for more information: www.nsf.org

related: more green organization featured on The Alternative Consumer