9 Sustainability Certifications Available for Corporates
One of the prime motives of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives is to drive sustainable changes in society, among communities and create a long-lasting impact towards attaining a better future. Artemis Impact aims at demystifying the many aspects tied to CSR activities and leading sustainable impact projects. However, a mere understanding of these concepts isn’t enough to lead a full-fledged impact project, would you not agree?
The cause of sustainability has assumed the center stage for businesses, their operations, and brand management, so much so that certified understanding of it and a proven skillset promising effective implementation of learnings becomes imperative.
Why sustainability certification?
Certified knowledge is not just a stamp of approval or a tool to boost your marketing game. Green certification programs can help business owners cull out all that is unnecessary and focus on what really matters. In quick points below, we shall share why sustainability certifications matter for businesses and what do they bring to the table:
- Marketing support
- Boost to credibility
- New partnership opportunities
- Edge over competition
- Insights on the current strategy
- Robust future plan
- Identifying best practices
- Formulating guidelines
- Attracting new customers, talent, investors, stakeholders
- Demonstrating organization’s focus on green business
For those of you who are committed to your brand’s sustainability cause with a full heart and want to take your expertise a notch higher, here’s sharing a list of certifications that will make your impact journey more meaningful and your sustainability vision more robust and practical.
The following list is on professional certifications for practitioners and professionals dealing with sustainability projects as well as those who are yet to begin their journey.
SEA and SEP
International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) offers certifications for both mid-level and advanced professionals. While the Sustainability Excellence Associate (SEA) program caters to the mid-level associates in the field, the Sustainability Excellence Professional (SEP) certification is for advanced professionals.
If an ecology-oriented certification is on your mind, then you cannot go wrong with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design programme. The certification is dedicated to green buildings and is offered by the US Green Building Council. As per reports, it is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. A project tied to LEED can get a Silver, Gold or Platinum rating depending on the points it gets against the established parameters in the certification. LEED Green Associate certification is for those who are newer to sustainability, and for those who want an advanced level certification, LEED AP can fit the purpose.
A highly useful certification for architects and ecologists, SITES is more of a performance-measuring and indicating certification. It runs in collaboration with the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden.
SITE certified landscapes are known to improve air quality, support wildlife habitat, conserve water and check wastage, and reduce energy consumption.
What LEEDS is for buildings and indoor environments, SITES is for landscapes.
Performance Excellence in Electrical Renewal is a certification tailormade for those involved in sustainable power systems. It deals with measuring and improving the performance of power systems to make them more sustainable. With PEER certification, facility owners can ensure sustainable and quality electricity to customers.
The Green Business Bureau’s (GBB) certification will not only help in assessing your current sustainability effort but also lays down the roadmap for future activities. Points are awarded for every activity completed by your project. The certification is especially useful for small and medium-sized businesses to initiate and achieve their sustainability goals.
The Association of Climate Change Officers offers a range of certifications revolving around climate change compliance and sustainability. A couple of certifications designed for young to mid-level professionals are worth mentioning.
ACCO’s Certified Climate Change Professional (CC-P) is designed for mid-career professionals while the CC-P Candidate Pilot Program is for young professionals or those who are shifting gears to a career in climate change or are new to climate change compliance for their business model.
For businesses involved in food products and processing, a USDA accreditation, certifying the goodness and organic status of your products, can go a long way in enhancing credibility and boosting business.
“To maintain organic certification, your certified organic farm or business will go through an annual review and inspection process,” as stated on the USDA website.
Another certification that focuses on building projects, WELL’s perspective is more on the projects’ impact on health, wellness and the environment.
“The WELL Building Standard is a vehicle for buildings and organizations to deliver more thoughtful and intentional spaces that enhance human health and well-being. WELL includes strategies that aim to advance health by setting performance standards for design interventions, operational protocols and policies…,” reads the official website.
The certification interests wellness practitioners, medical professionals, public health experts and building scientists as well as professionals and businesses involved in these sectors with a sustainable vision.
If the above-mentioned certifications don’t serve your purposes, worry not. There are many more certifications available in the market to suit your business model.
Remember, a certification must be looked at as an investment, something that will not only enhance your business and boost its sustainability quotient but also add value to your knowledge. Choose a certification that makes the most sense for your business and aligns with your business values. Also, do a bit of research on the certifications used by your competitors.
Artemis Impact is a network of corporate, donors & non-profits. With our corporate enterprise solution, we aim to empower companies to build human-centered impact stories and create sustainable impact with their CSR programs & core business.