NSF’s sustainability assessment protocol for services and service providers evaluates and certifies the sustainable practices of service providers, enabling compliance with E.O. 13514

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — NSF Sustainability, a division of global independent public health organization NSF International, has certified environmental management company Marstel-Day to North America’s first sustainability assessment protocol for services and service providers – officially named NSF P391: General Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Services and Service Providers.

Based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Marstel-Day is an environmental management company focused on land conservation and restoration, climate adaption, water resources, smart growth, sustainability, program management and analysis services. As the first company to earn certification to NSF P391, Marstel-Day is able to differentiate its services and pursue preferred vendor status with organizations seeking more sustainable operating solutions. This includes local, state and federal government agencies and others attempting to comply with U.S. Executive Order 13514, which helps ensure that 95 percent of government contracts include products and services with sustainable attributes (e.g. energy and water efficiency, recycled content). Many of these sustainable attributes are included in criteria for NSF P391.

While a number of protocols and standards have been developed to define what constitutes a sustainable product, NSF P391: General Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Services and Service Providers is the first protocol to define what constitutes sustainable services.   The General Services Administration (GSA) has shown support for this protocol by appointing representatives to serve on a joint committee that is developing an American National Standard (ANSI) based on the protocol.

“Credibility and trust are paramount to organizations seeking sustainable service providers. By being the first company to achieve certification, Marstel-Day is demonstrating its dedication to assessing its internal practices, increasing efficiencies and achieving more sustainable operational practices,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF Sustainability.

Marstel-Day President and CEO Rebecca R. Rubin said, “Becoming the nation’s first business to be certified under this important and ground breaking protocol for sustainable services is a real differentiator for us and will help raise our profile as a certified sustainable service provider able to meet the expectations of Executive Order 13514. It will also, we hope, set the stage for other businesses to follow suit.”

How NSF P391 Certification Works

NSF provides certification to the new NSF P391 protocol through the NSF Sustainability Division. NSF Sustainability helps companies develop standardized, objective methods of measuring sustainability that instill marketplace confidence and promote acceptance of more sustainable products and services.

Based on life cycle assessment and sustainability principles that measure the environmental and societal impacts of an operation, NSF P391 evaluates the sustainability of a service provider in three key areas:

  • Environment impact – energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Labor impact – health and safety, employment practices
  • Social responsibility impact – community assessment

Organizations can earn NSF P391 certification at the Conformant, Silver, Gold or Platinum levels. Once certified, service providers are authorized to use the NSF Sustainability Certified mark in their advertising and marketing, helping quickly communicate their credibility as a sustainable services provider to government agencies and prospective customers. Monitoring and periodic reevaluation are required to maintain certification.

Developed through the NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS), the NSF P391 Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Services and Service Providers protocol was established through a consensus-based process that included input from an expert panel of service providers, suppliers, regulatory agencies, environmental organizations and end users. The NCSS has also developed sustainability standards through this consensus-based process for a wide range of product categories, including chemicals, commercial furnishings, flooring, building products and materials, and water treatment and distribution systems.

For more information on NSF P391 and NSF Sustainability services, visit nsfsustainability.org or contact Dennis Gillan at 734-476-2543 or dgillan@nsf.org. To purchase a copy of the protocol, visit the NSF Book Store.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with NSF Sustainability General Manager Tom Bruursema, contact Greta Houlahan at 734-913-5723 or houlahan@nsf.org.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide.

NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies green their products, operations, systems and supply chains. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF has developed sustainability standards for product categories such as chemicals, building products and materials, water quality and services and service providers. NSF works with leading regulators, scientists, engineers, public health and environmental health professionals, and industry representatives to develop these transparent, consensus-based standards.

Additional NSF services include NSF Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR). NSF-ISR services include ISO 14001 environmental management systems registration and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Chain of Custody (COC) certifications.

CONTACT: Greta Houlahan
NSF International
Phone: 734-913-5723
Email: houlahan@nsf.org