NSF P391: Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Services and Service Providers

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF Sustainability?
  • Certification Process

Service providers now have a pathway to sustainability through NSF Protocol 391: General Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Services and Service Providers. NSF P391 includes prerequisites as well as optional criteria that define and evaluate the environmental, economic and social impacts of the services and practices of all types of service providers. Environmental consulting firms; building contractors; engineering, architectural and design firms; maintenance contractors; product dealers and distributors; and delivery or installation companies are among the many service providers eligible to earn NSF P391 certification.

What is the NSF P391 Protocol?

NSF P391 was developed by NSF’s National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS) through a consensus-based process with an expert panel of stakeholders. NSF Sustainability certifies service providers to the NSF P391 protocol, helping companies develop standardized, objective methods for measuring sustainability. A fundamental goal of sustainable services certification is to inspire marketplace confidence and credibility for these service providers.

NSF P391 is based on life-cycle assessment principles. The protocol uses a comprehensive checklist to evaluate service providers against established prerequisite requirements, performance criteria and quantifiable metrics in three key areas:

  • Environment
  • Labor
  • Social responsibility

For more information on the protocol, view the article "Sustainable Me" on the Interior & Sources website or our information paper on NSF P391. To purchase a copy of the NSF P391 protocol, visit the NSF Bookstore.

To learn more about certification to NSF P391 or to obtain a quote, call +1 734.476.2543 or email sustainability@nsf.org.

To purchase a copy of NSF P391, visit the NSF Bookstore. For more information about the standard or the standards development process, call 1 734.913.5774 or email ncss@nsf.org.

Benefits of Certification

Benefits for service providers certified to NSF P391 include:

  • Distinguishing your "green" services from your competitors, making you a preferred vendor to those seeking sustainable solutions
  • Meeting state and federal procurement guidelines for sustainable services
  • Achieving the most credible type of certification available in the marketplace
  • Saving money by adopting more sustainable operational practices and business approaches

NSF certification to P391 is based on achieving points for applicable criteria at the Conformant, Silver, Gold or Platinum level. Service providers certified by NSF are authorized to use the NSF Sustainability Certified mark in their advertising.

Download a copy of the P391 sustainable service providers brochure.

Why Work With NSF Sustainability?

With nearly 70 years of laboratory testing, product reviews, validation, and technical excellence, NSF is a preferred third-party certification body for many businesses and organizations. We know the requirements and intent behind all the NSF P391 criteria and can guide you through the certification process to achieve cost-effective, reliable and consistently high quality results.

We are also a leading worldwide third-party registrar for ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001, and we conduct social accountability audits. With our large network of international auditors, we can conduct audits in over 100 countries and provide you with global market access for your products and services.

Certification Process

NSF has helped thousands of companies obtain both local and international market access. Our certification process includes six simple steps:

  1. Your company completes the application process and submits signed documents to NSF.
  2. With our guidance, your company submits documentation for an off-site document review.
  3. We conduct an off-site documentation review and provide feedback and data analysis prior to the on-site audit.
  4. We conduct an on-site audit of the service provider’s facility or facilities.
  5. Once all follow-up is complete, we grant certification and list certified companies and service providers on the NSF website.
  6. We schedule annual surveillance audits and notify you of recertification.

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