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NSF Awards World’s First Sustainability Certification for Professional Service Sector

Abt Associates is the first company certified to NSF/ANSI 391.1 General Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Professional Services.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – NSF, a leading global public health and safety organization, is pleased to announce that Abt Associates has achieved the distinction of being the first company in the world to receive certification to the recently launched NSF/ANSI 391.1 General Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Professional Services. This groundbreaking certification program sets the standard for sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices in the professional services sector. Abt earned the highest “Leadership” level certification for transparency and rigor of practices, policies, and commitments spanning these domains.

The launch of NSF/ANSI 391.1 follows a successful pilot program that took place from late 2021 to early 2022, involving esteemed participants such as Crowe LLP, ISOS Group, Brightworks Sustainability, Nasdaq Stock Market, and Sacramento Municipal Utility District. These organizations contributed to refining and validating the criteria, ensuring its robustness and relevance.

"We congratulate Abt Associates on being the first company to achieve certification to NSF/ANSI 391.1. Certification and third-party validation are vital to creating trust around ESG claims in today's business landscape. This standard enables professional service providers to make measurable commitments towards sustainability and communicate progress with customers and key stakeholders,” said Pedro Sancha, President and CEO, NSF. “By achieving certification, Abt Associates has demonstrated their commitment to improving environmental impact, social equity, economic governance, and supply chain sustainability. We applaud their leadership and hope that other firms committed to sustainability will follow their example."

NSF/ANSI 391.1 provides organizations with a structured framework to document and measure their efforts towards the "triple-bottom-line" - improving environmental, socioeconomic, and supply chain performance. The standard aligns with state and federal procurement guidelines, enabling firms to demonstrate their dedication to ESG practices.

"With the increasing adoption of sustainability and ESG initiatives by regulatory bodies worldwide, professional service firms have a unique opportunity to showcase their commitment to long-term sustainability efforts,” said Michael Salemi, Program Lead, NSF Innovation Team. “NSF/ANSI 391.1 empowers organizations in accounting, law, environmental consulting, marketing, and others in the services sector to pursue certification and enhance their sustainability practices."

Certification to the standard involves meeting specific criteria in four pillars: environmental impact, social equity, economic governance, and supply chain sustainability. Similar to the LEED building rating system, the certification process employs a point system and offers two levels of certification with required prerequisites.

NSF is proud to recognize Abt Associates as the pioneer in achieving certification to NSF/ANSI 391.1, setting a high standard for sustainable practices in the professional services sector. This accomplishment serves as an inspiration for other organizations to embrace sustainability and work towards a more environmentally and socially responsible future.

About Abt Associates

Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that uses data and innovation to improve the quality of people’s lives. For nearly 60 years, Abt has partnered with clients and communities to advance equity and innovation. From combatting infectious diseases, to mitigating climate change, evaluating programs for measurable social impact—and more—Abt works across geographies, disciplines, and markets to tackle society’s most complex challenges.

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