06-24-20 | Association News

GBCI Releases COVID-19 Guidance

Safety First Pilot Credits for SITES and TRUE

Green Business Certification Inc. is working across their entire suite of programs to ensure that they learn from the present crisis to better maintain a commitment to a healthy, sustainable future.

Green Business Certification Inc., which recognizes excellence in green business industry performance and practice globally by administering project certifications and professional credentials and certificates within the framework of programs such as LEED and SITES, announced the release of Safety First pilot credits for itsA SITESA andA TRUE (zero waste certification) rating systems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new credits enable projects committed to sustainable landscape development and those pursuing zero waste goals to maintain those commitments while adapting practices and procedures in light of the current public health crisis.

This new guidance complements theA Safety First pilot creditsA released by the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED earlier this month.A

"With the global economy in distress, we must do everything we can to support sustainable solutions that contribute to a stronger economic recovery, while ensuring people feel safe and secure as we move toward re-opening our buildings and communities," saidA Mahesh Ramanujam, president & CEO, GBCI. "We know that healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy and GBCI is committed to ensuring that sustainability, health and wellness, and equity are grounded in our COVID-19 recovery strategies."

The Sustainable SITES Initiative, which has certified 70 projects worldwide, promotes best practices and establishes performance measures for the sustainable development of parks, corporate campuses and other green spaces, serving as a framework for protecting ecosystems and wildlife habitat, enhancing landscape resilience and expanding green infrastructure.

The newA SITES Safety First Pilot CreditA encourages projects to undertake a risk assessment using the National Recreation and Park Association's Risk Assessment Tool, as well as create an updated operations and management plan. The plan must address several factors, including physical distancing, cleaning practices, impact on equity and inclusion, worker and visitor safety, signage and communications, and more.

TRUE enablesA businesses and organizations to define, pursue and achieve zero waste goals for their facilities. There are nearly 180 TRUE-certified projects around the world. The newA TRUE Safety First Pilot CreditA focuses onA eliminating adverse health impacts on personnel with regards to hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste management. It encourages the adoption of more stringent health and safety measures, such as the use and proper disposal of Personal Protective Equipment, as well as risk management and mitigation training for employees working with solid waste.A A TRUE-certified project's goal is to divert all solid waste from the landfill, incineration (waste-to-energy) and the environment.

In addition to these two new programs, GBCI is also approving the use of the new LEED Safety First Pilot Credits for RELi projects, whichA take aA holistic approach to resilient design and is used to assess and plan for acute hazards that buildings and communities may face during unplanned events. The application of the LEED credits is intended to further assist RELi projects in adapting to the pandemic, while continuing to maintain critical life-saving services in the event of extended loss of power, heating fuel or water.

"All of GBCI's green business programs are built on a foundation of trust, integrity and data," added Ramanujam.

The SITES and TRUE pilot credits announced recently, as well as the four previously announced for LEED are based on current, known information. GBCI will continue to refine its recommendations in line with new data and public health advisories.


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