Abt First to Achieve Industry-Leading Sustainability Certification for Professional Services Firms
Rockville, Md. – Abt Associates has become the first-ever company to earn a new sustainability certification, the only one of its kind designed specifically for the professional services industry. The NSF/ANSI 391.1 General Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Professional Services measures professional services firms across environmental, social, economic, and sustainable supply chain criteria. Abt earned the highest “Leadership” level certification for transparency and rigor of practices, policies, and commitments spanning these domains.
“We believe professional services and consulting firms have tremendous untapped potential to realize systems-level change towards environmental, social, and governance goals,” said Abt President and CEO Kathleen Flanagan. “We are thrilled and honored to be the first organization certified under this new standard, demonstrating Abt’s longstanding commitment and leadership in the sector to integrate sustainable practices and policies across our global operations.”
Accredited by the American National Standards Institute, NSF facilitated the development of the standard at the request of many stakeholders, including U.S. federal agencies, to raise the corporate performance profile of the professional services industry. Prerequisite criteria for certification include having documented ethical business, human rights, labor, environmental, and supplier diversity policies; integrated sustainability principles and practices in the company’s code of conduct; demonstrated greenhouse gas reductions; increased spending with diverse suppliers; a commitment to support nonprofit organizations and/or provide pro bono services, and more.
Milestone Comes as Abt Approaches 60-Year Legacy in Sustainable Impact
Earning NSF recognition is the latest example of Abt’s leadership in sustainable business beginning nearly sixty years ago, when founder Clark Abt pioneered the concept of a “social audit” for business—an impact measurement methodology to quantify the benefits Abt operations create for employees, society, and the environment. In 1977, he outlined the approach in a book, "The Social Audit for Management,” which contributed to early literature on responsible enterprise management. During those years, Abt also built a proof-of-concept solar-powered building; became one of the first U.S. employee-owned businesses; and created one of New England’s first onsite childcare centers for staff.
Today, a company-wide framework for integrating sustainability across operations and culture has led Abt to set ambitious science-based GHG reduction targets, achieve gender parity, and now usher higher standards and industry change through this singular new certification for professional services firms.
Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives. From combatting infectious disease and conducting rigorous program evaluations, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing—and more—we partner with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges.
About NSF: NSF is an independent, global organization that facilitates standards development to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. With clients in more than 180 countries, NSF tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences, and consumer goods industries. Founded in 1944 at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, NSF is committed to improving human health and planet health worldwide. NSF is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Water Quality, Food Safety, and Medical Device Safety.