See how you can meet sustainability goals while improving your earning power through this new ISSA/IEHA credential

by Brianna Crandall — November 2, 2018 — Executive housekeepers / facilities managers (FM) association IEHA, now a division of worldwide cleaning industry association ISSA, recently announced its initiative to help industry professionals meet key sustainability goals while improving their earning power through the new IEHA Sustainability Professional (SP) Credential. Founded in 1930, IEHA is focused on the health-care and hospitality sectors of the cleaning industry.

IEHA Executive Director Michael Patterson explained:

The SP course modules explore the three Ps of people, planet, and profit, with a goal to create return on investment (ROI) for our environmental services (EVS) members. It’s doing well by doing good.

The ROI of sustainability comes largely from reducing waste and viewing these materials as a resource to optimize, points out IEHA.

SP Module One explains how “backcasting” can help. Backcasting is a form of sustainability planning that involves three steps:

  1. Envisioning or forecasting the future
  2. “Casting back” to assess the current situation compared to the desired future condition
  3. Developing a plan to bridge the gap to the desired state

Backcasting may also involve these steps:

  1. Determining waste reduction goals (for example, reducing municipal solid waste by 60% to 75% and registered medical waste by 8% to 12% and/or increasing recycling by 13% to 32%)
  2. Developing a baseline of current waste levels based on a waste and recycling audit by weight, volume, and/or frequency of pickup
  3. Closing the gap with action steps created from collaborating with other departments

EVS leaders can also backcast by setting sustainability goals such as buying only products in packaging that contains 100 percent renewable, recycled, or certified materials.

IEHA’s SP program aspires to help members become more accomplished in sustainability management — and to be happier on the job: SP Module Two cites the Net Impact and Rutgers University survey “Talent Report: What Workers Want in 2012,” stating that “employees who say they have the opportunity to make a direct social and environmental impact through their job report higher satisfaction levels than those who don’t. In fact, employees who say they can make an impact while on the job report greater satisfaction than those who can’t by a 2:1 ratio.”

Social engagement (i.e., “doing the right thing”) as cited above reduces another, perhaps even costlier form of “waste,” specifically, employee turnover.

SP Module Two states: “The moral? Take pride in your IEHA Sustainability Professional (SP) credential as your ongoing validated expertise in a sustainable waste reduction program helps the planet and makes you part of the solution, not part of the problem. In all likelihood, your knowledge and actions based on this informed position will help make you a more valuable and long-term employee.”

To enroll in the new SP credential program or for more information, visit the IEHA website.