The Associated Builders and Contractors continues to be at the forefront of the green
construction movement with their new ABC Green Contractor Certification program.
With so much green-washing spread throughout the market these days, ABC National
decided to come up with their very own measuring stick for what makes a “Green
Contractor”. They also want to separate the companies that just build green buildings
from the ones that truly implement sustainable practices into their culture everyday.
13 Pre-Requisites & 36 Possible Credits
They have provided a flexible and comprehensive checklist of sustainable business
practices ranging from procurement practices to LEED project experience. This
certification is focused on how you operate your business and run your jobsite offices.
This checklist can be downloaded at www.greenconstructionatwork.com.
Areas of Evaluation:
1. Pre-Requisites (Policies & Procurement)
2. Main and Branch Offices (Operations)
3. Jobsite Offices (Field Operations)
4. Education & Training (Employee Development)
Why your company should consider it?
Fosters Teamwork & Collaboration
When we (Wohlsen Construction Company) decided to pursue this certification, we
arranged a meeting with all of the leaders from each major department. This included
our President, Human Resources Director, Information Technology Director, Purchasing
Director, Training Coordinator, Sustainability Coordinator and Operations Executives.
One by one we reviewed each potential credit within the ABC Green Contractor
Certification Checklist and asked the following questions: Are we doing this now? If
not, do we want to? If we would like to do this, what are the resource implications and
Improve The Triple Bottom Line (Profit, Planet, People)
This was an enlightening discussion for everyone on our team. Each topic/credit opened
up a new conversation and allowed us all to think about how our area of the business
impacts each of the other areas and ultimately, the end result on the environment. From
this conversation we were able to create our gameplan for approaching the certification.
Each leader was assigned credits from the checklist to gather supporting documentation
and report back to the group. We followed up with two more meetings to ensure that we
would provide enough backup information to provide proof of our practices.
The ABC Green Contractor program includes third party verification:
Within two weeks of submitting the application and supporting documentation, we were
contacted by a local “green professional” (an architect in our case) who met with us to
review our application and take a tour (and photograph) our offices.
The costs for the certification itself is $450. If your company has already begun to
implement green practices at work than this could be the extent of the process for you and
it will simply be a matter of documenting what you have done and sending this to ABC
National for their review and approval. Each credit, if it hasn’t been implemented, could
be fairly time and cost intensive.
Just Do It!
I highly encourage any company interested in being green or sustainable to print the
checklist for themselves and see how they measure up. This is a great way to invest
in your company, your image and the environment. ABC has also provided a guide to
green practices which serves as a roadmap to the entire process.
Let me know if you have any questions throughout the process, our company was the 17th company in the country to navigate the process and achieve the certification.